Unequal legacies? The politics of the Green Revolution and South-South technology transfers in Africa [Rising Powers SG] (Paper)

Lidia Cabral (Institute of Development Studies)
Divya Sharma (University of Sussex)
Tom Lavers (University of Manchester)
B: Agriculture, natural resources & environment
Start time:
27 June, 2018 at 14:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

This panel will consider attempts to promote a ‘new’ Green Revolution in Africa, focusing on: the transfer of transnational policy ideas—including South-South transfers; the adoption and adaptation of these ideas in particular national political economies; and their distributional impacts.

Long abstract:

Over the past 15 years international organisations, philanthropists, private companies and national governments have sought to build momentum for a 'new' Green Revolution (GR) in Africa. Rising global powers, like India and Brazil, that experienced earlier GRs, have emerged as sources of technology and know-how to help deliver the envisaged African GR. This panel will explore the dissemination and adaptation of policy ideas regarding GR technology—from these rising powers and elsewhere, the potential of new GRs to either replicate the unequal GRs of the past or, alternatively, to learn from and avoid them; and the political drivers that shape these processes. Questions of interest include: • How influential are transnational ideas about 'New Green Revolutions' in national policymaking processes? To what extent and in what ways do these draw on the experiences of the earlier GR countries like Brazil and India? • What are the channels for transmitting these ideas and how are they adapted to domestic political economies? • What particular types of agricultural technology are exported into Africa? And what combinations of interests, ideas and institutions shape elite commitment to agricultural transformation and the choice of particular technologies? • What impact do new technologies have on differentiation and social relations along class, ethnic and gender lines? What are the implications for rural politics, representation and authority? • How can transformative agricultural technologies from across the Global South be mobilised into the African context and inform national policymaking and local farming practices?