The Philippines has rated ‘Golden Rice’ safe, but farmers might not plant it

by Glenn Davis Stone and Dominic Glover “Golden Rice” is probably the world’s most hotly debated genetically modified organism (GMO). It was intended to be a beta carotene-enriched crop to reduce Vitamin A deficiency, a health problem in very poor areas. But it has never been offered to farmers for planting. Why not? Because Golden…

Boris Johnson and Donald Trump standing on a staircase together

Rural support for authoritarian populism is strong – but another way is possible

The rise of authoritarian populism continues. Now the UK has a fully signed-up version in its new right-wing government, with allies in Trump, Modi, Bolsarano, Orban and others. It is a dangerous, but perhaps inevitable, trend. The soul-searching on the Left after the UK election rather belatedly diagnosed the problem. It has been long in…

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What can the land-water-environment ‘nexus’ do for young farmers in Kenya?

The agrifood system is one of the best examples of the ‘nexus’ of land, water, and the environment. In Kenya, as in some other African countries, there is a push to get young people to return to farming. But the way this is promoted often fails to demonstrate how young farmers ought to respond to…

Why does public research money often fail to support sustainable and just food systems?

The European Union and its Member States spend considerable amounts of their budget on supporting Research and Development (R&D) activities. In the summer of 2019, the EU Commission announced how it would spend the last annual tranche of Horizon 2020 – a €77 billion research and innovation funding programme running since 2014. For the Commission,…

Going deeper with value chain analysis: understanding power relations for animal disease control in Myanmar

Value chain analysis is already praised as a powerful tool for animal disease control. International organisations such as the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) routinely conduct value chain analyses to understand where animals are distributed, and who is involved in managing, moving, processing and purchasing them. In this way, policymakers and practitioners can track…

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Rural resistance and the far right: news from ERPI Europe

The Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI) is continuing to explore changes and conflicts in rural politics, with a couple of forthcoming events and some publications from the Europe group of ERPI. In August 2020 in Croatia, there will be an ERPI-inspired session “Geographies of Rural Resistance/s” at the 28th Colloquium of the International Geographical Union…

Experimentation to action: how Bioleft is helping to grow an open source seed culture

by Almendra Cremaschi, Patrick van Zwanenberg & Anabel Marin The seed breeding initiative Bioleft has received funding to work with more varieties of seeds in Argentina, and to develop a ‘sister’ initiative in Mexico. Bioleft is an ‘open source’, distributed seed breeding initiative that Cenit researchers, in close collaboration with public sector plant breeders, lawyers,…

A new framework for thinking about technological change

Global development is all about creating change for the better.  One thing is certain: if we want to address the climate breakdown while achieving a high quality of life for all of the Earth’s citizens, it will take a transformation of the way we all live. Technological change will surely be an important part of…

Butcher in Arusha, Tanzania

Enhancing red meat safety through ‘street-level diplomacy’ in Tanzania

Rising meat consumption in Tanzania – and indeed across low- and middle-income countries – presents new challenges and opportunities for health and development and we have been considering these as part of our social science input into the ZELS-funded ‘Hazards Associated with Zoonotic enteric pathogens in Emerging Livestock’ (HAZEL) meat pathways project, part of the…

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Responding to uncertainty: who are the experts?

Uncertainties are everywhere, part of life. But how to respond? Who are the experts? These are questions that we are debating this week at a symposium entitled ‘The Politics of Uncertainty: Practical Challenges for Transformative Action’. But they are also questions very pertinent to daily life in Zimbabwe, as elsewhere in the world. Everyday uncertainties For…