From common good to corporate ownership: The new strategy to modify the Seed Law

De bien común a propiedad corporativa: La nueva estrategia para modificar la Ley de Semillas By Maxi Goldschmidt Abstract This article reflects on the debate around the reform of Argentina’s Seed Law, and exposes the critical points of the project introduced by the Ministry of Agriculture and entities of the field. The current seed law, which…

Puzzling questions on tackling antibiotic resistance

Last week’s conference on One Health for the Real World was an enriching experience. All the participants agreed that One Health means linking together our understandings of, and responses to, human, livestock and ecosystem health. See for example, this blog by Ian Scoones. There was also widespread agreement that doing so was important, although in…

A new way of bringing ‘farms’ and ‘systems’ together

by Jim Sumberg, Stephen Whitfield and Ken Giller How do we understand farms as systems, and farms as part of systems? The terms and definitions that researchers use affect how we see farming and agriculture in relation to ecology, society and politics. So is it time for a rethink? The words ‘farm’ (or ‘farming’) and…

Could the 3Ds breathe new life into farming systems research?

by Jim Sumberg, STEPS centre research fellow Hans Ruthenberg Hans Ruthenberg’s Farming Systems in the Tropics, first published in 1971, still stands as a classic. Through detailed and systematic treatment of the major tropical farming systems, he demonstrates how – in principle and in practical application – systems theory can be brought to bear on…

Agriculture as Assembly (or, what is the nature of the factory in ‘factory farming’?)

By Jim Sumberg and John Thompson When considering the nature and spatial distribution of economic activity, two fundamental contrasts take centre stage: ‘urban vs. rural’ and ‘industry vs. agriculture’. While it is clear that ‘urban agriculture’ and ‘rural industry’ are possibilities (indeed important realities), it is the ‘urban + industry’ and ‘rural + agriculture’ associations…

INVESTING IN LAND: THE WORLD BANK REPORT ON RISING GLOBAL INTEREST IN FARMLAND

by Ian Scoones, STEPS Centre co-director There is something for everyone in the long-awaited World Bank report, Rising Global Interest in Farmland: Can it yield sustainable and equitable benefits? Some sections contain a damning critique of the situation; others a positive spin, with a narrative offering a bright future. Not surprisingly, then, the press have…

IAASTD: CHANGE IN FARMING CAN FEED THE WORLD

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member The 2,500-page International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) report has garnered support from sixty countries, the World Bank and most UN bodies for radical changes in world farming. Today’s Guardian carries the story. STEPS member John Thompson takes an in-depth look at on the conflicts…