Peasants, Food and Agrarian Change
with Dr. Haroon Akram-Lodhi
More than 3.4 billion people live in the countryside of developing countries. The vast majority of these women and men rely, to a lesser or great extent, on small-scale farming as the basis of their livelihood. By some counts 70 per cent of the world's food is grown by small-scale peasant farmers – but at the same time some 70 per cent of the world's poor live in the world's rural areas. So the world's food is grown by the world's poorest people. If global citizens want to address human inequality we have to start by understanding how the world's largely ignored peasant farmers have become the epicenter of global poverty. After all, if we want the world to become a better place a good place to start would be among the lives of the world's forgotten peoples that provide the bulk of humanity with their food.

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What are the reasons to alter the terms and conditions by which small-scale peasant farmers access the land that they use to farm?

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Whether land reform can be an effective means of addressing rural poverty is examined by looking at some experiences of i

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The contemporary wave of large-scale land acquisition of peasant land by foreign companies is discussed.

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How Norman Borlaug’s decade-long quest to solve the wheat rust transformed world farming.

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The technical components of the Green Revolution are discussed, and their capacity to be adopted by small-scale peasant farmers evaluated.

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What the Green Revolution promised and what the Green Revolution delivered were two very different things.

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The capacity of genetically modified organisms to increase world food supplies is evaluated.

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How the introduction of genetically modified organisms has produced biological reactions within nature that undermine any benefits from genetically modified organisms.

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Author

Stephen Hurley
Chief Catalyst, voicEd Radio Canada

Stephen Hurley has spent nearly 40 years as an educator. He has experience as a classroom teacher, a curriculum consultant, a teacher educator and a policy observer.

He has a strong relationship with the EdCan Network (formerly the Canadian Education Association), an organization that inspired the launch and evolution of voicEd Radio Canada.

Hurley believes that stronger connections between education research, practice and policy are essential to the type of change that will be necessary in Canada's public education systems moving forward.