Knowledge for a sustainable world

PhD, MSc, BSc

Dr Laxmi Prasad Pant holds a PhD from the University of Guelph in Canada, an MSc from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and a BSc (Hons) from Tribhuvan University in Nepal. His PhD research involved the use of innovation systems approach to examine DFID-funded projects in India and Nepal in collaboration with the United Nations University Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Dr Pant moved to NRI in January 2020 from Canada, where he had worked at the University of Guelph, the University of Waterloo and Queen’s University.

Dr Pant has contributed to human geography/food systems through research, teaching, and development practice, specifically in the areas of food and agricultural innovation, regional and rural development, local food systems, food and nutrition security, and climate-resilient and low-carbon agroecological transitions. Dr Pant’s research has appeared in reputed international journals, such as Agriculture and Human Values, Regional Environmental Change, the Journal of Rural Studies, and Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability.

Dr Pant has extensive experience in planning, monitoring and evaluation. He has used classical program logic models and their alternatives, such as outcome mapping and reflexive interactive assessment, particularly in developing area contexts. He is also engaged in various national and international communities of scholars and practitioners working on developing effective strategies for agricultural innovation and sustainable development, including his role as a contributing author of the IPCC Sixth Assessment’s Special Report on Climate Change and Land.

Dr Pant’s research broadly attempts to answer overarching questions, such as: Why is modern science, technology and engineering alone insufficient to improve livelihoods of the world’s poorest, most vulnerable or marginalized in current and future generations?

Dr Pant’s current and future research interests involve the following three overlapping streams of work.

Geographies of regional and rural innovation

This stream of research is the latest in the field of agricultural and environmental sustainability. Innovation and development performance of a region depends not only on scientific research excellence and technological innovations but also on how the public, private and non-profit private actors, in their effort to co-create and use knowledge, interact with each other and with the enabling environment (e.g., policy and infrastructure). Dr Pant’s research and development practice aim to promote accessibility and adaptability of new and emerging technologies through stakeholder participation in co-creation and development of low-carbon and climate-resilient food systems.

Community engagement

Dr Pant recognises that community engagement in the 21st-century is an applied field of knowledge translation and exchange, also called knowledge mobilization in some quarters. Conventionally, community engagement in agricultural science, technology and engineering involved ‘transfer of technology’ interventions, such as field trials, field days, demonstrations, citizen panels and consensus conferences. As a departure from the conventional practice, Dr Pant has taken an innovation systems approach to community engagement involving end-users in the design and delivery of extension and advisory services, such as farmers’ field schools, innovation platforms, and community-based participatory research and development.

Pedagogy and the practice of teaching controversial topics

Dr Pant acknowledges that students bring their passion for solving societal problems, such as poverty, hunger, malnutrition, ecological degradation, and climate change. He is always prepared to listen and share his passion with students and yet remains critical to the controversial nature of many interventions. In his effort to inspire learning and motivate critical thinking, Dr Pant has contributed to course design/redesign initiatives and also conducted research on pedagogy and the practice of teaching controversial topics. He presented this research in various scholarly events, including the annual meetings of the Canadian Association of Geographers.

Dr Pant acts as the Programme Leader for a proposed BA in Human Geography which is expected to complement NRI’s current BSc in Geography.

He has substantial experience in knowledge translation and exchange in various contexts, including stakeholder meetings, policy workshops, social media engagement and the popular press. The following articles are some of the examples of his recent efforts to engage with a broader audience outside academia.

Rising eco-anxiety means we should address mental health alongside food security,

How to fight climate change in agriculture while protecting jobs,

Addressing food insecurity in the digital age,

What climate change will mean for jobs in food and agriculture in Canada,

Dr Pant has been working on a project entitled ‘Assessing the impact of climate change on food system diversity in the arid mountains of Nepal’, 2019-2021, in collaboration with Arrell Food Institute and the Department of Geography, Environment & Geomatics, University of Guelph. This research has been funded by the Insight Development Grant of Canada’s Humanities and Social Sciences Research Council (SSHRC).

Dr Pant works as an academic facilitator for World Accord’s RENEW project in Nepal, 2019-2024. This project is funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and focuses on the development of micro and small-scale enterprises to empower women and girls whose livelihoods primarily depend on smallholder farming.

Dr Pant’s work was also supported by the United States National Science Foundation (NSF), through his participation in the Winter School on Anticipatory Governance of Emerging Technologies, Arizona State University, and subsequent collaboration with the School for the Future of Innovation in Society.

Journal articles:

Book reviews:

Dr Pant contributes to human geography/food systems and divides his time between research and teaching activities. He acts as the Programme Leader for the proposed BA in Human Geography.

  • Member, Canadian Association of Geographers (CAG)

  • Contributing Author, IPCC Sixth Assessment’s Special Report on Climate Change and Land

  • World Accord Advisory Committee Member, World Accord, Waterloo, Ontario

  • Study and Development Fellowship, The Office of the Provost (Academic), University of Guelph

  • Research Grant Reviewer, Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Canada

  • The award of ‘Best Paper 2012’, The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension

  • IDRC Doctoral Research Award

  • Norwegian Agency for International Development (NORAD) Fellowship

  • The Tribhuvan University Chancellor’s Gold Medal

Send an Email