Narratives of scarcity and the global land rush

by Ian Scoones Narratives of scarcity dominate policy discourses about resources, including land. This was certainly the case during the peak of the global land rush, as we show in a paper recently published online in Geoforum (open access, which is part of a forthcoming special issue on the politics of scarcity) The paper is written with Rebecca…

BioLeft: experimenting with open source seed innovation in Argentina

by Patrick van Zwanenberg and Anabel Marin (Conicet / Cenit / UNSAM) It is sometimes said that plant breeders breed their aspirations about how agricultural production systems ought to function directly into their seed varieties. Over the last three decades there has been a collapse in the diversity of seed breeders (and with it the…

Contextualising life histories in Tamil Nadu

by Divya Sharma and V. Gajendra, Relational Pathways project In the Relational Pathways project we are trying to understand the pathways in and out of poverty for farmers in India and Kenya. ‘Green Revolutions’ are a prominent way of discussing how farmers can benefit from technology. In Tamil Nadu, India, we have been using a…

Women working in a waterlogged field

What role does rural people’s agency play in finding pathways out of poverty?

by Saurabh Arora, Divya Sharma, M. Vijaybaskar, Ajit Menon and Joanes Atela This is the inaugural blog post for the project Relational Pathways: Mapping Agency and Poverty Dynamics through Green Revolutions. Based on extensive fieldwork in India and Kenya, we are developing a relational pathways approach, which posits poverty as a process rather than as…

Training with women farmers in Kenya

Where is the agency of farmers in Africa’s ‘new Green Revolution’?

by Joanes Atela, Charles Tonui, Dominic Glover and Saurabh Arora Hunger and food insecurity have continued to persist in sub-Saharan Africa. To address these problems, during the last decade there has been a renewed thrust for a ‘new Green Revolution’ in Africa. In popular discourse, the Green Revolution (GR) is associated with a technology-led transformation…

Tomato seeds growing

Seeding ideas: knowledge brokering and recombination for agricultural transformations

by Adrian Ely, Paddy Van Zwanenberg, Elise Wach, Martin Obaya and Almendra Cremaschi Straight after the ‘Transformations 2017’ conference, the ‘Pathways’ network gathered at the mid-point in our three year project to take stock. This included discussions in ‘pairs’ of hubs, including reflecting on our ‘theories of change’. In our case, the UK and Argentina…

Sign in rural landscape which reads 'Farmers for Trump'

Why agrarian studies should confront the rise of authoritarian, populist movements

Last week I was in Russia at the fascinating fifth BRICS Initiative in Critical Agrarian Studies conference. Throughout the event we heard about the emergence of particular styles of authoritarian populist regimes, including in the BRICS countries, but elsewhere too. Based on my remarks at the final plenary, I want to ask what the challenges are for…

group discussion

Coming to terms with messiness: What is a ‘Transformation Lab’?

In this blog post, Laura Pereira explains the idea of a ‘Transformation Lab’ (T-lab). T-labs are being used in our Pathways Network project in 6 countries to try to enable socio-ecological transformations. In the post, Laura uses an example of a completed T-lab from the GRAID research project in South Africa. For a short summary…

Food market in Madagascar

The global food system still benefits the rich at the expense of the poor

Ramen noodles in Sweden, wheat bread in Tanzania and Chilean wines in China. The cross-Atlantic transit of the potato and the tomato from the Andes to Europe, and back again as French fries and pasta sauce. We think of the world as globalised and sophisticated in its food tastes, and our palettes as curious and…

sad plate of food

Brexit and food: there is no plan, so what is the UK going to put on the table?

by Tim Lang, City, University of London; Erik P Millstone, University of Sussex, and Terry Marsden, Cardiff University Even the British eat. But one might be forgiven for thinking that the UK government does not know this for all the attention it has paid to the implications of Brexit for UK consumers and the nation’s…