Perspectives from the Asia-Pacific
Edited by Matthew Tonts and M. A.B. Siddique
Chapter 1: Globalisation, Agriculture and Development: Perspectives from the Asia-Pacific
Matthew Tonts and M.A.B. Siddique THE GLOBALISATION OF AGRICULTURE Agriculture across much of the Asia-Pacific is being rapidly reshaped as local farming systems become increasingly integrated into global networks of production, distribution, consumption, investment and finance (Robinson 2004; Murray 2006; Rigg 2006). While for much of the region agriculture has had a long colonial history of being linked into wider international networks of trade, it is generally accepted that since the 1970s and 1980s there has been an increase in the scope and depth of global integration in the sector (Murray 2001). The reasons for this have been discussed at length elsewhere (see Le Heron 1993; Robinson 2004; Lawrence 2005; Rigg 2006), but include the collapse of the Bretton Woods agreement in 1971, the economic upheaval experienced in the world economy during the 1970s and 1980s, and the subsequent process of neoliberal economic reform in both developing and developed economies. Indeed, it is the emergence of this neoliberal policy agenda during the 1980s and the consequent moves to reduce trade barriers and deregulate national economies that is claimed to have facilitated the expansion of a more complex, globalised agri-food system (Murray 2006). In developed economies, such as Australia and New Zealand, the neoliberal policy reforms of the subsequent decades aimed to increase farmers’ levels of exposure to competitive global forces, partly as a means of stimulating innovation, and partly as a means of facilitating flows of commodities and capital (Lawrence 2005). Over this period, protective institutional structures that had supported...
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