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Title: The configuration of agricultural biotechnologies in dual agricultural systems: GM cotton adoption by commercial farmers and family farmers in Argentina
Authors: van Zwanenberg, Patrick
Arza, Valeria
Issue Date: Jun-2012
Abstract: Drawing on a socio-technical systems perspective this paper compares the ways in which novel genetically modified (GM) crop artefacts, related devices and techniques, actors, practices, and institutions have been configured across two distinctive cotton production systems in north east Argentina, one based around large scale commercial farming and the other based around small scale family farming. In the former system, linkages between new GM seeds, and new actors, complementary artefacts, agricultural techniques, technical support, and modified supply markets and regulatory rules have resulted in GM-based cotton production systems that perform well. In the latter system, the new GM artefacts were unavailable, whilst conventional seeds disappeared from input markets. Instead, linkages were formed between copied GM seeds, of unreliable identify and poor quality, informal seed multipliers and dealers, largely unmodified production practices, declining technical support, uncontrolled pest problems, and an absence of regulatory oversight, resulting in a poorly performing technology. In effect, working agricultural biotechnologies are different in the two farming systems; they have different characteristics and capabilities and perform in different ways. The paper considers how regulatory and public agricultural research institutions have mediated those configuration processes, and how public policies in these areas could help shape cotton production systems in ways that better support small farmers’ livelihoods.
Description: Draft – 15 June 2012 - Manuscript for submission to Technology in Society, special issue on “Biotechnology, Controversy, and Policy: Challenges of the Bioeconomy in Latin America”
Project Number: 105759
Project Title: Addressing the Socioeconomic Impacts of Genetically Modified Cotton on Small Farmers in MERCOSUR
Document Delivery: This document is not available in the IDRC Digital Library / Ce document n'est pas disponible dans la Bibliothèque numérique du CRDI
Appears in Collections:Research Results (IID) / Résultats de recherches (IDI)
IDRC Research Results / Résultats de recherches du CRDI
Biotechnology / Biotechnologie
2010-2019 / Années 2010-2019

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