Ana Flavia Pulsini Louzada Badue

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

New York, Graduate Center, City U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9865

Approve Date

May 1, 2019

Project Title

Pulsini Louzada Badue, Ana Flavia (New York, Graduate Center, City U. of) "Drones, angels and unicorns: financial capitalism and digital technologies in Brazilian industrial farming"

ANA FLAVIA PULSINI LOUZADA BADUE, then a graduate student at City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, New York, received a grant in May 2019 to aid research on “Drones, Angels and Unicorns: Financial Capitalism and Digital Technologies in Brazilian Industrial Farming,” supervised by Dr. Gary Wilder. The research focuses on the social, cultural and economic relations that made possible for an innovation ecosystem to emerge in rural Brazil, and revealed that the model of ecosystem, originally created in the Silicon Valley, reshapes agriculture and projects of development, impacting the local political economy. Learning how an innovation ecosystem operates in the agricultural industry in this context, as well as understanding how digital technologies impact agriculture there, are ways of shedding light on global tendencies regarding economic development projects, food chains, and technological transformations. The research found that innovation is no longer a term used to describe changes within industries but is an industry in itself. Second, the research found that digital technologies enable a new form of agricultural practice and management: farming now can be done remotely. For example, managers no longer need to spend time wandering around arid farms to identify flaws in the crops, and they can send notifications to farm workers with precise indications of the work needed. Third, the research found that, although the innovation ecosystem claims to promote environmental improvements in industrial agriculture, the technologies produced and the business models associated to them only reinforce monocrops, a model of food production that is potentially harmful for the environment and for local social arrangements.