What is the impact of sanctions of technology in Russian agriculture?

Lecture by Dr Oane Visser

'Artificial Intelligence, Agroholdings and Autarchy. The (im)possibilities of technological sovereignty and innovation in Russian agriculture'

On 20 June 2022, Dr Oane Visser, Associate Professor at the International Institute of Social Studies, gave an invited lecture at Giessen University, Germany, on the impact of Western sanctions following Russia's invasion in Ukraine on innovation in Russian agriculture. Under the title 'Artificial Intelligence, Agroholdings and Autarchy. The (im)possibilities of technological sovereignty and innovation in Russian agriculture', he gave a talk at the interdisciplinary WiSoLa seminar series at the Faculty of Agricultural Economics.

Over the past years, large Russian farm have increasingly introduced (often Western) technologies such as drones, GPS-steered combines, big data and AI. The lecture addressed how Russia’s longer-standing policy of food self-sufficiency intersects with the now accelerating policy to build up technological sovereignty in response to Western sanctions.

Drawing on earlier fieldwork and new desk-top research, the lecture investigated what implications such techno-politics have for Russian agriculture, domestic start-ups & firms in AgTech and for global food security. 

Over the past decade Russia transformed into the World’s largest grain exporter, with numerous African and Middle Eastern countries heavily dependent on its wheat. Russia’s importance as food exporter is expected to rise further, with climate change bound to affect more southern located grain-exporting countries negatively. As such, the trajectory of agricultural innovation (or lack thereof) will have implications far beyond Russia itself.

Associate professor

Dr Oane Visser

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