Schanbacer, William D: The Politics of Food: The Global Conflict Between Food Security and Food Sovereignty Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10806-010-9267-1 Authors Cornelia Butler Flora, Iowa State University 317 East Hall Ames IA 50011-1070 USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
Attention to differences within communities is important in working toward sustainability of an agro-ecosystem. In the Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Collaborative Research Support Program, gender made a difference in terms of access and control over key resources – financial, human, natural, and social capital – critical for project success. Efforts to build social capital among women proved critical in developing both collective and households strategies for sustainability. The sites differed greatly in both landscape and lifescape. Women's position within (...) each landscape provided an important perspective with which to assess and act toward achieving ecosystem, economic, and social sustainability. (shrink)
This paper looks at the languages of empowerment and control as they are expressed by authors writing about “indigenous knowledge.” We performed a content analysis on CIKARD News, a newsletter dealing with the concept of indigenous knowledge. This concept has become increasingly prominent in the discourse of alternative development, addressing issues of ecological sustainability and the empowerment of the rural poor. However, mediated by institutions that perpetuate global and local power asymmetries, the empowering potential of indigenous knowledge may be bypassed. (...) Instead, officials, researchers, and practitioners may utilize this knowledge for their own perceived ends, however good their intentions. In addition, there is already evidence that an indigenous knowledge approach is seen by major agencies as beneficial for integrating poorer populations into the global economy. Our analysis suggests that tensions persist among and within the writings of these authors between the desire to empower and the tendency for development to control rural populations. (shrink)
Ideology is maintained anddriven by powerful symbols. Agricultural mediasuch as farm magazines achieve this byappropriating societal values of currency andincorporating them in imagery that accompanyadvertisements of agricultural products,including pesticides. Critical questionsrelating to environmental sustainability andsocial risks associated with the use of suchproducts are often masked as a result. Contentanalyses of two mid-western farm magazines fromthe 1940s to 1990s trace the socialconstruction of pesticide advertisements overtime, illuminating changing images ofpesticides in farm magazine advertisements inresponse to changes in the socio-culturalsetting. Changing images (...) reflect how theagricultural industry strategically repositionsitself to sustain market and corporate profitby co-opting dominant cultural themes atspecific historical moments in mediaadvertising. Sustainability implications in thebroad context of agriculture and society areexamined. (shrink)
A farming systems approach to development has meant many things over the past 15 years, depending on its institutional and ecological setting, its target populations, and the goals motivating its implementation. Despite the diversity of approaches, and the sometimes rancorous discussion over which was best and why, the approach is now recognized in many places as the only one that can identify and respond to the needs of limited resource farm families, especially those in marginal ecosystems. Involving an iterative process (...) of diagnosis, design, testing and extension, the farming system approach to date has done more to change research objectives at national and international institutions than to change actual farmer practices. By legitimizing what limited resource farmers do and why they do it, a farming systems approach lends itself to policy analysis as well. Recent research in farming systems suggests greater attention should be payed to exogenous variables, including policy and infrastructure, as well as to development of technology that really responds to the felt needs of limited resource farmers in improving their level of living. (shrink)
Cacao cultivation is one of the most important livelihoods for rural households in Colombia, where it is promoted as a substitute for the illegal cultivation of coca. To strengthen Colombian cacao farming, it is important to understand the livelihood strategies associated with cacao cultivation and the impact of these different strategies on the well-being of Colombian rural households. We analyzed the impact of cacao cultivation on the livelihood strategies and well-being of rural households in western Colombia. Research with 92 rural (...) cacao-growing households produced a typology of household livelihood strategies derived from their approach to cacao production. Indicators of each household capital and level of well-being were identified for each type of households. Correlations between the capitals and the capitals of greater importance in shaping the well-being of rural households were analyzed. Three types of rural households were identified: Cacao Farmers, Diversified Farmers with Cacao, and New Cacao Farmers. Cacao farmers have the highest capitals endowments and level of well-being, followed by Diversified Farmers with Cacao, and New Cacao Farmers. The conditions of cacao cultivation in rural households result in differentiated access to resources from capitals; households with better development of the crop have consolidated greater well-being where human capital has been its major driving factor. Success of the cacao crop and its relationship with well-being of rural households depends on the convergence of different capital resources. Thus, institutional efforts to strengthen the cacao sector in Colombia must go beyond investment to establish new hectares and consider aspects such as: Strengthening the skills and knowledge of producers to improve crop management practices, Promoting the participation of household members in associations, Stimulating sensitivity to the rooting and sustainable management of the crop, and Promoting processes of technification and adaptation of the infrastructure of fermenters and dryers, which will make it possible to guarantee an adequate quality of the cacao bean. (shrink)
Sara Parkin: The Positive Deviant: Sustainability Leadership in a Perverse World Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9319-1 Authors Cornelia Butler Flora, Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Agriculture and Life Sciences, 317 East Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-1070, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
Arturo Escobar: Territories of Difference: Place, Movements, Life Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10806-010-9254-6 Authors Cornelia Butler Flora, Iowa State University Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Agriculture and Life Sciences, 317 East Hall Ames IA 50011-1070 USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
Policies are set by governments in an attempt to bring about desired ends within a society. These ends are often vaguely put and phrased in terms of values. Agrarianism, as a value, has been used to justify current farm policy. Yet, that policy has also been used as a mechanism to solve a variety of problems for the United States: those of the rural sector, farmers themselves, and even the land upon which they farm. This paper tries to separate the (...) problems that are part of the farm crisis and to show how policies designed to solve one of the problems for one set of actors, and frequently defended in the name of agrarianism, may actually exacerbate the problems for other actors. An overarching value, however, that may further inhibit problem solution and lead us further into an expensive and ineffectual farm program is the basic value that planning is somehow bad. Agrarianism and the value of spontaneity underlie some of the current decision-making or lack thereof in the farm program. (shrink)