[PhD student] Théo Martin

[PhD student] Théo Martin: Digital agriculture: the question of labor in agricultural holdings. Territorial trajectories and coexistence.

Theo defended his PhD on 27 October 2023 @Institut Agro

Digital agriculture: the question of labor in agricultural holdings. Territorial trajectories and coexistence

I'm a PhD student in geography in the SAD (Science for Action and Development) department at INRA Montpellier, within the Innovation UMR, in conjunction with the Agir UMR (Inra Toulouse).

Trained as an agro-economist, I worked for the FAO in Senegal on climate change adaptation and project evaluation. Since my return to France, I've been interested in the socio-economic functioning of farms. This has been the case in a technical institute (Arvalis economics unit) and more recently in a thesis in economic and social geography at INRA Montpellier.

I'm studying the transformation of work at farm and regional level in the context of the robotization and digitization of farms. Many questions arise when the robot meets the work. Does the robot replace the farmer? Do robots invite us to rethink the nature and organization of work on farms? Outsourcing, collective organization, specialization, salarization: these are just some of the ways in which work is changing, and I'm seeking to shed light on them in the light of the encounter between work and robots.

Work, and workers in particular, are often overlooked when it comes to the issues raised by current agricultural and agrarian developments. It seems to me that robotic and digital transformations invite us to update our analysis of work and the relationships between factors of production.

  • Starting date: September 2019
  • University: Institut Agro & Paul Valery Montpellier
  • PhD school: Territoires Temps Sociétés et Développement (ED60 TTSD)
  • Scientific field: Economical and social geography
  • Thesis management: Lucette Laurens (Université Paul Valery – Montpellier)
  • Thesis supervisors: Pierre Gasselin (Inrae, Innovation) et  François Purseigle (ENSAT UMR Agir)
  • Funding: #DigitAg & Inrae
  • Research project: Métaprogramme INRA GLOFOODS
  • #DigitAg : Cofunded PhD – Axe 1 – Challenge : sujet transversal

Keywords: Innovation, digital farming, work, farming, territory, farm management, automation, ICT

Abstract: Digital agriculture (DA), including information and communication technologies (ICT) and automated agricultural machinery, is the subject of many hopes to transform agricultural models. Some even talk of a revolution and consider it as a source of innovation sometimes for a more sustainable agriculture sometimes for more competitive farms. The scientific literature focuses on the operation of these digital tools and their economic impacts. A broad field of research seeks to understand the contribution of this DA to the transformations of agriculture. Agricultural holding is a relevant entry to understand both the consequences of the DA on the ongoing changes in labor in agriculture but also to identify changes in the management strategies. Mobilizing analytical frameworks of economic and social geography, this thesis project explores the changes induced by the DA in the socio-economic and territorial logics of farms. These results will allow us, in a second time, to study how the DA changes the modes of coexistence of agricultural holdings and agricultural models in the territories studied.

Contact : theo.martin [AT] inrae.fr​ 

Social networks: ResearchGateLinkedIn

See also

Papers in international journals

Scientific communications

Modification date: 19 January 2024 | Publication date: 22 August 2022 | By: ZM