Scientific Agriculture and Knowledge Exchange In the Global South: Mexican Wheat Seeds in India, 1961-1991

Scientific Agriculture and Knowledge Exchange In the Global South: Mexican Wheat Seeds in India, 1961–1991

Gabriela Soto Laveaga

This research project examined how scientific ideas about new wheat strains were interpreted, reshaped, and consumed by locals in two different countries. By examining relationships between scientists, agronomists, and farmers in a research center and a village—one each in Mexico and India—we gain a deeper understanding of the impact of scientific ideas in shaping national priorities and influencing societies on a global scale. By focusing on Mexico and India through the case study of the impact of wheat seeds we move beyond a North-South or developed/developing world binary and instead can examine flows of influence among Global South countries. By placing countries in the Global South at the center of knowledge circulation we add a new dimension of understanding about the value and uses that scientific knowledge acquires in different geographic locations. This project challenged how we define regions of scientific influence in the twentieth century and examined the role of science in shaping rural culture and national politics.