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MSU IAH 206 - WORLD HUNGER AND FOOD SECURITY

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Slide 1Richard Lewontin on farming and agricultureTopic this weekSlide 4qDe Schutter and Vanloqueren (2011)De Schutter and Vanloqueren (2011) [where their focus is]some themesDe Schutter and VanloquerenAgroecologyA la de schutter on the big perspectiveIntensive ag (etc.) --- sustainable ag (etc.)Slide 14The agroecology approachCompare: Food rebellions!Slide 17OBSTACLES TO THE NECESSARY CHANGEBarriers to “scaling up”Scaling Up Sustainable Agriculture: Some Policies for ChangeSlide 21Participation detailSlide 23Slide 24Slide 25Various perspectivesPerspectives and what to think of themT U E S DAY , N OV. 1 , 2 0 1 8D E S C H U TT E RWORLD HUNGER AND FOOD SECURITYRICHARD LEWONTIN ON FARMING AND AGRICULTUREFARMING•Growing peanuts from the landAGRICULTURE•Producing peanut butter from petroleumTOPIC THIS WEEK•The direction of world agriculture•Discussion section tomorrow•Different perspectives on this (the various authors)•Next Tues – The USQHTTP://WWW.SRFOOD.ORG/ •Olivier De Schutter (unique perspective and some reason to take him seriously)•-human rights expert, •-professor at Center for the Philosophy of Law, Catholic Univ. at Louvaine•-UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food (2008-2014)•On roughly same page as HGP •dovetails with some of Paul Thompson•In some ways radical, in others more mainstreamDE SCHUTTER AND VANLOQUEREN (2011)•One entre into ag generally (reminding us of the interrelatedness of big global issues):•The combined effects of climate change, energy scarcity, and water paucity require that we radically rethink our agricultural systems. •The rethinking involves asking not just how much, but how?•It won’t do •to boost supply by promoting technology-driven recipes•Need also •to empower those who are hungry and malnourished and whose livelihoods may be threatened by precisely this renewed interest in encouraging agricultural production.”DE SCHUTTER AND VANLOQUEREN (2011)[WHERE THEIR FOCUS IS]•A comprehensive strategy to combat food insecurity would have to address how the broad (world) economic system impacts the success of poor countries..•(HGP, ch. 3)•But our more specific interest here is in the paradigm of agricultural development under which most policymakers work•be mindful of what shapes our thoughtSOME THEMES•the future of world agriculture: e.g., intensive/ vs. sustainable/•embedding this in different conceptual frameworks/models of agriculture [e.g., “agroecology”]•use and misuse of science to address policy controversies•e.g., different ideas about what to measure•ties to concepts of food security (and probably food sovereignty)•Public action is needed, not in order to “feed the world,” as stated in the food security policies of the past century, but rather in order to “help the world feed itself.”DE SCHUTTER AND VANLOQUEREN•Defense of •The PRACTICE •of sustainable (non-intensive) agriculture•The INTELLECTUAL APPROACH •underlying itAGROECOLOGY •the application of ecological science to the study, design, and management of sustainable agriculture•emphasizes the importance of improving the entire agricultural system, not just the plant.A LA DE SCHUTTER ON THE BIG PERSPECTIVEAGRIBUSINESS (and intensification)•SCIENCES: Agronomy, genetics and molecular biology •Monocultures•Clientele/focus: large farms, yields•Background assumptions: smallholder farmers incapable of producing sufficient food for rapidly growing urban markets•(GMOs)SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE•SCIENCE: Agroecology •the application of ecological science to the study, design, and management of “sustainable” agriculture•Social agenda or small-farm survival; country-life•Clientele/focus: smallholders•Organic, (anti-GMOs)INTENSIVE AG (ETC.) --- SUSTAINABLE AG (ETC.)•Non-dichotomy:•Integration, spectrum [and subtleties about “labels”]•IPM: http://www.ipm.msu.edu •Dichotomy (rest of discussion, for simplicity’s sake)REALISM. EFFICIENCY:GIVE IT UP. THE MOVE TO MODERN, INTENSIVE AGRICULTURE IS GOOD AND INEVITABLE•“[The] idea that developing countries should feed themselves is an anachronism from a bygone era. They could better ensure their food security by relying on U.S. agricultural products, which are available, in most cases, at much lower cost.”•John Block, US Secretary for Agriculture, Uruguay Round, General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, 1986•One might get the idea that SCIENCE tells us this (that the AE approach simply is not effective)THE AGROECOLOGY APPROACH•Actually it DOES work, is more productive, can be “scaled up”•But there are various things that lead us to believe the opposite •(1) an artificial unfair playing field•a skewedness in•what help is available (research)•what policies/obstructions •(2) a false story being told•-bias in how we assess•[NEXT SLIDE: compare earlier “two-prong” analyses]COMPARE:FOOD REBELLIONS!•(1) GENERAL STATEMENT RE DEPTH of CAUSES*•There is a thing out there called a “world food system”, and it needs to be altered so as to make it more democratic, equitable and sustainable. •And (2) there are distorting forces (habits of mind, interests):•that divert us from that causal explanation and make us look at certain surface causes (triggers, or symptoms)OBSTACLES TO THE NECESSARY CHANGE (AND TO PROPER JUDGMENT ABOUT WHAT AGRICULTURAL SYSTEM IS BETTER):•O•Things that affect •how well each system “works” now•[unfair playing field]•OUR VIEWS ABOUT how well each system “works” now•[background beliefs; false stories; narrow methodologies, available info]•We need to reflect on our thinking•We need to fix various policiesOBSTACLES TO THE NECESSARY CHANGE•Sci/tech focus (and narrow perspective of science/ “technological fix”) diverts attention from broader view of ag development•[what’s taken seriously, and hence researched]•Small farmers•are marginalized in policy decisions•lack security of land tenure [Note GR motivation story]•Agroecology •not supported by mainstream policies•mischaracterized as return to the past (no mechanization)•not compared fairly against present (externalities ignored)•resisted by vested interests (corporations)•[including not researched?]BARRIERS TO “SCALING UP”SCALING UP SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE: SOME POLICIES FOR CHANGE•(1) Target the most vulnerable (“entitlement”/”access”, not “overall


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