Flex crops

The convergence of multiple crises (food, energy and fuel, climate and financial) in the midst of the rise of newer hubs of global capital (BRICS countries and some middle income countries) – and the various responses to these by states and corporations – have paved the way for the emergence of ‘flex crops and commodities’. Flex crops and commodities are those that have multiple and/or flexible uses: food, animal feed, fuel, and other commercial-industrial uses. In fact the contemporary global land rush is intertwined with the rise of flex crops and commodities: sites of large-scale land deals tend to be sites of expansion of production of these crops and commodities, e.g. soya, sugarcane, palm oil, corn, cassava, industrial trees. The issues are compelling and urgent, yet still largely under-researched. What are the implications of this phenomenon for how scholars, civil society and grassroots social movements undertake ‘engaged research’, public actions and policy advocacy around agrarian justice issues?