Peasants, Smallholders and Post-Global Food Crisis Agriculture Investment Programs

This article examines new multilateral food and agriculture development programs implemented in response to the 2008 Global Food Crisis. These programs, which seek to increase agricultural investment and production in developing countries, have gained wide currency among donors, recipient governments and multilateral organizations. Given the significant financial and political resources committed to their success, these new multilateral food and agriculture programs point to a new global food security policy consensus. By examining two of the key World Bank and EU programs prioritizing the integration of small-scale and peasant farmers into commodity chains, we argue that they fail to adequately address the obstacles poor farmers themselves have identified as critical to improving their food security and livelihoods.

The authors

Matias E. Margulis is Lecturer in Political Economy at the University of Stirling. A former Canadian delegate to the WTO, OECD and United Nations agencies, his research focuses on global governance, international trade and human rights. Recent publications include “Forum-Shopping for Global Food Security  Governance ? Canada’s approach at the G8 and UN Committee for World Food Security”  (Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, 2015), “Trading Out of the Global Food Crisis ? The WTO and the Geopolitics of Agro-Power”  (Geopolitics, 2014)  and  Land  Grabbing and Global Governance (Routledge 2014, edited with Nora McKeon and Saturnino Borras, Jr.).

Priscilla Claeys is a Postdoctoral researcher at the Collège d’Études Mondiales, attached to the Chair of Prof. Dominique Méda on the Ecological Transition. Priscilla worked as an Advisor to the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food from 2008 to 2014 and received her PhD from the University of Louvain (UCL). She is the author of two books : Human Rights and the Food Sovereignty Movement. Reclaiming Control published by Earthscan Routledge in 2015, and Rethinking Food Systems. Structural Challenges, New Strategies, and the Law coedited with Nadia Lambek and published by Springer in 2014.

The text

The ideas contained in this paper were first discussed at the 55th Annual Convention of the International  Studies  Association  in  Toronto,  Canada,  on  26-29  March  2013,  in  a  communication  entitled “Constructing Peasants As Global Subjects from the Top-Down”. The authors are grateful for the comments they received on that occasion.
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013 - MSCA-COFUND) under grant agreement n°245743 - Post-doctoral programme Braudel-IFER-FMSH, in collaboration with the Collège d’études mondiales (FMSH).


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