networks in theory

Although we are often made to think that we should "go it alone", we are in fact not alone. We are all part of a larger system that comprised of many unique and interconnected parts. Often, if we strive to become more integrated into our environment, we gain some sort of benefit whether it be …

the food systems approach

"The world now produces enough food to feed its population. The problem is not simply technical. It is a political and social problem. It is a problem of access to food supplies, of distribution, and of entitlement. Above all it is a problem of political will.” Boutros-Ghali, November 1993 925 million people were food insecure …

alternative food networks and new peasantry

There has arguably been a “relentless assault” on small farming throughout the world as a result of neoliberal policy that has enabled the globalization and industrialization of food production. Corporate regimes have been able to gain a stronghold over agricultural markets, which undermines local stewardship, dispossess rural inhabitants, and depresses both wages and prices via …

the origins and history of agribusiness

In 1957, John H. Davis and Ray A. Goldberg published A Concept of Agribusiness. Their pro-corporate stance argued that the private sector, rather than the government, should be responsible for the stabilization of the agricultural sector. They were of the opinion that flaws in the agricultural sector were perpetuated by New Deal policy, i.e. government intervention, …

a brief history of development for poverty reduction

There have been various approaches to development for poverty reduction since efforts have been made to promote and encourage development in non-Westernized nations. These approaches have been varied in nature, ranging from the initial Basic Income Approach in 1901 (see Rowntree) to the Empowerment Approach in 1983 (see Chambers) to the Systems Development and Integrated …

measuring the effectiveness of intercropping

Although there are range of motivations for choosing to intercrop  in a farming system, strong production and output are undoubtedly main priorities. Accordingly, a means to measure the efficacy is necessary. This allows a farmer to objectively evaluate the outcome of their cropping plan and adjust their practices, e.g. spacing and cultivar use, accordingly. The …

5 things to consider before buying hybrid seeds

Hybrid plants are a crossing between two selected parent plants achieved via controlled pollination  (see how are plants propagated). The seeds produced by this process are called F1 or F1 Hybrids. These hybrids will exhibit very specific qualities. Hybrids have quickly come to dominate the seed market. However, in spite of their increased market presence …