Kathmandu University School of Arts, The Department of Development Studies invites application for admissions to Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program in the following field:
Future of farming through Digital Pathway
There is only one PhD seat available for this study. The selected candidate(s) from the interview will be asked to submit a full PhD proposal on the topic and make a presentation to the PhD Research Committee for final selection.
Future of sustainable agriculture depends on smallholder farmers' capability to share knowledge and learn through experiences, being informed about relevant technologies to scale best practices, and strengthening of the appropriate local farming practices. It is equally important to make relevant information available for farmers regarding market mechanisms and environmentally sound methods of farming. Communication and flow of information is however not as easy, or equally distributed among different types of farmers, largely due to the digital divide that exists in the agricultural occupation. Globally, while many occupations and services have gone through digital pathways, for small-holder farmers, digital agriculture engagement and use of innovative digital solutions for knowledge and information remains a challenge. In today's changing world, engagement of farmers, extension service providers, government agencies, market suppliers & buyers with the Digitally supported Advisory Services (DAS) network as digital pathways for the future of sustainable agriculture is a possibility but with many barriers which needs to be better understood.
Within this context, the PhD applicants should aim to understand the potentials and obstacles in the use of digital services for smallholder farmers from a social sciences perspective. How does that compare with the existing knowledge system? How do smallholder farmers receive, process and use agriculture information? What role does gender play in effectively using new information technologies? The study should focus on behavioral practices of farmers, and the roles of socio-cultural norms and institutions at different settings of Nepal, while emphasizing on the household dynamics in use of digital information technologies in agriculture.
This is a collaborative research project (AgriPath) between the School of Arts, Kathmandu University, and the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) at the University of Bern, Switzerland.
Completion of a Master's Degree or equivalent with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.0 out of 4.0 or an equivalent of 60 percent marks will be the basic criteria. Applicants must have a minimum of 7 years of university education after the completion of SLC.
Applicants are expected to have strong oral and written English language skills, and should be ready to start this study by August 2023. Selection will be strictly on merit basis. Young scholars are encouraged to apply.
Full Scholarship: Tuition fee, stipend and research costs will be provided to the selected candidate.
Further, as a Nepali citizen, the candidate could apply for other external scholarships once they have enrolled.