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【KINDAS group 1-C】6th Seminar
2015年11月20日 @ 4:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Sustainable Agriculture and Social Power: Case Studies from India
Date&Time: 20th, November 2015 (Fri), 16:00-17:30
Venue: Kyoto University Yoshida Campus, Research Building No.2, 4th Floor AA 447
Speaker: Dr. Trent Brown (University of Wollongong, Australia)
Within development and organic farming circles alike, it is often claimed
that low external input sustainable agriculture has the potential to deliver
meaningful economic and political empowerment for poor communities
in the developing world. In particular, it is suggested that by reducing expenses
on chemical fertilizers, poor farmers are able to overcome indebtedness and
take control of their lives. Unfortunately, while there may be potential for this
kind of empowerment in theory, in practice, things often do not work out this way.
Often, sustainable agriculture projects serve the interests of local and non-local
elites and bring only marginal benefits (or even losses) to the poor.
In this presentation, I argue that this is because sustainable rural development
projects are always embedded within much larger structures of social, economic
and political power. Specifically, I explore how rural development projects are
influenced by at least four separate entities – donors, activist networks, the state
and local elites – all of whom may have objectives that differ from those of the
rural poor. Drawing on case studies from my doctoral research project, I argue
that to make more meaningful changes to the lives of the rural poor, sustainable
agriculture advocates must be more sensitive to the hegemonic power relations
that influence their work.