Political Ecology and New Green Revolutions in Africa 3

Type: Virtual Paper
Sponsor Groups: Africa Specialty Group, Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group, Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/11/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM (PDT)
Room: Virtual 33
Organizers: Jessie Luna, Brian Dowd-Uribe, Joeva Rock
Chairs: Joeva Rock


For over a decade, international development agencies, private foundations, and global financiers have sought to spark a "New" Green Revolution in Africa (NGRA) (Thompson 2007). Premised on the notion that the first Green Revolution missed Africa, this supposed new iteration seeks to modernize African agriculture by more closely linking farmers to global value chains through the purchase of agrochemicals, “improved” seeds and inputs from global firms, with the goal of transitioning small farms towards more commercial forms of production. Parallel to these efforts, farmers across Africa have initiated agricultural transformations outside of official NGRA programs or development projects, creating dynamic and novel livelihoods via the adoption of “modern” technologies.

Scholars have questioned whether the NGRA is indeed new, or simply a continuation of the first Green Revolution, a "longue dureé" (Patel 2013) of expanding market frontiers. They have raised questions about whether this technology-driven approach will reproduce the same shortcomings of the Green Revolution, focusing narrowly on productivity while exacerbating environmental degradation, inequality, and poor households' food insecurity (Moseley et al. 2015; Scoones and Thompson 2011). Meanwhile, civil society groups continue to raise objections to the NGRA, questioning its technologies, priorities, and metrics (AFSA 2018; Oakland Institute 2009; Wise 2020).

After a decade of critical scholarship, this panel seeks to foreground the contributions of political ecology scholarship to understand and complicate dominant narratives of the NGRA, and engage emerging frontiers in this next decade of proposed NGRA program implementation.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Serena Stein*, Princeton University, Suicide Bean or Grain of Gold? Soybean in the New Green Revolution in Africa and Political Ecology of Conviviality 15 11:10 AM
Presenter William Moseley*, Macalester College, Eliza J. Pessereau, Macalester College, Glyphosate as Mother’s Little Helper: A Feminist Political Ecology of West Africa’s Herbicide Revolution 15 11:25 AM
Presenter Rene Vesper*, , (Counter-)Hegemonic Contestations about Green Futures in the Kilombero Valley, Tanzania 15 11:40 AM
Presenter Michael Madin*, University of Denver, The Political Ecology of Seed Security in the Northern Ghanaian Savannahs 15 11:55 AM
Discussant Leslie Gray Santa Clara University 15 12:10 PM

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