Reference : “Avoiding disease has never favoured health”: Governance of plant health and manageme...
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Unpublished conference/Abstract
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Multidisciplinary, general & others
“Avoiding disease has never favoured health”: Governance of plant health and management of crop diversity -the case of bean health management among members of the association Croqueurs de Carottes
Klaedtke, Stephanie mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > > > Form. doct. sc. (sc. & gest. env. - Bologne)]
Chable, Véronique mailto []
Stassart, Pierre M mailto [Université de Liège > DER Sc. et gest. de l'environnement (Arlon Campus Environ.) > Gouvernance de l'environnement >]
From the living to the social: seed in question / Du vivant au social : les semences en question
6 octobre 2016
[en] In 2010, a hot debate on bean seed quality in the framework of a European Research project led a French-speaking association of artisan seed companies to challenge EU "quarantine" measures on the bacterial agents of Common Bacterial Blight (CBB), a seedborne disease of common bean. The artisan seed companies (artisans semenciers) forming the association Croqueurs de Carottes are small enterprises producing and marketing seed of open-pollinated vegetable varieties from the public domain, based on networks of organic seed growing farmers. In doing so, the artisan seed companies contribute to the dynamic conservation of crop diversity and to making this diversity accessible to home and market gardeners. For the Croqueurs as member of the French Réseau Semences Paysannes (peasant seed network), this commercial activity also forms part of a wider movement of seed re-appropriation. The research presented here departs from the hypothesis that the dispute on the CBB "quarantine" measures reveals a more general discrepancy: The rationale behind the plant health management practices of the seed artisans differs from the rationale behind the quarantine measures which they face in the form of phytosanitary inspections. In the aim of specifying the plant health management practices of the artisan seed companies, these practices and the rationale behind it will be unfolded as an actor-network.
In terms of actor network theory (ANT), the contestation of quarantine measures on common bean by the Croqueurs in France reveals the actor-network behind their bean health management. Disturbed by the quarantine measures, the network becomes apparent in a process of reassemblage. The network behind this particular plant health management will be unfolded by taking controversial elements of the implementation of quarantine measures as a starting point, such as the official protocol for the detection of bacterial pathogens on seeds and the competences of inspectors in charge of phytosanitary seed inspections. The description of the plant health management by artisanal seed companies will be based on the practices of the Croqueurs in France and Belgium, but also on the practices of two artisanal seed companies in Germany. By contrast, discrepancies with the dominant plant health management rationale will appear. Whereas the "quarantine" measures aim at eradicating CBB in the EU by admitting only CBB-free bean seed on the seed market, the artisan seed companies rather seek to live with plant diseases and integrate plant pathogens in their production systems. For the latter, managing crop and seed health also goes through managing sound environments.
In the framework of evolving EU plant regulations and a reorganisation of phytosanitary seed inspections in France, the debates on plant health management in artisanal seed companies persist. Although much has been written and publically debated by non-profit organizations, small-scale seed companies and researchers concerning EU seed legislations, but the role of phytosanitary regulations in the dynamic conservation of crop biodiversity has received little attention. The research presented here represents a first step in addressing this question in the scientific arena.
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