Can new technologies shift global power geometries?

18 & 19 June, University of Edinburgh

This workshop will explore the potential of new technologies to support regional food production and trade particularly targeting the goals of the Food and Nutrition Policy of the CARICOM (Caribbean Community and Common Market).

The North and South of the globe have traditionally assumed well-defined trading dynamics that reflect historically uneven power geometries; with economic benefits from post-harvest value-added activity accruing to companies in the global North and declining market values for raw materials coming from the South. Farmers in the South are often left vulnerable to unstable markets in agricultural produce and this vulnerability is further aggravated by climate change.

New economic conditions and technologies, however, are providing opportunities for alternative models of agricultural trade and development. A growing middle class in developing countries, the increasing popularity of niche products, and new ways of mediating support funds, offer farmers more choices to grow and commercialise their produce. Connectivity allows for greater exchange of information and more dynamic pricing via mobile phones for example. These conditions can provide more stability, added value, and increased income for growers. Data technologies such as blockchains, can also help to track and coordinate transactions and exchanges, particularly given the widespread use of smart phones in urban and rural areas alike. This workshop will look at this opportunities and also challenges encountered by stakeholders from Caribbean.

Please register your interest here:…

Places are limited. Participants will include representatives of CARICOM, ECTAD, IICA and University of West Indies in the Caribbean, and researchers from Design Informatics, Geography, Social Sciences and the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security at the University of Edinburgh.

Organised by: Larissa Pschetz, Marisa Wilson and Kate Symons.