Politics of knowledge, processes of social inclusion/exclusion

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Did anyone “said” “power, politics, inclusion, exclusion, technology, science? As I am trained as an engineer, I believe that technology and knowledge can help to achieve “things”. However, what is knowledge and technology? Is it something generated in “big research centers”? Is is a native seed or local knowledge? to achieve what? More profits? the “buen vivir?”? For what context? Who frames the projects that embed those technologies/knowledge? Do we have to have technology oriented projects or is there other option and why? What type of improvements we are aiming for? how does development is framed? Who is benefiting? Why? Who is not? Why? Is this re-elevant? Can we have “outfits” that suit different realities and life rational/worlds-views/worlds and how?

I ask myself many of those questions. It is true that I am engaged in academia but being honest, one of the things I enjoy the most is talking to farmers, technicians, researchers, policy makers and learning what they do and why. I never thought of myself as a development practitioner until I encountered with several worlds that challenged what I knew and pushed me to jump into what I did not…

In summary, for my PhD I look at processes of social inclusion/exclusion in technology driven interventions in agriculture. My departing point are technologies and how they come to play a role on different actors lives and how is that they relate with those technologies, i.e. who is included or excluded from using them. Currently I am at the stage of writing up my dissertation. Some publication and papers in progress are:

  •  Camacho-Villa TC, Hellin J, Almekinders C, Martinez-Cruz TE, Rendon-Mendel R, Guevara-Hernandez F, Beuchelt T and Govaerts B. (2016). The evolution of the MasAgro hubs: responsiveness and serendipity as drivers of agricultural innovation in a dynamic and heterogeneous context. J. of Agricultural Education and Extension.
  • Martinez-Cruz, TE, Almekinders C. and Camacho-Villa TC. (Submitted to a journal, 2018). Collaborative research on Conservation Agriculture in Bajío, Mexico: Continuities and discontinuities of partnerships.
  • Martinez-Cruz, TE., Leeuwis C. Almekinders C., Camacho-Villa TC and Govaerts B. (Submitted to a journal, 2018). The Echternach procession for learning in a SMS mobile based intervention: the case of MasAgro Movil in Mexico, three steps forward and two steps back.
  • Martinez-Cruz, TE. et al. (In progress). Hybridization of technological cultures: Encounters of the traditional milpa in the modernity in Oaxaca, Mexico.
  • Martinez-Cruz, TE. et al. (In progress) “An institutional ethnography of the Sustainable Modernization of the Traditional Agriculture Program (MasAgro) in Mexico”.

My PhD project relates to MasAgro Program in Mexico and I have been following the project closely since 2012, specifically the component of “take it to the farmer”. As my aim to describe mechanisms of social inclusion/exclusion in technology driven interventions, the MasAgro project is my case study.  I have collaborated in different workshops as part of the project.

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