By Dominic Hogg
Why do glossy agricultural thoughts, that are environmentally destructive, remain used? This publication seeks the reply to that question, via the evolution of agricultural learn in its cultural context. The theoretical framework is supported by means of historic case reviews relating hybrid maize within the usa, and the golf green Revolution in Mexico. A bankruptcy is additionally dedicated to biotechnology, and its implications for the worrying pattern in the direction of genetic uniformity.
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Extra resources for Technological Change in Agriculture: Locking in to Genetic Uniformity
The use of external inputs is not excluded but is seen as complementary to the use of local resources and has to meet the above-mentioned criteria. Neither the conventional Western agricultural technology nor any alternative technology is completely embraced or condemned. The attempt is made, rather, to draw lessons from past experiences in agriculture in developing and industrialised countries and to merge them into a process of technology development which leads to LEISA. (Reintjes et al. 1992, xviii–xix) Organic agriculture is often used, like LEISA, as a sort of umbrella term embracing a number of alternatives: A hypothetical High External Input farmer who wants (has) to become more ‘environmentally friendly’ will reduce inputs.
Issues of seasonality, year-to-year variation, and secular trends or even breakdowns in one or other variable in the system are of crucial importance. Most of these can only be revealed through a comparison which takes the longer-term into account. On the other hand, such studies of a longer-term nature as have been done have taken the form of experiments which, due to the degree of control that is desired, tend to ossify the production systems under investigation. This prevents any evolution in the system that might be desirable or necessary over time.
5), Cohen et al. (1991a, b), and Brush (1994, 4–14). There are crops (mainly tree crops and tubers) which are simply not amenable to easy ex-situ storage. Biotechniques (in vitro storage) may offer new possibilities in this regard. For example Altieri and Merrick (1988), Nabhan (1985), Prescott-Allen and Prescott-Allen (1982), and Brush (1994). ’ The first two points here raise thorny questions concerning whether the problem of feeding the world can actually be compartmentalised in a manner that allows one to dissociate the question of food sufficiency from the way food is produced.