Conference Agenda

Summaries and basic information about congress panels. Please note that the panel identification numbers are provisional and that (pending the publication of the final program) they appear with a dummy date of celebration.

 
Session Overview
Session
S141: Foreign investments, technoscientific transfers and agricultural transitions in the modern world-economy
Time:
Friday, 20/Jun/2025

Session Chair: Niccolò Mignemi;
Session Chair: Albin baptiste Mabicka mabicka;
ES+EN

Session Abstract

In the modern world-economy, foreign capital investments and technoscientific transfers are crucial issues to understand the interconnections between regions with different levels of agricultural development. During the 19th and 20th century, the economic and technological power of the Northern countries imposed the colonial and neo-colonial domination. At the same time, foreign investments and imported inputs were presented as opportunities for latecomers and developing countries, promoting local development and filling the technological gap.

Dependency theory, centre-periphery models, global commodity chain analyses and researches on the Americanisation of the modern world have shown how these mechanisms were crucial to maintain an international economic and political order. But this macro-perspective should be questioned through smaller levels of the analysis, looking at the different ways of the transfers (foreign investments, trades, research projects, aids, etc.) and the heterogeneity of the actors involved in the process (States, farmers, NGOs, multinational firms, etc.).

The first goal of this session is to examine the effects of the foreign transfers looking at the local dynamics. The second goal is to observe how the international economic and technological transfers orient the path of the agricultural transition in the receiving countries. The third goal is to analyse the role of the international organisations and arenas in regulating these transfers through the definition of norms and common standards.


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Presentations

EE.UU y la Dictadura de Franco. Ayuda financiera y transferencias tecnológicas a las agriculturas españolas 1950-1962.

Bruno Esperante Paramos

Universidade de Santiago de Compostela. Grupo HISTAGRA, Spain

El objetivo de esta comunicación es describir y analizar los mecanismos por los cuales los EE.UU mediatizaron el cambio tecnológico en las agriculturas españolas bajo la Dictadura de Franco entre 1950 – 1962. La ayuda financiera de los EE.UU se enmarca dentro de la geopolítica del inicio de la Guerra Fría, fundamentalmente para el caso español luego del estallido de la Guerra de Corea en junio de 1950. Analizaremos también el papel jugado por el “spanish lobby” en Washington, así como las instituciones norteamericanas y compañías privadas españolas que intervinieron en la habilitación de créditos para la ayuda al desarrollo durante la década de los cincuenta. De forma concreta, examinaremos el caso de las ayudas a la instalación de fábricas de tractores en España, así como el fomento de créditos agrícolas para la importación de todo tipo de maquinaria agrícola. De esta forma se detallarán algunos de los mecanismos de la ayuda financiera norteamericana para el cambio tecnológico en las agriculturas españolas.


The Gabon Forestry Company and the world crisis of 1974-1975

Albin baptiste Mabicka mabicka

École des hautes études en sciences sociales, France

Covered by approximately 85% of forest, that is 22 million hectares, Gabon has always represented a suitable zone for the development of forestry (exploitation, processing, export activity or forest management) since the beginning of the twentieth century. The lack of financial resources of Gabon since its independence in 1960, made the country really dependent on foreign private investors. Thanks to private investments, the sector of wood remained the major source of development for the country.The production of Okoume (plywood and logs) is Gabon’s main resource. Consequently, the industrial sawmill, the plywood manufacturing and the processing enterprises processed and exported raw material or by-products like plywood, taking into account that timber has always been intended for export. The Compagnie Forestière du Gabon (CFG) was the third company of plywood in the world. This paper is aiming to present the impact of the world crisis of 1974-1975 on Gabonese wood and specifically on CFG. Retracing the itinerary of wood from Africa to Europe will also help to answer the following question: how the CFG managed to diversify its commercial customers while the West was its main customer?


El café y el cacao: entre la adopción de nuevos cultivos y la transformación de las técnicas agrícolas en Gabón (siglo XIX y principios del siglo XX)

Vouma Ngnongui Roselie Hermelinda

Université Bordeaux Montaigne, Francia

Es un hecho bien conocido que la mayoría de las plantas cultivadas en África proceden de América, Asia u Oceanía. Los periodos exactos de sus introducciones quedan mal conocidos por la mayoría de las regiones subsaharianas. Sin embargo, en Gabón, las fuentes escritas antiguas permiten determinar que es a partir del siglo XV, simultáneamente con la fase de penetración y de asentamiento de los portugueses que unas plantas europeas, esencialmente alimenticias, fueron introducidas y cultivadas. Luego, en el siglo XIX, sigue la introducción de otras plantas de intereses económicos,el Café y el Cacao. Aquellas siembras son adoptadas domesticadas y cultivadas por las poblaciones gracias a técnicas “tradicionales”. Así, con el objetivo de ir desarrollando más dichos cultivos, de hacerles prosperar por cualquier sitio donde era necesario, y para multiplicar las operaciones de cosecha, los europeos enseñaron a las poblaciones sus técnicas de producción cambiando, al mismo tiempo paisajes vegetales, los aspectos de la vida de los habitantes y las prácticas agrícolas preexistentes. Esta comunicación tiene pues como meta mostrar cómo la introducción de nuevas plantas y la intervención del colonato tuvieron como efecto la transformación profunda de los sistemas agrarios y de las antiguas prácticas agrícolas.


Foreign farmers investing in French agriculture during the first half of the 20th century

Niccolò Mignemi

Équipe de Recherches pour l’Histoire du Monde Rural, France

At the beginning of the 20th century, foreign migrants played an important role in the agriculture of Southern France. Here they were employed as farm or seasonal workers in vineyards, gardening, transhumance, forestry, but they could also settle as farmers in regions where the impact of rural exodus was higher, as in the Southwest. During this period, national and local authorities were worried about the demographic decline in the countryside and, in particular since the First World War, they collected information and data on rural non-French population. Focusing on South-eastern France, this paper intends to investigate the place of migrants in the dynamics of the regional agrarian systems. Then, through a local-based approach centred on the interwar period, it will integrate the official statistics with the information coming from other sources (population census, cadastre and registers of sales and rental contracts). It will thus explore from a microhistorical perspective the trajectories of the foreign migrants investing in French agriculture during the first half of the 20th century.


Pine resin in Jalisco in the early 1900s. A case study of technology transfer and environmental history.

Juan Luis Delgado Macías

UNAM, Mexico

Pine resin industry has been a global forest-chemical sector since its very beginnings in the late 1700s. The products of this industry, turpentine spirit and rosin, have been raw materials for different chemical industries, which usually were located more or less far from the spots where its supplies were produced. During the 19th century, this demand was growing at a significate rate implying the openness of new production forests. The international market, dominated by the US and France, was engrossed by commodities from other countries such as Spain or Mexico. The difference between them was that the former had a significant experience in the field whereas the later had almost none. In this paper I am going to analyze how Mexico became part of the business, studying a particular case of the region of Jalisco, where in the early 20th-century was established a resin company of Spanish capital to take advantage of its temperate forests, which eventually became a prosperous enterprise applying the technical and organizational characteristics of Spanish and French resin industries. I think this case study will help us to recognize better the level of participation of all the actors involved, either globally and locally.


'Industry forrays into agricultural development and food engineering: the example of the Nestlé Foundation in West Africa in the 1960s-1970s'.

Wilhelm Lola

Institut des hautes études internationales et de développement, Suisse

In the wake of the "baby milk scandal" of the 1970s, and ensuing international boycott against its major manufacturers, scholars and activists have investigated the impact of the transnational corporate sector on food production and consumption patterns, and on social and economic development in the developing world. However, the focus on this recent history has tended to overshadow the longer-term, nuanced history of relationships between the food industry on the one hand, and State agencies, non-governmental organisations, and international organisations concerned with agriculture and socioeconomic development on the other. Based on research in French national and colonial archives and in the records of corporations and international organisations, my presentation will focus on a pivotal moment in this neglected history: the engagement of the Swiss-based multinational company Nestlé with post-Second World War agricultural modernisation schemes, and more specifically its relationships with French cooperation and technical assistance bodies and with international organisations working in French West Africa.



 
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