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 dangers of industrial agriculture

It is commonly argued that industrial agriculture is a necessary evil in the world. Proponents contend that industrial agriculture's efficiency and ability to produce huge quantities of products using less space are pivotal to feeding hungry nations throughout the world. Others believe that industrial agriculture has freed poor, rural citizens from their 'backward country ways' …

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 …

biofuels explained

A biofuel is a form of fuel that is produced from renewable organic materials, such as sugar crops, oil seed crops, and animal fats. They are considered to be potential substitutes for carbon-based fuels, i.e. extremely old, biofuels. There are two varieties: plant-based and animal-based. The plant-based products are fermented sugars which create the fuels like …