Science, Agriculture and Nation Building: IRI Research Institute (IRI) and the Conquest of the "Campos Cerrados" in Brazil (1946-1980)

by Claiton Marcio Da Silva

Jan 1, 2012
By researching the post-1945 political projects of Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller (NAR) (1908-1979) in Brazil and Latin America it is possible to consider the work of IRI Research Institute (IRI) as the most important "forgotten" piece in the history of 20th century science. Although IRI agricultural research since the 1950Žs in Brazil has been recognized by international scientists as an important achievement to mankind, an insignificant number of books or articles focus on the IRI experience as a whole or specifically in Brazil. According to the IRI research staff in the 1950's, "the upland savannas or "campos Cerrados" represented extensive areas which contributed little to the economy of Brazil. Their poor inherent fertility, well recognized by Brazilian farmers, has been clearly demonstrated by greenhouse and field experiments." A half century later, Cerrado's history was different, mainly due to the work of IRI.
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