Frugal Seminar Session

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This Frugal Seminar Session we have invited Oane Visser as our guest speaker. Oane Visser is associate professor at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), The Hague, of Erasmus University Rotterdam. He has been visiting scholar at University of Oxford, City University New York, Cornell University and University of Toronto. His research focuses on farmland investment, large-scale farms, digital farming, smallholders, interactions between small and large farms, and rural cooperation, particularly in Russia, Ukraine, Romania and the Netherlands. European Research Council (ERC) laureate Visser, is coordinator of the Eurasian Agrofood and Land Initiative (EURAL).

The title of his presentation is 'New digital farm technologies. Exploring bottom-up and frugal innovations transforming the farm in the global North and South'. 

According to many observers agriculture is on the eve of a revolution, as digitalization is expected to disrupt and transform this - to date largely untouched- sector. While ‘digital farming’, exemplified by GPS-steered combines, field scans with drones and milk robots, is often high-tech, capital-intensive, and focused on large commercial farms in the global North, that is not the full picture. Both in smaller-scale farm sectors and peripheral regions of Europe, as well as in the global South, low-cost and frugal digital farm technologies are being developed and adopted, targeted at smaller farms. As agriculture is a sector virtually ignored by frugal innovations studies to date (Hossain 2017), and the emerging studies on digital farming (or ‘smart farming’) tend to overlook low-cost and/or bottom-up innovations, this presentation aims to explore junctions between these academic fields.

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