Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 12:20pm to 1:10pm
Payments made to farmers under agrienvironmental policy schemes in USA serve multiple functions. The material sustainability of farming (e.g., soil erosion control) and mitigation of off-farm ecosystem degradation (e.g., Gulf of Mexico hypoxia) are elements of this diverse set of social functions. Through critical examination of efforts to rationalize payments on ecological grounds - a shift to so-called, data-driven, outcome-based programs structured by new ranking algorithms and new logics of accountability - we are able to observe aspects of the political economy of environment and political economy of agrifood. The study highlights how technoscience serves to re-legitimate existing relations and values in policy networks, and at the same time technoscience is mobilized as a disruptive force. The results indicate that technology is a central and thoroughly ambiguous resource in processes of development.