Raghbendra Jha and Raghav Gaiha
Professor Jha and Professor Gaiha address important issues of food security in their wide-ranging selection of the most influential published contributions in this area of study. Their comprehensive, original Research Review discusses each article and places it within the context of twelve distinct themes, from which emerges a cogent view of the developing scholarly literature in this area and of the challenges that still remain.
Peter W.B. Phillips, David Castle and Stuart J. Smyth
Recent innovations in agriculture and food technologies have brought benefits to many countries, particularly in developing regions, but information about the extent of these has often been sparse. This research review examines the best papers on the subject to form a comprehensive, global perspective on the impacts of agricultural biotechnology around the world.
Bruce A. Scholten
In both emerging economies and in developed countries dairy farming is a key livelihood affecting animal welfare, environmental sustainability, and social justice. The term ‘White Revolution’ is linked to India, but can be used generically in globalised dairy systems. This is discussed in the context of historic agricultural revolutions and the political-economic food regimes framing them. In the Global North, the industrialisation of conventional dairy farming shows that technological changes are not socially neutral. They shed labour by appropriation of on-farm processes. This is true in USA (where the number of family-scale dairy farms has dwindled by two-thirds in recent decades), and to a lesser extent in Europe. In contrast to conventional confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), certified organic dairy farming – characterised by pasture grazing and bans on antibiotics, chemical pesticides and synthetic hormones – responds to consumer demand for traditional methods. In the Global South, India’s White Revolution was spearheaded by Operation Flood, 1970–96. It was a joint programme by farmers’ cooperatives, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, World Bank and European Economic Community whose surplus ‘butter mountain’ was monetised into infrastructure that helped India bypass the USA as premier milk producer in 1998. In India’s dual economy, cooperative dairying has been a bridge between subsistence farming and the modern cash economy for millions of marginal, landless and women-led farm families. Dairy development projects in Africa, Asia and elsewhere emulate India's gains in child nutrition, education, health, and social mobility.
This chapter examines the relationship between the world economy and the shape of US agricultural policy since the creation of supply management policy in the 1930s. The policy of supply management had three primary programs: price supports, production controls, and export subsidies. During the twentieth century, the contours of this policy changed as it expanded and contracted at different times. The US government remains deeply involved in agriculture today, including by providing subsidies to farmers, but the goal of US agricultural policy is no longer to manage the supply of agricultural commodities. This chapter explains the long-term trajectory of US agricultural policy by focusing on the relations between class structure, national policy and the world economy. These periodic shifts in US agricultural policy were connected to changes in the world economy. On the one hand, the world economy helped to shape US agricultural policy as world prices rose and fell, competition in international markets ebbed and flowed, and rules of trade changed. On the other hand, US agricultural policy shaped the world economy as the dominant position of the USA after World War II allowed it to set the rules organizing food and agriculture in the world economy. One consequence of the US food regime was the spread of supply management policy across the globe. This food regime broke down in the last quarter of the twentieth century. This chapter, then, will close by briefly examining the international consequences of the shift away from supply management in the USA as well as in the international food regime – most notably, unstable commodity prices and the threat of food crises.