Seedlings of a contested modernity: new 'Green Revolution' claims and their implications on the seed sovereignty in Ethiopia
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Boosting agricultural productivity through the enhancement of primary inputs such as seeds is considered a relevant measure by governments and international organisations in order to increase the smallholder farmers’ income and launch a ‘Green Revolution’ in Africa. Ethiopia, a country marked by dramatic famines in the last century, is trying to adopt a paradigm lying on technological innovation, commodification of seeds and providing access to the market for smallholder farmers. This dissertation analyses the data gathered in Addis Ababa through interviews investigating the rationales of the policies seeking to strengthen the role of public and private seed companies and attracting the agricultural investments. The findings present a contested relation between the Ethiopian government and the control of farmers’ livelihood resources. The pressure revealing a top-down approach in the adoption of ‘modern’ inputs, such as high-yielding varieties, is currently shaping the seeds sovereignty of farmers in the name of modernity and productivity.