Agronomy for Development: The Politics of Knowledge in Agricultural Research


edited by James Sumberg
Published by Earthscan/Routledge, 2017

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book coverOver the last decade there has been renewed interest in food security and the state of the global food system. Population growth, climate change and food price spikes have combined to focus new attention on the technologies and institutions that underpin the production and consumption of food that is varied, nutritious and safe.

Knowledge politics within development-oriented agronomy set the stage for some models of agricultural development to be favoured over others, with very real implications for the food security and wellbeing of many millions of people. Agronomy for Development demonstrates how the analysis of knowledge politics can shed valuable new light on current debates about agricultural development and food security. Using bio-physical and social sciences perspectives to address the political economy of the production and use of knowledge in development, this edited collection reflects on the changing politics of knowledge within the field of agronomy and the ways in which these politics feed and reflect the interests of a broad set of actors.

This book is aimed at professionals working in agricultural research as well as students and practitioners of agricultural, rural and international development.

Part of the STEPS Centre’s Pathways to Sustainability book series.


1. Knowledge politics in development-oriented agronomy  Jens A. Andersson and James Sumberg
2. On the movement of agricultural technologies: Packaging, unpacking and situated reconfiguration  Dominic Glover, Jean-Philippe Venot and Harro Maat
3. South-South Cooperation and Agribusiness Contestations in Irrigated Rice: China and Brazil in Ghana  Kojo Amanor 
4. GM Crops ‘for Africa’: Contestation and Knowledge Politics in the Kenyan Biosafety Debate  Stephen Whitfield
5. Systems research in the CGIAR as an arena of struggle: competing discourses on the embedding of research in development  Cees Leeuwis, Marc Schut and Laurens Klerkx 
6. One Step Forward, Two Steps Back in Farmer Knowledge Exchange: ‘Scaling-Up’ as Fordist Replication in Drag  William G. Moseley
7. When the Solution Became a Problem: Strategies in the Reform of Agricultural Extension in Uganda  Patience B. Rwamigisa, Paul Kibwika, Frank B. Matsiko, Margaret N. Mangheni and Regina Birner
8. Sweet ‘Success’: Contesting biofortification strategies to address malnutrition in Tanzania  Sheila Rao and Chris Huggins
9. Crops in context: negotiating traditional and formal seed institutions  Ola T. Westengen 
10. Laws of the field: the rights and justice of development-oriented agronomy  James A. Fraser 
11. A golden age for agronomy?  Ken Giller, Jens Andersson, James Sumberg and John Thompson

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