Description : Produced by the Social Science Agricultural (and Rural) Agenda Project, this volume comprises papers commissioned for conferences in 1987 and 1988, the agenda and strategy statements developed at the latter conference, and later papers commissioned to fill specific gaps. The volume is in five parts: general introduction; introduction to domestic farm, agribusiness, and consumer work and all international agricultural development work; the four driving forces for development; three crosscutting concerns; and administration and funding. Annotation(c) 2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Description : Evidence has been mounting for some time that intensive row-crop agriculture as practiced in developed countries may not be environmentally sustainable, with concerns increasingly being raised about climate change, implications for water quantity and quality, and soil degradation. This volume synthesizes two decades of research on the sustainability of temperate, row-crop ecosystems of the Midwestern United States. The overarching hypothesis guiding this work has been that more biologically based management practices could greatly reduce negative impacts while maintaining sufficient productivity to meet demands for food, fiber and fuel, but that roadblocks to their adoption persist because we lack a comprehensive understanding of their benefits and drawbacks. The research behind this book, based at the Kellogg Biological Station (Michigan State University) and conducted under the aegis of the Long-term Ecological Research network, is structured on a foundation of large-scale field experiments that explore alternatives to conventional, chemical-intensive agriculture. Studies have explored the biophysical underpinnings of crop productivity, the interactions of crop ecosystems with the hydrology and biodiversity of the broader landscapes in which they lie, farmers' views about alternative practices, economic valuation of ecosystem services, and global impacts such as greenhouse gas exchanges with the atmosphere. In contrast to most research projects, the long-term design of this research enables identification of slow or delayed processes of change in response to management regimes, and allows examination of responses across a broader range of climatic variability. This volume synthesizes this comprehensive inquiry into the ecology of alternative cropping systems, identifying future steps needed on the path to sustainability.
Description : This books examines an increasingly popular but controversial set of agricultural development programmes promoting smallholder agriculture and food security in low income countries, particularly in Africa, Drawing on and developing theory on these programmes, and on a wider review of recent experience in Africa, the authors provide a detailed analysis of the historical, political and agro-economic roots and context of Malawi's agricultural programme from 2005 to2011, a large and controversial programme that has been the subject a very considerable but unfortunately little informed international debate. As well as a fascinating account of the history ofdevelopment and current constraints on smallholder farming in Malawi and of the implementation of a large scale national programme, this provides critical insights into the potential benefits and risks with such programmes, and on political and technical issues that are critical in success or failure.
Description : The Southern Africa region has experienced more than its fair share of problems in recent years. Just when it seemed that the hardships wrought by the devastating cycle of droughts and floods of 2000 to 2002 were a thing of the past, other problems emerged. At one level, there have been the weak and often erratic governance mechanisms and political crises in some countries of the region, leading to severe disruptions in agricultural production to the point that supplies and markets have virtually disappeared. At another level, socio-cultural rigidities have often militated against the adoption of efficient farming practices, resulting in sub-optimal choices that lock smallholders into a low equilibrium trap. In the face of the disappearing supplies and missing markets, these have engendered hyper-inflationary trends of a magnitude unknown anywhere else in the world. But in the midst of all this apparent dreariness, cases are emerging from which immense lessons can be drawn. This book assembles a collection of research papers based on studies completed in 2008 and 2009 in Southern Africa that examine various dimensions of the institutional constraints small farmers are facing in the region and how they are going about dealing with them. The papers draw from these diverse and polar experiences and present some theoretical and practical insights that should form the basis for more in-depth, country-level, sector-specific analyses, focusing mainly on citrus, horticultures, cotton and livestock. The thematic issues of income inequality, land reform, natural resource management and value chain governance and chain choice, are covered in this book and are expected to be of interest for a wide constituency, including researchers, development practitioners, rural animators, and policy makers.
Description : First held in 1849 in Detroit, the location of the Michigan State Fair rotated in the early years between Detroit, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, Adrian, Jackson, Grand Rapids, East Saginaw, Lansing, and Pontiac before settling permanently in Detroit. When Detroit department store magnate Joseph L. Hudson sold 135 acres of Woodward Avenue farmland to the Michigan State Agricultural Society in 1905 for $1, the permanent home of the Michigan State Fair was established. On February 12, 2009, Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm signed an executive order effectively ending a 160-year tradition--the Michigan State Fair.