The objective of the session is to make common ground among present research lines into the evolution and modernization of agriculture on both sides of the Atlantic, from 1945 until today. This period is fundamental, from our point of view, since it has contained the greatest increase in agricultural productivity in history, at the same time as the sector has suffered an important loss of relative weight in economies, in both developing and developed countries. This improvement of productivity demanded the incorporation and diffusion of new technologies, especially the profound mechanization of the agricultural sector, and also the use of a set of techniques known as the green revolution, which included the use of new seed varieties (hybrid seeds), pesticides, or fertilizers. Research centers located in developing countries, such as Mexico, played an important role in this technological change.
This process of technical innovation and productivity enhancement coincided with diverse attempts to change agricultural structures. Dictatorial regimes, such as those of Spain or Portugal, impeded agricultural reforms which would have redistributed land, but they promoted other policies of structural change in agriculture. At the same time, in a considerable part of Latin America, the theme of agricultural reform was strongly present in political debate and some countries implemented attempts in this direction.
Finally, technical change in agriculture and the sharp increase of production and productivity also meant the agricultural sector lost the energy efficiency which had been characteristic of it and generated increasing negative effects upon the environment.
The preferred geographic ambit of analysis is that of the countries of Latin America and those of the European periphery, including analyses of regions which despite
being sited in advanced countries, we can consider as internal peripheries. We are interested, consequently, in studying the agricultural transformations described and their effects in countries which during the period considered have experienced intense processes of growth, with varying results. We are interested in both general studies of various countries and comparative research among some of these, or national or regional case studies. We accept papers either in English or in Spanish.
Date and Venue:
Spanish Agricultural History Society. Badajoz (Spain)
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