Arguing about agronomy

conagA new article in Outlook on Agriculture looks at how agronomy has been affected by social change since the 1970s. The science of agronomy informs crucial decisions on development. It is often seen as a practical, problem-solving field, but like other areas of study is affected by politics and power. The authors call for more attention to the contestations around new agronomic knowledge and technology.

From the article:

“…the creation and use of knowledge and technology – which are of course at the heart of agronomy – are embedded in complex political, economic and social worlds that are characterized by asymmetric power relations. In agronomy and agricultural research more broadly, power is (and has long been) exercised in the framing of problems and the setting of priorities, through funding decisions, through ‘partnerships’, through crop variety release procedures and through the peer review and publication process.”

Image: Healthy barley despite drought under conservation agriculture by CIMMYT on Flickr