Contested Agronomy: Imagining different futures for food and farmers

The question of how to improve farming to feed and sustain people in developing countries is as important as ever, and there are no easy solutions. One route to finding answers is through the science of agronomy – testing and evaluating how crops and farming techniques perform under different conditions. But, as with any science, there are battles and debates over what works, and even which problems agronomy should be trying to solve.

Whose agronomy counts? Is agronomy trying to solve the wrong problems? How can agronomy and the social sciences work together better to understand what happens to the science when it comes into contact with real farmers in the field? These were some of the key questions asked at the Contested Agronomy conference, which took place on 23-25 February at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS).

John Thompson, from IDS, welcomes participants to the workshop.

The event brought together over 80 participants from 18 countries to examine the politics of knowledge within the field of development-oriented agronomy (read more about the background & themes of the conference). Continue reading

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Exporting China and Brazil’s agricultural know-how to Africa

Can China and Brazil use their home grown agricultural knowledge, which has driven phenomenal agricultural productivity at home, to transform agriculture in Africa? That was one of many questions discussed at the Contested Agronomy conference.

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