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Innover pour la périphérie : recherche agronomique publique et développement de machinisme approprié pour l’agriculture familiale en Argentine

Abstract : In Argentina in the early 2000s, the world of public agricultural research focused on the development of appropriate machinery for family farming. Family farming, which became a category of public and scientific action at the same time, refers to farmers working their land without employing paid labor. This model differs from the agri-business model, which focuses on the production of raw materials for exportation, which has grown considerably in Argentina since the 1990s.The thesis first focuses on the establishment of such machinery and its subsequent development in relation to family farming within Argentinean agricultural research, around the creation of new institutes specially dedicated to research and technological development for family farming (Ipaf). These institutions are particularly unique in that they are based on the reference of the concept of "appropriate technologies". Born in Europe in the 1960s, this concept is grounded on a strong criticism of conventional technologies, while at the same time proposing the development of simple, local, small-scale and decentralized technologies. After having observed the trajectory of circulation, made of hybridizations, of the concept of appropriate technologies in Latin America, we will present how it has been mobilized by Argentinean public agronomic research in the specific context of the 2000s. This context, politically marked by Kirchnerism, has seen the establishment of a mandate to put science and technology at the service of social inclusion.The thesis then focuses in detail on the work carried out by the engineers responsible for developing machines suitable for family farming. We return to two specific cases, namely the design and manufacture of quinoa post-harvest machines and the development of a semi-mechanized harvester prototype. We present how engineers are working on different fronts. They designed models, found funds to prototype them, participated in manufacturing, but also sought public funding to enable small producers to acquire the machines. We analyse this specific method of intervention, which is oriented towards the achievement of a mission, which is to ensure that innovations reach small producers.Finally, we present the way in which public agricultural research agents have, at the heart of this state-led project, interacted with the private sector and attempted to build a sector of machine manufacturers for family farming. This last theme is all the more complex in the context of technologies for family farming, where it is a question of considering the development of markets for impoverished individuals, or at least those with low or very low purchasing power.This thesis provides a detailed analysis of the role of public agricultural research in supporting family agriculture, and the changing relationships in science, technology and politics in a peripheral country like Argentina.
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Clara Jolly. Innover pour la périphérie : recherche agronomique publique et développement de machinisme approprié pour l’agriculture familiale en Argentine. Sociologie. Université Paul Valéry - Montpellier III, 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019MON30030⟩. ⟨tel-02555381⟩

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