So… one of the messages from the readings on technology transfer and development is the unapplicability of “Northern” methods of agricultural technology within the “South”. Much of the South’s problems stem from colonial and post-colonial relationships with it and the North. One of the greatest questions I had as a child and traveling around
Some of the cultural mindset presented in the reading can easily be seen by the reactions of new transplants in
The logic of beginning with an ideal genotype and then transforming nature to accord with its growing conditions has some predictable consequences. [Farm experiment] extension work essentially becomes the attempt to remake the farmer’s field to suit the genotype. This usually requires the application of nitrogen fertilizer and pesticides, which must be purchased and applied at the right moment. It usually also requires a watering regimen that in many cases only irrigation can possibly satisfy. (pg. 302)
The recent ongoing drought has made more people cognizant of the problems that are occurring, viz. water in their region, and some have taken on the idea of bringing the “native”
Of course, one looks at the near-entirety of
The possibility of even contemplating the possibility of using corn (!) to fuel the nation’s transportation needs is an great example of how we have entrained our vision along those of high-modernist constructs (i.e., technologies). It would have been ludicrous to even imagine the possibility of growing a nation’s fuel source. And on paper, it seems like it might be possible. However, this is when the calculations don’t take into account “the externalities.” The saying, “the real world is an externality” proves a point here: fueling the nation on corn ethanol is very potentially more polluting than continuing to use petroleum. The problems lie in the variation across space and time; production energy costs; distribution energy costs; and pollution costs.
What is the appropriate social context of a dam? This seems to be a paradoxical question, since we in the
The above aren’t discussions of the problems of exporting technologies to developing countries, but examples of our own developing understandings of the problems surrounding the experiments that we have been unwittingly conducting with our own use of high-modernist methods. While we may laugh at the “backward” methods of those farmers producing enough for their own needs with their own local knowledge – the “craft” of farming – we should be cognizant of the experiment our previous generations have left running in the background.