Critical Agrarian Studies - ROAPE
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Critical Agrarian Studies

  • In this introduction to a major paper on the Near East and North Africa, ROAPE's Ray Bush focuses on the struggles by small farmers across the region. He notes the spike in protests since the food price hikes of 2008 that had intensified rural malnutrition, poverty and inequality. How can the battle for livelihood and food security by the regions small and family farmers be assisted? ...

  • In this far-reaching interview, ROAPE’s Ray Bush argues that the products and commodities that rural people produce must sustain local demand and local needs, rather than produce export crops to generate foreign exchange on the international markets. The foundation of any modern society has to be the basis of generating sufficiently and appropriately priced food stuffs from local markets. This is the path, he argues, to a real alternative for societies in the Global South....

  • Nungari Mwangi contributes to our debate on capitalism in Africa by looking into export horticulture in Kenya and its role in the expansion of capitalism. Using a case study of marginalized small scale flower farmers, she challenges the orientation towards European export markets, and calls for a focus on local and regional markets for their survival....

  • Supported by major international donors, the Rwandan government has lofty ambitions to modernise the agrarian and land sector. These reforms are part of a broader call to implement a Green Revolution across Africa. The authors of this blogpost insist on a more nuanced, in-depth and multi-faceted approach in order to understand the distance between centrally-planned policies and the realities of rural livelihoods....

  • 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....

  • 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....

  • As part of our new series, A. Haroon Akram-Lodhi introduces critical agrarian studies. He argues that such an approach must embed its analysis within the context of global processes: the food regime, which is the international relations of food production and consumption that can be directly linked to forms of accumulation on a global scale....

  • 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....

  • 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 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....

  • 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....