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International Association on Work in Agriculture

What is our history?

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Concerns on work in agriculture started years ago in different research groups. More and more, overlapping of interests has brought people to work together notably on work in livestock farms or settlements considering either sociological, structural or technical changes.

One root of the Association was a shared interest on work organization characterization and evaluation at the farm level in different countries of the world (France and Brazil at the early beginning). But quickly the scope of interest widened to other topics such as professional identities, gender issues, the emergence of new status for workers (contractors, shared employees…) and to other productions than livestock. Another root is a common theoretical background related to systemic and interdisciplinary approaches of Farming Systems.  But other theories, approaches and methodologies are also welcome.

In 2015, researchers from Europe, Latin America and Africa urged for an international arena to bring discussions, considering themes such as labor conditions, family succession, gender, employment, workers status and public policy. In 2016, the International Symposium on Work in Agriculture was held in Brazil, at the State University of Maringá (UEM). In that occasion, we gathered people from all continents, sharing ideas and realizing the relevance of joint engagement for research, extension and education on work in agriculture. From that first formal international meeting, we could understand the need to keep discussions on a regular basis, raising the idea of an international association.