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The social construction of alternatives to pesticide use: A study of biocontrol in Burgundian viticulture

Abstract : This article seeks to examine the social construction of 'biocontrol' as a credible alternative to conventional pesticide use in viticulture production in Burgundy, France. Basing our analysis on a series of interviews with representatives of the key groups involved in the crop protection sector in France, we describe a dynamic that has emerged with respect to the development and justification of biocontrol products as a crop protection strategy. The key players within this dynamic are the State, the agricultural chemical companies, and the input distributors and crop advisors. The State has introduced positive incentives to encourage companies to develop new biocontrol products and negative incentives to compel agricultural input dealers and crop advisors to promote those products. The agricultural chemical companies are introducing new biocontrol materials based on the notion that these products can eventually replace more dangerous pesticides. The input dealers and crop advisors, finally, are compelled by the State to recommend alternatives to conventional pesticides, but generally believe the new biocontrol products are ineffective and so do little to promote their use. When they do, they typically recommend older products that have been recently reclassified as biocontrol materials.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, August 25, 2020 - 9:09:16 AM
Last modification on : Monday, November 21, 2022 - 3:52:40 AM



Robin Villemaine, Claude Compagnone, Camille Falconnet. The social construction of alternatives to pesticide use: A study of biocontrol in Burgundian viticulture. Sociologia Ruralis, 2020, 61 (1), pp.74-95. ⟨10.1111/soru.12320⟩. ⟨hal-02921287⟩



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