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Ploughing Up the Farm

Around the world, farmers' livelihoods and food security have eroded in the past 20 years. Increasing reliance on markets and modern technology has not generated universal farm affluence. Neoliberalism has brought about rural depopulation in the northern hemisphere, rising rural poverty in the southern, and environmental problems all around the farming world. Farmgate prices have stagnated since the 1980s, while market-driven growth has encouraged production of agricultural exports and increasing use of chemical inputs. Trade liberalization is often biased against southern and small farmers, while the power of transnational corporations in agricultural trade and farm technology has grown by leaps and bounds. The corporate-driven GM-food revolution has had little positive effect on farm livelihoods or food security. The book calls for farm policies founded on farmer-led food security and a democratization of the global institutions that have had such detrimental effects.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface 1. The Declining State of the World's Farmers 2. Farm Erosion: Population , Poverty and Environment 3. The Farm Market Squeeze 4. Farm Trade and Trade Liberalisation 5. The Technology Treadmill 6. A Farmer-Led Approach to Food Security

About the Author

Professor Jerry Buckland teaches international development studies (IDS) at Menno Simons College at the University of Winnipeg. From 1986-90 he worked in agricultural research in Bangladesh.


'A tour de force. It presents a comprehensive analysis of problems facing global agriculture, the perverse workings of the market and corporatization in this sector, and suggests possible solutions for sustainable agriculture with a human face.' - John Loxley, author of Alternative Budgets: Budgeting as if People Mattered and former Chair of the Board of the North-South Institute 'An authoritative and highly readable account of one of the most crucial issues of our time. Its thorough analysis, facts and figures will make it a valuable source book.' - John Madeley, author of Food for All: the Need for a New Agriculture 'This thorough and illuminating examination of the farming crisis is long overdue. Jerry Buckland applies fresh eyes, sound data, and rigorous analysis to the paradox of deepening poverty among the world's food producers. The book addresses questions that need urgent solutions: why small farms and agricultural biodiversity are sacrificed in the name of progress; why powerful countries and public institutions promote a free market in agriculture in the South but protect rich Northern markets; why large agribusiness corporations will not solve the food insecurity of the poor; why technology can be a trap rather than a solution. Buckland tackles complex economic and political questions with a wealth of evidence and convincing logic. His clear prose sweeps the reader through the intricate world of international trade and global politics. The argument for a re-visioning of food policies in the context of healthy societies and environments is compelling and should be compulsory reading for policy makers. This book is a must for all concerned with farming, food, poverty or development.' - Barbara Dinham, Director, Pesticide Action Network UK

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