Σάββατο, 16 Μαρτίου 2019

Agriculture and Human Values

Gendered agrobiodiversity management and adaptation to climate change: differentiated strategies in two marginal rural areas of India

Abstract

Social and cultural contexts influence power dynamics and shape gender perceptions, roles, and decisions regarding the management of agrobiodiversity for dealing with and adapting to climate change. Based on a feminist political ecology framework and a mixed method approach, this research performs an empirical analysis of two case studies in the northern of India, one in the Himalayan Mountains and another in the Indian-Gangetic plains. It explores context-specific (i) influence of gender roles and responsibilities on on-farm agrobiodiversity management (ii) gendered expertise and knowledge related to agrobiodiversity and (iii) gendered preferences for practices and institutional arrangements for agrobiodiversity conservation linked to adaptation to climate change. In the Himalayan mountains women actively participate in crop and seed management decisions and tasks, and maintain informal institutions for seed and services exchanges in the case of crisis, which simultaneously favours high levels of agrobiodiversity and enhances women's social status. By contrast, in the Indio-Gangetic plains, where women from better-off households are socially secluded and women from poorer households work mainly as labourer to respond to high out-migration of men, they exercise less public control over agrobiodiversity, with their role being mainly invisible at the homestead and related to post-production tasks. We finally discuss as improved understanding of the links between gendered spaces, crops, tasks, social status, and agrobiodiversity management can facilitate the design of gender-sensitive policy interventions for conservation and adaptation to climate change.



Symposium introduction—ethics and sustainable agri-food governance: appraisal and new directions


Book review: Steve Ventura and Martin Bailkey (eds): Good food, strong communities: promoting social justice through local and regional food systems


Jennifer Meta Robinson and James Robert Farmer: Selling local: why local food movements matter


Collen Murphy, Paolo Gardoni and Robert McKim (eds): Climate change and its impacts: risks and inequalities


Stephanie Paladino and Shirley J. Fiske (Eds): The carbon fix: forest carbon, social justice, and environmental governance


Brandi Janssen: Making local food work: the challenges and opportunities of today's small farmers


Books received


The importance of food retailers: applying network analysis techniques to the study of local food systems

Abstract

As local food activities expand and grow, an important question to answer is how various participants contribute to a local food system's overall vitality and strength. This paper does so by focusing on the relationships between locally-oriented farm and retail actors and assessing what the configuration of these relationships tells us about the workings of the broader local food system. Such an analysis reveals two things. Empirically, it shows the important role food retailers play in the overall vibrancy of local food exchanges: food retailers form crucial links holding the broader system together and significantly expanding consumer access to local foods. Further, different retailer types have distinct impacts on network configurations, each serving particular roles in the development and maintenance of local food systems. Methodologically, this paper shows the value of applying social network analysis techniques to the study of local food systems: such an approach yields insights that may not be as readily assessable from other strategies. In this paper, I overview common network analysis techniques and apply them to a case study of local food activities in New England, suggesting how such an approach might be applied to local food systems in other places.



Challenging the urban–rural dichotomy in agri-food systems

Abstract

The idea of a profound urban–rural divide has shaped analysis of the 2016 U.S. presidential election results. Here, through examples from agri-food systems, we consider the limitations of the urban–rural divide framework in light of the assumptions and intentions that underpin it. We explore the ideas and imaginaries that shape urban and rural categories, consider how material realities are and are not translated into U.S. rural development, farm, and nutrition policies, and examine the blending of rural and urban identities through processes of rural deagrarianization and urban reagrarianization. We do not argue that an urban–rural divide does not exist, as studies and public opinion polls illustrate both measured and perceived differences in many aspects of the lived experiences that shape our individual and collective actions. Ultimately, we suggest that the urban–rural divide concept obscures the diversity and dynamism of experiences each category encompasses. Additionally, it ignores the connections and commonalities that demand integrative solutions to challenges in agri-food systems, and draw attention to the power relations that shape resource access and use within and across urban and rural spaces.



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