This article outlines the importance of place-based policies derived from knowledge on local realities. Through an analysis of maize policies and their impact on the Zambezi region, Namibia, we illustrate the constraining limitations of insufficiently place-based policies. We highlight the problems of current top-down policies of production promotion, value chain integration, and sector protection which barely integrate region-specific knowledge. We emphasize the importance of integrating knowledge on soil, climate, water conditions, pro-duction capacities, and local farming practices. Based on our analysis, we recommend a more knowledge- and place-based policy including a multidimensional perspective, adapted agricultural management, and open decentralized governance structures that engages region-specific agricultural, economic, political, and environmental knowledge.
Kiesel, C, Dannenberg, P, Hulke, C, Kairu, J, Revilla Diez, J, Sandhage-Hofmann, A 2022, ‘An argument for place-based policies: The importance of local agro-economic, political and environmental conditions for agricultural policies exemplified by the Zambezi region, Namibia’, Environmental Science & Policy, vol. 129, pp. 137-149 DOI.