Given the central role of the food and agriculture system in driving so many of the connected ecological, social and economic threats and challenges we currently face, Rethinking Food and Agriculture reviews, reassesses and reimagines the current food and agriculture system and the narrow paradigm in which it operates.
Rethinking Food and Agriculture explores and uncovers some of the key historical, ethical, economic, social, cultural, political, and structural drivers and root causes of unsustainability, degradation of the agricultural environment, destruction of nature, short-comings in science and knowledge systems, inequality, hunger and food insecurity, and disharmony. It reviews efforts towards 'sustainable development', and reassesses whether these efforts have been implemented with adequate responsibility, acceptable societal and environmental costs and optimal engagement to secure sustainability, equity and justice. The book highlights the many ways that farmers and their communities, civil society groups, social movements, development experts, scientists and others have been raising awareness of these issues, implementing solutions and forging 'new ways forward', for example towards paradigms of agriculture, natural resource management and human nutrition which are more sustainable and just.
Rethinking Food and Agriculture proposes ways to move beyond the current limited view of agro-ecological sustainability towards overall sustainability of the food and agriculture system based on the principle of 'inclusive responsibility'. Inclusive responsibility encourages ecosystem sustainability based on agro-ecological and planetary limits to sustainable resource use for production and livelihoods. Inclusive responsibility also places importance on quality of life, pluralism, equity and justice for all and emphasises the health, well-being, sovereignty, dignity and rights of producers, consumers and other stakeholders, as well as of nonhuman animals and the natural world.
- Explores some of the key drivers and root causes of unsustainability , degradation of the agricultural environment and destruction of nature
- Highlights the many ways that different stakeholders have been forging 'new ways forward' towards alternative paradigms of agriculture, human nutrition and political economy, which are more sustainable and just
- Proposes ways to move beyong the current unsustainable exploitation of natural resources towards agroecological sustainability and overall sustainability of the food and agriculture system based on 'inclusive responsibility'
and two models of science-based agriculture 10. Paradigms of Agriculture Amir Kassam and Laila Kassam 11. Soil health and the revolutionary potential of Conservation Agriculture 12. Climate change adaptability and mitigation in Conservation Agriculture 13. Will gene-edited and other GM crops fail sustainable food systems? 14. Sustaining agricultural biodiversity and heterogeneous seeds for responsible agriculture and food systems 15. Healthy diets as a guide to responsible food systems 16. Knowledge systems for inclusively responsible food and agriculture 17. Social movements in the transformation of food and agriculture systems 18. Alternatives to the global food regime: Steps towards system transformation 19. Co-creating responsible food and agriculture systems 20. Towards inclusive responsibility
Amir Kassam OBE, FRSB, PhD, is visiting professor in the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development at the University of Reading, UK.
Laila Kassam PhD is a development economist and has been working in rural development since 2003, and is a co-founder of Animal Think Tank.