Feeding the World in the 21st Century: A Historical Analysis of Agriculture and Society

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Anthem Press, 2010 - Business & Economics - 322 pages
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'Feeding The World in the 21st Century: A Historical Analysis of Agriculture and Society' provides a historical understanding of agricultural development over the last two centuries. Characteristics of the period have included the opening of the prairies in the late 18th century, the invention of industrial fertilizer and the tractor's displacement of the horse. Such profound developments have led to an abundance of food and peace and prosperity within the world market. This situation began at the end of the American Civil War and continued until 2005, when prices rose in spite of increased production. Smedshaug gives a historical background of the current situation, while discussing the ultimate challenge of how to feed a world of 10 billion people. This challenge has to be met in the light of climate change, water shortage, and not least the declining availability of fossil fuel.

Smedshaug's analysis and recommendations underline the need for every country to have the freedom to establish an agricultural policy adapted to the given national natural conditions, as well as the need to put the producer at the heart of the policy in such a way that all countries can utilize their potential to produce food, and hence to feed the world.

 

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Contents

Foreword
11
Chapter 1
25
Who has a food surplus and who has a deficit?
41
Supplynevv land
56
Yield
59
Climate change and agriculture
72
Rapid production increase when prices rise?
85
Consequences of Ricardo
98
The second agricultural revolution new land areas
170
The postwar period strong growth in production
184
Agriculture and poverty
197
Farmer cooperatives
210
Chapter 10
227
Africas challenges
229
A IIarshall plan for Africa
242
ITO and GATT
256

Old clashes new players
111
Chapter4
115
The role of the state and import controls in the first industrialisation
128
Agriculture and the paradoxes
142
Hunger also a consequence of bad systems
155
The first modern agricultural revolution the end of the fallovv system
168
Offensive and defensive national interests
269
Chapter 12
283
Predictable exports and imports
291
Literature
305
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Christian Anton Smedshaug worked with agricultural policy as related to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) in the Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture from 2001 to 2003.  From 2003 onwards, he has worked with the Norwegian Farmers Union on issues of agriculture, trade and development in the political context of the EU and WTO. He was awarded a PhD from the Norwegian Agricultural University in 2000.

Niek Koning is currently Assistant Professor of the Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy Group at Wageningen University, the Netherlands, where his research topics include long-term evolution of the agri-food sector in developed countries, and agrarian institutions and politics.

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