Monday, May 12, 2014
Big business as agrarian development engine
This is a very straightforward, nonpolemic article that questions whether investment by big agribusiness can ever really contribute to positive, equitable, environmentally sustainable development outcomes for developing countries. Even the attempted "fix" of voluntary guidelines for responsible agricultural investment doesn't seem to be an effective measure of making corporate agricultural investment have a positive impact on peasant livelihoods or general food security. The more promising alternative seems to be for governments and donors to invest in the infrastructure, market access, and general empowerment that will allow smallholders to invest in their own operations and develop agriculture from the ground up. This is not news to me, but I thought the article put it in very simple, levelheaded terms.