THE ECONOMIC PAMPHLETEER: Public policy for agricultural technology
Keywords:Regenerative Agriculture, Sustainable Intensification, Technology, Economic Sustainability
In my previous column on technology, I reasoned that “good technologies” (1) should not force people to adopt them but be matters of choice, (2) should reduce the drudgery of work but not the thinking, and (3) should not separate thinking from working (Ikerd, 2022). I concluded that industrial agricultural technologies violate all of these criteria because they are designed to maximize productivity and economic efficiency rather than economic sustainability. I concluded: “The technological challenges of the future will be to develop new mechanical, biological, and digital technologies that empower, rather than oppress, the people who choose to use them” (Ikerd, 2022, p. 7).
Regardless of the criteria, many technologies of the future will be developed by private-sector corporations and thus will be designed to maximize economic efficiency and productivity. As a result, governments must accept the responsibilities for preventing, restricting, or mitigating the impacts of technologies that threaten the well-being of society over the long run. . . .
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