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.
Neoliberalism, Modern Technology and the State of the World’s Farmers
Ploughing Up the Farm brings together an impressive array of evidence to show that neoliberalism and modern technology underlie recent trends: rural depopulation in the North, rising rural poverty in the South and environmental problems all around the farming world. Market-driven growth and trade liberalization have encouraged production for agricultural export, and the growing use of chemical inputs are often biased against Third World farmers and small farmers everywhere. Jerry Buckland calls for farm policies founded on farmer-led food security and a democratization of the global institutions that have had detrimental effects on the world’s farmers.
The Tropical Commodities Disaster
Many countries in the South have been encouraged to grow coffee, sugar, cotton and other crops, but small farmers get only a tiny share of the final price of these commodities in the North. As prices collapse, the terms of trade between North and South have widened. This investigation, by one of the leading authorities on commodity trading, analyzes the current trading arrangements and their disastrous effect on foreign exchange earnings, tax revenues and economic growth in developing countries. Possible solutions are being proffered–from exploitation of niche markets to more radical notions like fair trade–but Peter Robbins shows how they all fail to measure up to the scale of the disaster facing the Third World. He argues that developing countries must bring supply and demand into a better balance that will secure far higher and more stable prices than today.
Local Alternatives to Global Agribusiness
There has been much discussion about the quality of food being provided by global agribusiness and the serious environmental impact it produces. The benefits of fostering a local food production are often dismissed, but it would address a range of health, social and environmental problems. The authors argue if the trend of large agribusiness were thought about rather than accepted without question, then local food production would be seen as a viable means of supplementing this existing system. They do not hesitate to suggest that the current system is unsustainable and does not provide real choice. Local food has a cultural context unique to where it is grown. The production of local food secures rural opportunities instead of forcing people to search for alternative livelihoods in urban areas. Local food production also eliminates many of the costs involved in transporting food across the country and around the world. This book presents a thoughtful argument that calls for a more conscientious and active role for people at the local level of food production.
The Need for a New Agriculture
What kind of agriculture do we need to feed the world? World leaders have come up with yet another target-to half, not end, hunger by the year 2015. How is this to be achieved when other such targets were ignored? And what about animal diseases like BSE, foot and mouth disease and salmonella; declining food variety and quality; and disappearing topsoil, hedgerows and biodiversity in rural areas? Better acces to land and more equitable income distribution are part of the solution. The other is to move away from monoculture production system monopolized by a handful of giant corporations. John Madeley argues for the spread of a low-external input approach, a reintegration of traditional farming techniques, new farming practices like organic agriculture and permaculture, and a range of ‘green’ technologies to offer a more viable livelihood too farmers, food for the hungry, and safe and good tasting food for the rest of us.
The Threat of Transgenic Crops to Farmers in the South
Consumers have taken the lead in rejecting the biotech industry’s determination to foist GMOs on an unsuspecting and unconsulted public. This book gives a voice for the first time to farmers. They are the people being pressured by half a dozen giant corporations to grow these genetically engineered crops. What are the possible downsides for them, particularly for those hundreds of millions of farmers living in the developing countries? On their environment? On their health? On their independence? On their tenuous hold in the marketplace?
Does Trade Help or Hinder Food Security?
The WTO agreement on Agriculture will be reviewed beginning in the year 2000. This begs some basic questions: Will free trade in food help or hinder the ability of hundreds of millions of poor people who are currently malnourished? Or will it chiefly benefit transnational corporations? Will free trade help huge numbers of small farmers find new markets in the North? Or will it in fact eliminate them even from the marketplace in their own countries as cheap, subsidized food from the North floods the countries of the South? Is it really irrational for countries -North and South, rich and poor-to protect their rural communities and farmers, and ensure significant self-sufficiency in food production?