Critical Agrarian Studies Archives - ROAPE
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Critical Agrarian Studies

In a blogpost drawing attention to the large number of suicides by immolation in Tunisia, Habib Ayeb explains that there has been an average of between 250 to 300 suicides per year since 2011. These desperate political acts are intended to draw attention to the dire social and political conditions experienced by millions of Tunisians in the years since the revolution (and the suicide of Mohamed Bouazizi in December 2010). Translated by Max Ajl, the blogpost looks at the origins of the Tunisian revolution, and broken promises. ...

Max Ajl speaks to the Marxist economist Utsa Patnaik about agrarian history and imperialism. Her work on the economic history of India and other countries under colonial rule, shows how the experience deepened food insecurity and unemployment, trends which reemerged again under neoliberalism. The interview was conducted as part of the activities of the workshop on ‘Agriculture and Imperialism’ in November 2018, Beirut, Lebanon, organised by the Thimar Collective....

Ray Bush reports on an extraordinary tour of Tunisia organised by an innovative and exciting NGO focused on promoting food sovereignty and positive environmental transformation. The ‘food sovereignty days’ involved a journey into the breadth and range of small farmer struggles for autonomy and improved livelihoods throughout the country, focusing on the areas between the capital and the South East.  By Ray Bush The Observatoire de la Souveraineté Alimentaire et de l’Environnement (OSAE) is a new innovative and exciting NGO focused on promoting food sovereignty, positive environmental transformation and they do this with ideas and actions of small-scale family farmers.  Based in Tunis, the brainchild of Habib Ayeb, it has a small staff of engaged activists who in September organised food sovereignty days.  This was an amazing journey into the breadth and range of small farmer struggles for autonomy and improved livelihoods throughout Tunisia focusing on...

In important new research on Egypt, Marion Dixon explains that the corporate food system in the country has involved Egyptians across classes buying into the neoliberal project. The space of dietary convergence provided a social consensus that legitimized the neoliberal project, at least temporarily. Yet, its fundamental failure was that the growth of corporate food did little to reduce food costs as a percentage of income for the vast majority of Egyptians....

In a strong defence of Critical Agrarian Studies, Bettina Engels and Kristina Diez write that the approach offers analytical potential for the investigation of further dimensions of structural transformation in the countryside beyond the agrarian sector. Critical Agrarian Studies enables us to put the analysis of mining and related conflicts in a broader global historical context of commodity exploitation and frontier expansion....

For roape.net Max Ajl interviews radical geographer and activist Habib Ayeb about food sovereignty, the peasantry in North Africa and film-making. Ayeb is a founder member of the Observatory of Food Sovereignty and Environment and Max Ajl is a sociologist, activist and an editor at Jadaliyya and Viewpoint. The interview was conducted on March 4, 2018, in Tunis, Tunisia....

In an important conference on agriculture in North Africa speakers sought to confront the central issue of our time: delivering accessible and available food to the world’s poor in a way that is sustainable for the planet. Many speakers argued that food sovereignty through delinking from global commodity chains might be the answer....

An Ansoms writes about the systemic problems within the ongoing rural transformation process in Rwanda. She points to deeply embedded systemic problems within the country’s ongoing rural transformation. The current model, she argues, is implemented through a rigid top-down authoritarian system and is blindly obsessed with reaching performance targets. Unless these problems are addressed it risks Rwanda’s economic, social and ecological future....

A recent ROAPE blog provided evidence of some negative impacts of the agricultural reform in Rwanda, and several ROAPE articles have critiqued claims of success. Chris Huggins author of a new book, Agricultural Reform in Rwanda: Authoritarianism, Markets and Zones of Governance, critically examines the political economy of contemporary agricultural reform in Rwanda....