Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality, and to see the links to virtual rooms.

Accepted Paper:

The social life of manure  
Bertram TURNER (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology)

Paper short abstract:

Organic manure is a coproduction of plants, animals, humans, and microbes. In the Moroccan Souss, it has become an integral part of cash crop supply chain infrastructures. The paper traces the social life of manure from its origin in agro-forestry to its use in industrial cash crop production.

Paper long abstract:

The Souss region in Morocco has been designated a UNESCO biosphere reserve on account of its worldwide unique argan forest ecosystem. At the same time, it is also a ‘Garden of Europe’, i.e. the site of high-standard agrobusiness cash-crop production. Manure constitutes one of the links connecting these mutually constitutive landscapes. Organic animal-plant manure constitutes a material matter in downstream cash crop supply chain infrastructure. It integrates small-scale conventional agro-forestry in highly technicized cash crop agribusiness thereby transforming it. Manure production not only used to be an important component of a sophisticated conventional system of agroforestry; it proves also indispensable for the fertilization of irrigated land in high-end modern cash crop production where chemical fertilizers cannot replace it successfully. However, this demand for manure has significantly contributed to the demise of small-scale agriculture and the exploitation of a protected forest ecosystem for a capitalist agroindustrial infrastructure. Today, in some remote areas of the Moroccan Souss manure production has turned into an important, if not the main source of revenue for local people and conventional agriculture has been reduced to mere manure production, which means the combination of barley cultivation with livestock raising in the argan forest. Barley, although the signature staple food of local Amazigh people, is now cultivated in order to use the straw for manure composting. The paper explores the social life of manure from its base in agro-forestry to its use in industrial cash crop production and the concomitant transformations of multispecies relationalities.

Panel P180
Seminal matters of planetary uncertainty: The transformational ecologies of material infrastructures and agricultural practices [SIEF panel]
  Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -