1st Edition

Europe's Green Revolution and Others Since The Rise and Fall of Peasant-Friendly Plant Breeding

By Jonathan Harwood Copyright 2012
    288 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    288 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    How best to foster agricultural development in the Third World has long been a subject of debate and from a European perspective the persistent failure to design peasant-friendly technology is puzzling. From the late 19th century, for example, various western European countries also underwent ‘green revolutions’ in which systematic attempts were made to promote the adoption of technological innovation by peasant-farmers.

    This book focuses on the development of public-sector plant-breeding in Germany from the late nineteenth century through its fate under National Socialism. Harwood uses this historical case study in order to argue that peasant-friendly research has an important role to play in future Green Revolutions.

    Introduction  1. The Origins of Peasant-Friendly Research in Germany  2. The Movement for Peasant-Friendly Plant-Breeding, 1880-1905  3. Research, Development and Extension at the South German Stations  4. Success Breeds Trouble: the Controversy over Public-Sector Breeding, 1902-1933  5. The Fate of Peasant-Friendly Breeding under National Socialism  6. The Green Revolution and its Critics  7. Reforming the Revolution: Peasant-Friendly Innovation, 1970 -2010  8. Three Conclusions


    Jonathan Harwood is Emeritus Professor if the History of Science and Technology at the University of Manchester,UK.

    "This book makes the connection between European agricultural history and the experience of developing countries, and shows how fascinating, informative, and revealing the linkage can be." – Paul Brassley, University of Exeter, UK

    "Too few academics attempt to fill the gaps between disciplines. Jonathan Harwood sheds light on the potential for a second generation Green Revolution to improve the lives of small farmers in developing countries by appealing to the history of plant breeding in nineteenth and early twentieth century Europe." – Carrie A. Meyer, George Mason University, USA

    "Harwood provides a fascinating account of the meso-politics of plant breeding in South Germany in 1880-1939; uses the account to illustrate possible paths of pressure from, and benefit (or otherwise) to, small farmers; and credibly suggests why this sort of history may matter to agricultural research policymakers today."--Michael Lipton, University of Sussex, UK

    "This is not an arid academic volume. Harwood makes clear and pointed arguments, which are directed at practitioners and policy-makers in agricultural research and international development." -- Shawn McGuire in Food Security, 17 August 2013

    "... what should make Harwood’s book fascinating for agricultural development practitioners and scholars alike is that his study is rooted in a systematic—and comparative—understanding of history." -- Shawn McGuire in Food Security, 17 August 2013

    "...Harwood not only provides useful insights into the shaping of agricultural research, but also shows how a proper consideration of history could inform development policy." -- Shawn McGuire in Food Security, 17 August 2013