Imaginaries of Development: The Rockefeller Foundation and Rice Research

  • Smith E
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This article is both a historical and contemporary analysis of the Rockefeller Foundation's changing role in rice research over the past 50 years, and though there are many overlaps between them, focuses on three broad periods: first, the RF's early work in rice research, particularly through the establishment of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Green Revolution era of the 1960s and 1970s; second, the development of the RF's rice biotechnology program in the 1980s; and third, the RF's focus on agricultural research in Africa, with rice research as a subset of their programmatic efforts, during the 1990s and beyond. Rice research in each of the different periods was driven by different framings of problems and potential solutions, incorporating wider ideologies, epistemologies, and key actors and networks, with the RF at the center. Viewed in this way, the Rockefeller Foundation's involvement in rice research cannot be seen ‘simply’ as an agricultural modernization project, but rath...

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  • Elta Smith

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