[PhD student] Guillaume Panas

[PhD student] Guillaume Panas: Digital platforms and access to agroequipment for Mexican family farmers

Thesis topic labeled by #DigitAg

Digital platforms and access to agroequipment for Mexican family farmers

My name is Guilhaume Panas, and I hold a Master's degree in social sciences from EHESS, specializing in sociological studies and environmental policies. Having completed a dissertation on the articulation of coastal environmental policies with agricultural activities in Normandy, I was able to develop an interest in both sociological research and, more specifically, rural issues and the implementation of policies and tools in the agricultural sphere.
I'm carrying out qualitative research on the implementation of a digital tool (the Tractilus application) developed by an international organization (CIMMYT) on family farms in Mexico, through the prism of the sociology of science, rural sociology and the sociology of the digital. As an application enabling the development of an ecosystem that connects farmers with key players in the production chain, it offers family farms access to agricultural equipment, services and technical advice. Using a classic sociology of innovation approach, this subject questions the networks of actors and the environment produced by the co-construction of this technical object. However, in relation to this classic line, this research aims to question the way in which organizations such as CIMMYT are now proposing alternative models of economic development. We'll be looking at the extent to which such schemes aim to develop players as economic players. And, more generally, how has the politician enlisted the actor-campesino to participate in the development or use of the tool? The aim is to follow the trajectory of the system through ethnography and semi-directive interviews with the players involved in developing the application, farm workers and, more generally, all the players responsible for local agricultural development.

  • Starting date : 1st October 2023
  • Research unit: Innovation, Cirad
  • University : Université Paul Valery Montpellier
  • PhD school : Territoires, temps, société et développement
  • Scientific field : STS, sociology of innovation, rural sociology
  • Thesis management : Frédéric Goulet, UMR Innovation, Cirad
  • Thesis supervisors: Frédéric Goulet, UMR Innovation, Cirad et Doganova Liliana, Ecole des Mines Paris
  • Funding: Inrae
  • #DigitAg : Labeled thesis - Axe 2 : Innovations en agriculture numérique, Axe 1 : Impact des technologies de l'information et de la communication sur le monde rural, Challenge 8 : Développement agricole au Sud, Challenge 5 : Les services de conseil agricole

Keywords : Tractilus, Family farms, STS, rural sociology, digital sociology

Abstract: The doctoral project aims to analyse the drivers for farmers and providers to adopt a digital tool that offers increased access to agricultural equipment. In particular, it will provide a better understanding of how such a digital farm equipment rental platform fits into conventional rural community systems. The lessons from this analysis will provide insights on how, and with what effects, a bundle of socio-technical tools and knowledge products are inserted within the daily life of Mexican family farms, with a particular focus on the co-evolution of access to scale-appropriate agro-equipment and farming practices.

Contact: guillaume.panas [AT] minesparis.psl.eu -

Modification date: 22 February 2024 | Publication date: 22 February 2024 | By: GL