A new article in Outlook on Agriculture explores how agronomy has been affected by social change since the 1970s. The science of agronomy informs crucial decisions on development. It is often seen as a practical, problem-solving field, but like other areas of study is affected by politics and power.
The authors suggest a ‘political agronomy’ approach, which takes account of the contestations that can arise around the generation and promotion of new agronomic knowledge and technology.
From the article:
“…the creation and use of knowledge and technology – which are of course at the heart of agronomy – are embedded in complex political, economic and social worlds that are characterized by asymmetric power relations. In agronomy and agricultural research more broadly, power is (and has long been) exercised in the framing of problems and the setting of priorities, through funding decisions, through ‘partnerships’, through crop variety release procedures and through the peer review and publication process.”
- The changing politics of agronomy research byJames Sumberg, John Thompson and Philip Woodhouse, Outlook on Agriculture (vol. 2, no. 2, June 2013)
- Contested Agronomy: agricultural research in a changing world – a book in the STEPS Pathways to Sustainability series, edited by Sumberg and Thompson
Image: Healthy barley despite drought under conservation agriculture by CIMMYT on Flickr
This article was originally posted on the The Crossing.