Second-order cybernetics as a tool to understand why pastoralists do what they do
The notion that pastoralists are irrational managers due to strong adherence to tradition and culture is still common in livestock production sciences. Researchers and development practitioners tend to fall back on this notion when target groups do not adopt their proposed innovations without any obvious reason. It is however difficult to identify innovations that fit into resource-poor systems, and often this lack of fit is the reason why innovations are not taken up. Understanding why pastoralists do what they do, and learning about the constraints they face when regulating production processes, is a prerequisite for identifying viable improvement possibilities.
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