PhD defence

On continuities and discontinuties: The making of technology-driven interventions and the encounter with the MasAgro Programme in Mexico

PhD candidate Tania TE (Tania) Martinez Cruz
Promotor C (Cees) Leeuwis
Co-promotor CJM (Conny) Almekinders
Carolina Camacho Villa
Organisation Wageningen University, Knowledge Technology and Innovation, Wageningen School of Social Sciences (WASS)

Wed 22 January 2020 16:00 to 17:30

Venue Auditorium, building number 362
Generaal Foulkesweg 1
6703 BG Wageningen


In this PhD I investigate the politics of agricultural research and development. Specifically, I researched how technology-based projects are initially framed, and which ones can continue or are stopped. I focussed on three technologies: conservation agriculture, native maize and a mobile phone text-message-service, provided by the MasAgro programme in Mexico, a jointly-led national and international project sometimes called a new green revolution. I found that the interventions that are able to continue are the ones that can be adapted to changing priorities.  I found that political changes in the Mexican government and leadership forced projects to adapt to the new priorities and agendas or be discontinued. I also show that throughout these processes, researchers, donors, technicians, farmers and other actors rely on successful stories and quick wins to continue their projects and I discuss the implications of this in terms of who are the winners and losers of these processes.