Preliminary Programme

Wed 12 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Thu 13 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Fri 14 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Sat 15 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00

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Saturday 15 April 2023 08.30 - 10.30
N-13 TEC06 Thinking about the Past, Thinking about the Future. Innovation, Technological Changes, and Agricultural Knowledge Circulations in 20th Century
C32
Networks: Rural , Science & Technology Chair: Merit Hondelink
Organizer: Bruno Esperante Discussants: -
Gabriel Coleman : Fertilization Regimes in Post-war Irish Pastures: Transnational Technology Transfer and Rural
This paper examines the role of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer in shaping a productivist agricultural regime in Ireland during the country's integration into the EEC over the 1970s. Access to a European export market, Common Agricultural Policy production quotas, and European Development and Regional Funds fundamentally shifted Ireland’s economy, industry, and ... (Show more)
This paper examines the role of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer in shaping a productivist agricultural regime in Ireland during the country's integration into the EEC over the 1970s. Access to a European export market, Common Agricultural Policy production quotas, and European Development and Regional Funds fundamentally shifted Ireland’s economy, industry, and agricultural sector during this period. Fundamental in adapting Ireland's pasture-dominated agricultural industry to its new position in Europe was the practice of applying synthetic fertilizers high in nitrogen to pastures in order to increase grass growth and allow for greater livestock numbers. Though this practice gained traction in Northern Ireland during the postwar era, it remained uncommon in the Republic until the mid-1970s. This paper attempts to understand how agricultural communities chose to interact with this technological development through assessment of farmers’ writings to rural newspapers and journals as well as archival correspondence between farmers and agriculture advisory services. Assessing this technological innovation from a rural perspective offers insight into how Ireland’s agricultural communities navigated development and industrialization pressures, evaluating the possibilities between remaking their pastures and livelihoods around these synthetic nitrogen inputs or rejecting the technological regime change altogether. (Show less)

Bruno Esperante, Daniel Lanero Táboas : Why here “Yes” and there “Not”? Financial Aid and Agricultural Technological Transfers from the US to the Iberian Dictatorships, 1950-1975
In this paper, we describe and analyze the mechanisms by which the United States mediated technological change in Spanish and Portuguese agriculture in 1950-1975. The financial assistance of the United States is part of the geopolitics of the beginning of the Cold War, from the very beginning of the Korean ... (Show more)
In this paper, we describe and analyze the mechanisms by which the United States mediated technological change in Spanish and Portuguese agriculture in 1950-1975. The financial assistance of the United States is part of the geopolitics of the beginning of the Cold War, from the very beginning of the Korean War in June 1950. We will therefore analyze the impact of this aid, identifying the model of imported innovation and the technology transfer channels, as well as their specific objectives in Spain and Portugal. We will be mainly interested in the importation of agricultural machinery, livestock feed, fertilizers, as well as the implementation processes of the Official Agricultural Extension Services in the Iberian Peninsula. In addition to the scarce bibliography on this topic, this contribution will focus in the documentation preserved by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) – USA, originated from the Department of State and the US embassies (Agricultural attachés reports) in both countries. In the international framework of agrarian modernization during the Cold War, in which Agrarian Extension was a key element, my work wonders the reason why Francoism received American technical assistance with such an enthusiasm, whereas Portuguese Estado Novo (New State) showed much more caution and distrust. (Show less)

Clémence Gadenne-Rosfelder : Modernising the Pig Farm. Industrialisation, Zootechnical Innovations, and Biogeochemical Disruption (Brittany, France, 1945-2000)
Since the mid-20th century, pig farming in Brittany has gone through major changes in the way that it is thought about and done. Before 1955, farmers in Brittany usually owned several animals (cows, horses, chickens, and pigs), which they fed only with the produce of their own land (Canévet, 1992). ... (Show more)
Since the mid-20th century, pig farming in Brittany has gone through major changes in the way that it is thought about and done. Before 1955, farmers in Brittany usually owned several animals (cows, horses, chickens, and pigs), which they fed only with the produce of their own land (Canévet, 1992). Encouraged by the French state however, Breton farmers began to specialise in a single type of animal production: pigs. I would like to focus on four points in this paper. Firstly, I would like to show how agricultural modernisation induced a complexification of knowledge networks : pig production became a science, with specific private and public centers dedicated to zootechnical research on housing, genetics and feed. Secondly, in the wake of E. Russell’s, W. Boyd’s, T. Saraiva’s works in evolutionary/environmental history (Boyd, 2001 ; Russell, 2004 ; Saraiva, 2016), and research in animal labour anthropology, I would like to focus on how this new research aimed at improving what L. Beldo has called « metabolic labor » (Beldo, 2017), and how pigs increasingly became a sort of biotechnology. Thirdly, I would like to focus on what it meant for farmers to specialise in a single type of animal production, from a rural history perspective ; this point would be based on the 25 oral history interviews I conducted in the recent months with former pig farmers. Finally, as Brittany became France’s main pig production center (producing today up to 60% of the total national production), it also became the target of wide criticism, as blue-green algae proliferated in Breton estuaries, caused by the disruption of the biogeochemical cycle of nitrate (Le Noé, 2018). (Show less)

Harro Maat : Colonial Agronomy and Salvage Capitalism; Plantation agriCulture, Smallholders Farmers and Conflicts over Knowledge Production
The Netherlands, a small European country surrounding the delta of the Rhine and Meuse rivers, ranks second on the list of exporters of agricultural products (measured in monetary value), exceeded only by the US. Main reasons for this exceptional position are geographical location, a favourable trade infrastructure and intensive, industrial ... (Show more)
The Netherlands, a small European country surrounding the delta of the Rhine and Meuse rivers, ranks second on the list of exporters of agricultural products (measured in monetary value), exceeded only by the US. Main reasons for this exceptional position are geographical location, a favourable trade infrastructure and intensive, industrial farming practices supported by various agricultural knowledge producers. When tracing this combination of favourable factors back to the beginning of the twentieth century, the agricultural sector in the colonial territories gives a better match than agriculture in the Netherlands. To be more precise, the European-run plantation sector in the colonies of the early twentieth century shows all the features of modern capitalist agriculture. Alongside the plantations existed a large and extensive smallholder farming sector. The plantation sector and smallholder farming were not entirely disconnected and their connection is well captured as salvage capitalism, a notion coined by Anna Tsing to characterise the ways in which large commercial companies impel small, independent producers into capitalist supply chains. This paper looks at the role of knowledge producers in this process. The dominant knowledge producers in the plantation sector were agricultural research stations, where scientists trained in Europe studied and experimented with tropical crops. This form of knowledge production was effective for the plantation sector but, this paper will show, much less effective for smallholder agriculture. Consequently, smallholder farmers in the colonial territories only partially entered salvage capitalism. An important reason, this paper argues, is crop diversification, a key feature of smallholder farming and a major blind spot of agricultural science. (Show less)



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