“As the global economic crisis forces everyone to downsize, the self-sufficient worker once again has a chance, whether as a farmer growing vegetables for local consumption or as an open-source software developer who makes a living in his basement office.” So argues the first article linked to below. Does this mean that economies of scale are over-exaggerated? Should developing countries provide more support to small-scale production as a growth and development strategy? And does small-scale production provide benefits beyond those of production and profit? Does it meet broader human and social needs? The articles explore the issues: the first two in the context of the developed world and the other four in the context of developing countries.
The Return to Yeomanry New America Foundation (22/6/09)
Entrée: Small-scale farmers on the forefront of a greens revolution The Vancouver Sun (19/6/09)
Extracts – the future of small-scale farming Oxfam International
Malawi’s fertile plan Mail & Guardian Online (25/6/09)
Development: Investment in small farmers crucial in Africa Bizcommunity.com (24/6/09)
Toward Agricultural Sustainability Philippines Business Mirror (24/6/09)
- What are the benefits of ‘a return to yeomanry’ (a) to the individuals themselves; (b) to society and the environment?
- Why might it prove a risky strategy for those embarking on small-scale production? How could governments help to reduce the risks for the producers? Should they?
- Discuss whether fostering small-scale farming is an appropriate development strategy for developing countries. What specific policy measures should governments adopt?
- Is land reform (a) a necessary condition; (b) a sufficient condition if small-scale farming is to flourish in developing countries? What pitfalls are there from a policy of land reform?