Agrarian political economy investigates the social relations of production and reproduction, property and power in agrarian formations, and how they change. Using Marx’s theory of capitalism the book argues that class dynamics should be the starting point of any analysis of agrarian change.
Reconnecting Food, Nature and Community
Advocating a practical, radical change to the way much of our food system currently operates, this book argues that food sovereignty is the means to achieving a system that will provide for the food needs of all people while respecting the principles of environmental sustainability, local empowerment and agrarian citizenship. The current high input, industrialized, market-driven food system fails on all these counts. The UN-endorsed goal of food security is becoming increasingly distant as indicated by the growing levels of hunger in the world, especially among marginalized populations in both the North and South. The authors of this book describe the recent emergence and the parameters of an alternative system, food sovereignty, that puts the levers of food control in the hands of those who are both hungry and produce the world’s food - peasants and family farmers, not corporate executives. As the authors show in both conceptual and case study terms, food sovereignty promises not only increased production of food, but also food that is safe, food that reaches those who are in the most need, and agricultural practises that respect the earth.
Food Activism and Alternative Economics
Hunger is up, obesity is up, food-borne illness is up, farms are lost to debt and despair; the food system fails growing numbers of people across the world every day. Yet if we adjust our lens, we see ubiquitous commitments to change: food movements and enterprises dedicated to making the world a better place to eat and to live. Food initiatives–from farmers’ markets to fair trade coffee–offer a pattern of powerful alternatives to conventional food economics, which benefit only a handful of people and corporations. Edible Action argues that food is peculiarly situated to address the ills of an unjust economic system and to mobilize people against it.
Why Farmers Support the Canadian Wheat Board
Our Board Our Business is based on presentations made to a symposium on the Canadian Wheat Board organized by the National Farmers union held in Regina, Saskatchewan, February 24 and 25, 2006. The central purpose of the book is to help farmers and non-farmers better understand the essential role of the CWB in the lives of western wheat producers and their communities, and the Canadian economy. The need for such an understanding has been made all the more urgent by Prime Minister Harper’s neo-liberal open market agenda which will guarantee corporate domination of Canadian grains. This book, like the symposium from which it is drawn, does not debate the advantages and disadvantages of the CWB. Rather, it sets out the context, operational mechanism, and role of the CWB, in order to make the case for its economic, social, and political value.
The Battle for the Future of Farming
The modern food industry is a paradox: surplus “food mountains” sit alongside global malnutrition; the developed world subsidized its own agriculture while pressurizing the developing to liberalize at any cost; and an increasingly aggressive export competition is accompanied by a growing reliance on imports in many countries. The WTO’s uneven application of neoliberal economics to food production is relatively new, and the consequences of mounting deficits, rising “food miles” and social upheaval are untested but ominous. In response to this, Weis sets out some answers to the central question: how can we build a sustainable and humane system of food production and distribution?
Globalization and the Power of Peasants
In 1993, 46 farm leaders from various countries met in Mons, Belgium, determined to develop a strategy to challenge the devastation caused to their communities by a neoliberal international economic agenda. Over the next decade they and millions of peasants and small-scale farmers around the world used La Vía Campesina to forge a powerful and radical force of opposition. Where did they find the capacity and strength to challenge multinational agribusiness corporations and international institutions whose power and influence increasingly dictate national government policy? This book accompanies La Vía Campesina in a struggle to keep people on the land, producing food and culture, and building viable communities.
Why we Must Get the WTO out of Agriculture
This book explains what is happening to the world’s agricultural systems and farmers under the impact of neoliberal economics. What is at stake is the very future of our global food system and each country’s agricultural and farming systems. The livelihoods of rural people in both industrial and developing countries are under threat. The book explains what is happening to agriculture in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiating context, and unravels the complex ways in which agriculture in the North is subsidized. It sets out an alternative vision for agricultural policy, which would take it completely out of the WTO’s ambit. Food is not just another commodity, but something that goes to the heart of human livelihood, culture and security.
Gender, Fisheries and Globalization
Fisheries are among the most globalized economic sectors in the world. Relying largely on wild resources and employing millions of people and feeding many millions more, fisheries provide a unique vantage point from which to view contemporary globalization, which is co-occurring with a major ecological revolution triggered by resource degradation and associated with the development of intensive aquaculture. Globalization is intensifying the export orientation and use of joint ventures between rich and poor countries in fisheries. International organizations such as the IMF are pressuring many debtor countries to exchange access to their fishery resources for access to foreign exchange, constraining their ability to limit external ownership and the export of resources, and threatening local fishery employment and food self-sufficiency. Changing Tides brings together contributions from researchers and community workers from 13 countries of the world. Juxtaposing academic case studies with accounts from activists and fisheries workers, this book points the ways in which globalization and associated resource degradation, privatization and the concentration of ownership and control in fisheries are jeopardizing the lives and livelihoods of women fish workers and their families.
A Celebration of Food Security Work in Canada
Recipes for Success is a review and celebration of the unfolding story of the food security movement in Canada. Food banks and the growth in food security initiatives are a community-based response to a growing food crisis in our country. This book is a place to take stock of the breadth and depth of food security activity in Canada and to recognize the role we all play in responding to social needs.
Organic Farmers in a Conventional Landscape
This study begins with the questions “what draws people to become organic farmers?” and “why do so many leave farming in short order?” Organic farmers speak of a “wake-up call” or a moment, usually several years after buying and moving onto a farm, in which they question what they are doing and why. By most reports, most organic farmers then quit the field, or at least quit trying to farm commercially. The book examines what causes this wake-up call.