Agriculture, Environment, and Development


 Th e interconnection between economic development, agricultural production, and environmental change poses one of the most challenging questions in the world today. How can we provide enough food and properly 
nourish an increasingly urbanised global population, while promoting fair 
and sustainable development in rural and urban areas, particularly in the 
Global South? Th e answers to those problems are not trivial, but require 
critical and creative thinking and a move away from pre-established solutions and most of the strategies adopted during the last century. Th e challenge is, fi rst and foremost, political, as it necessarily involves choices, 
decisions, and the redistribution of resources and opportunities. Th e debate 
on the role and the prospects of agriculture is critical, not only because of 
fi erce disputes over land ownership, resource use, and commodity chains, 
but also, even more importantly, because it reveals a great deal about wider 
socio-economic trends and the socio- ecological safety of nations, cities, and 
regions. For instance, one current major controversy involves the association between mainstream food production and growing malnutrition and 
health problems, as well as deforestation, nature grabbing, and community 
impacts. Th e intensifi cation of food production and commercialisation is 
also associated with mounting levels of obesity, bad health, environmental 
disruption, and food insecurity. 
 Unfortunately, most government reactions to those problems seem to 
reproduce an outdated, productivist way of thinking about development and