Ian Scoones, Jun Borras, Lyda Fernanda Forero, Ruth Hall, Marc Edelman, Wendy Wolford, Benjamin White
31 January 2018
Religion, gender dynamics, place and cultural identity – all inform rising authoritarian populism in rural areas, alongside class interests and inequalities. Mobilising alternatives to capture by regressive political forces is not straightforward.
In February 2016 the second Voedsel Anders conference brought people together to build new connections and relationships within the food movement in the Netherlands, Belgium, and around the world, and to begin working towards a shared agenda and strategy for the movement. Over a thousand participants, some returning and some attending for the first time, gathered in Wageningen to discuss food system problems and solutions, plant the seeds of new ideas, build new connections, and grow the movement.
The convergence of multiple crises – food, energy, environmental, climate change and finance – in combination with the rise of important global political economic players has triggered profound agrarian and environmental transformations worldwide. There is a global rush to control natural resources in order to produce food, fuel, and energy for climate change mitigation and adaptation purposes; partly as a result of financialization of agriculture, nature, food systems and farmland. How does one govern such complex and fluid ‘value webs’?
Not only are the small-scale fisher communities best placed to ensure food sovereignty, but they are also the starting point for any serious transition towards an ecologically and socially just food regime. We need a revolution to bring the oceans back into the global commons.
Much of agricultural policy is rooted in a view that considers small farms as inefficient. Efficiency and productivity in agriculture, it is argued, can only be delivered by consolidating land, using advanced technology, investing in large-scale irrigation and massive fertilization, and encouraging monoculture in big-scale farms.
Governments must shift subsidies and research funding from agro-industrial monoculture to small farmers using 'agroecological' methods, according to Hilal Elver, UN's Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. Her call coincides with a new agroecology initiative within the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation.
A call for papers that offer rigorous and innovative analysis to continue deepening and broadening our understanding of global land deals – in specific regional context, with special attention to climate change and the role of China and other middle income countries within the region.
There are an estimated 500 million smallholder farms in the developing world which provide livelihoods for 2 billion people and produce about 80% of the food consumed in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. It is these small farmers who truly contribute to global food security.
Hundreds of academics and activists from around the world gathered to critically discuss the contested concept of Food Sovereignty. We gathered a selection of videos that elaborate key debates about the intellectual and political future of Food Sovereignty, and seek to address particularly the question of the concept’s intellectual future in the field of critical agrarian studies.
The concept of food sovereignty has exploded in the agrarian studies literature over the past decade, the aim of this critical dialogue was to explore whether or not the subject of food sovereignty has any intellectual future in critical agrarian studies, and if so, on what terms.
Out of the kaleidoscope of different angles through which land grab can be analysed, the one elevating food security – and food sovereignty – as a crucial concern is amongst the most engaging and the less inquired, especially in its intertwining with policy elaboration.
In 2006–08, food shortages became a global reality, with the prices of commodities spiraling beyond the reach of vast numbers of people. International agencies were caught flatfooted, with the World Food Program warning that its rapidly diminishing food stocks might not be able to deal with the emergency.
Although support from urban-based students and activists was important, the rural protest in Indonesia during President Suharto's regime was built on continued protest and organisation around land issues.