‘Change agents facilitating ecologically intensive production and value chains’

We are looking for two PhD candidates with knowledge and experience working in Chile to contribute to the project ‘Horticultural food systems based on ecologically intensive production and socio-economically sustainable value chains in the transition economies Chile and Uruguay’ (HortEco).  These are  4-year research positions at Wageningen University, with scholarships.

1) PhD position in sociology of innovation and transitions ‘Change agents facilitating ecologically intensive production and value chains’

Transitioning towards ecologically and socio-economically sustainable production and marketing require combined ecological, technological, social and institutional change. Current innovation systems in Latin American countries, including Chile and Uruguay, are oriented towards high external input agriculture, and see innovation as science-driven technological change.

Co-innovation, while successful at a small scale, requires work beyond the farm level. Public and private actors throughout the food system need to fulfil key change agency roles in the transition to ecologically intensive production and value chains providing knowledge and mobilizing resources.

2) PhD position in management studies and supply chain economics ‘horizontal and vertical value chain collaboration models: arrangements to support ecological intensification’

Value chains play a key role in determining food availability and affordability. Vegetable marketing in Chile and Uruguay is currently characterised by limited farmer collaboration, fragmented retail, heterogeneous quality and few opportunities for value-adding. As an answer to this challenge, vertical collaboration through contract farming (CF) between farmers and agribusiness, and horizontal collaboration of ecological producer organizations (POs) are emerging in both countries to market sustainably produced vegetables for urbanising consumer markets.

Horizontal and vertical collaboration in value chains can promote sustainable socio-economic development and improve food availability and access. However, there is limited understanding how these value chain networks establish and maintain sustained market relationships. In this PhD research the focus is on how sustainably producing farmers and processors can be integrated in value chain networks that (successfully) address urban markets. The research will largely take place in Chile, with comparative work in Uruguay.

 

More info here: http://www.wageningenur.nl/en/article/Two-social-science-PhD-positions-in-HortEco-project-in-Chile.htm

Applications must be received by 14 August via horteco.chile@wur.nl

Publishing in Food Studies Journals: An Index

Emily Contois has put together a list of peer-reviewed food studies journals. A very useful resource.

Emily Contois

Food studies is an ever-expanding field with an increasing number of discipline specific and related peer-reviewed journals. As you seek out the right “home” for your food studies scholarship, consider this list of peer-reviewed publications, organized alphabetically:

Agriculture and Food Security is an open-access journal that addresses global food security with a particular focus on research that may inform more sustainable agriculture and food systems that better address local, regional, national and/or global food and nutritional insecurity. The journal considers contributions across academic disciplines, including agricultural, ecological, environmental, nutritional, and socio-economic sciences, public health, and policy.

Agriculture and Human Valuesis the journal of the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society. The journal publishes interdisciplinary research that critically examines the values, relationships, conflicts, and contradictions within contemporary agricultural and food systems. It also addresses the impact of agricultural and food related institutions, policies, and practices on human populations, the environment, democratic governance, and social equity.

Agroecology…

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Vacancy for a Lecturer and Education Coordinator Sociology and Anthropology of Development

Job opening in a really super group!

Rural Sociology Wageningen University

The section Sociology and Anthropology of Development (SADE) – composed of the Sociology of Development and Change (SDC) and Rural Sociology (RSO) Groups – is looking for a highly motivated person to teach (and coordinate) courses, to supervise BSc and MSc and internships and to plan and coordinate educational activities within SADE, with a view to promote high-quality educational processes. In terms of time allocation it will be a 50/50 division between lecturer and education coordinator.

As lecturer you will co-develop and teach courses in the Bachelor and Master programme in International Development Studies. These courses focus on the sociology of agrarian and rural development, food sociology and sociology of development . The lecturer will give lectures to smaller as well as bigger audiences, lead discussion lectures, and tutor group work. The lecturer should be able to teach in both English and Dutch. Furthermore the lecturer will supervise BSc and MSc…

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PhD course Gender & Diversity in Sustainable Development

Excited to be teaching in this PhD course. Registration is now open!

Rural Sociology Wageningen University

8425465365_3145370d70_bFishing industry in Samoa

September 19 – October 14, 2016

 Lecturers:
Chizu Sato (SCH)
Bettina Bock (RSO)
Margreet van der Burg (SSG)
Jessica Duncan (RSO)
Elise van Nederveen Meerkerk (RHI)
Janneke Pieters (DEC)
Elisabet Rasch (SDC)

Inequality lies at the center of current debates about sustainable development, from which a number of policy issues, including Sustainable Development Goals, emanate. Yet, how social (in)equality contributes to creating sustainable development often remains invisible in research. This course enables participants to recognize linkages between gender and diversity and sustainable development in a contemporary globalising world.

The topics covered in this course are:

  • Introduction: key concepts in gender studies
  • Trends form a historical perspective
  • Economics: macro and micro perspectives
  • Work and care
  • Population and migration
  • Food security and governance
  • Environment and natural resource management
  • Global politics

The last topic will be covered in a public lecture by Prof. dr. Melissa Leach (the…

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From Uniformity to Diversity

 

Inside_the_Batad_rice_terraces
By Adi.simionov – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

 

A new report was just released by the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES): From uniformity to diversity: A paradigm shift from industrial agriculture to diversified agroecological systems.
The report asks three key questions:
  1. What are the outcomes of industrial agriculture / diversified agroecological systems?
  2. What is keeping industrial agriculture in place?
  3. How can the balance be shifted?
 Key messages include:
  • What is required is a fundamentally different model of agriculture based on diversifying farms and farming landscapes, replacing chemical inputs, optimizing biodiversity and stimulating interactions between different species, as part of holistic strategies to build long-term fertility, healthy agro-ecosystems and secure livelihoods, i.e. ‘diversified agroecological systems’.
  • Political incentives must be shifted in order for these alternatives to emerge beyond the margins. A series of modest steps can collectively shift the centre of gravity in food systems.
Read the full report
Read the key messages, also available in French and Spanish

Statement of International Solidarity with Venezuela’s Seed Law

Statement of International Solidarity with Venezuela’s Seed Law

On December 23 2015, Venezuela’s national assembly passed a new seed law banning the import, production, and planting of GMO seeds and protecting the production and free exchange of seed varieties of Venezuela’s farming communities (Indigenous, peasant and Afro-descendant), among other provisions. The law is significant both for its content and for the process through which it was passed.

The banning of GMOs follows the precautionary principle in that the effects of transgenic technology are not yet fully understood and what has been documented thus far in terms of impacts on human health and the environment raises significant concerns. These are in addition to concerns over socio-economic and human rights impacts on the small-scale producers who make up the majority of the world’s hungry. Special protection for locally adapted seeds recognizes the importance of local conservation for maintaining maximum genetic diversity, increasingly important for building resiliency in the face of climate change. Additionally, the law is a product of bottom-up policy-making, resulting from a three-year process in which social movements opposed an industry-backed seed law. Instead they pushed for more transformative legislation, holding a series of participatory public consultations throughout the country to develop an alternative.

The passage of the law thus marks a historic win for agroecology and food sovereignty movements in Venezuela and beyond. It is perhaps one of the few national laws in the world which guarantees and protects the right of peasants to seeds. However, despite widespread domestic support and the international interest it has garnered, the law is under attack by industry representatives and their supporters as being “anti-scientific.” This places the seed law at risk of being overturned by the current national assembly, which has had an opposition majority since January of this year.

 

As scientists, practitioners and advocates involved in food and agriculture, we question the grounds for such attacks. The thrust of the law toward a prioritization of agroecological farming practices is in keeping with a mounting scientific consensus of the importance of a shift from conventional to ecologically-based agricultural systems that value the knowledge of local food producers and involve them in decision-making. This has been emphasized, for instance, in the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) developed by 400 of the world’s leading experts and endorsed by 59 countries.

We are therefore following the emerging struggle over the law and its implementation with great interest, not only for its implications for Venezuela, but for its broader implications in the face of increasing corporate consolidation of the genetic resources critical for present and future food security and food sovereignty. We stand with the food producers, scientists, and grassroots movements in Venezuela urging the National Assembly to maintain the integrity of this law and to support its full implementation. Continue reading “Statement of International Solidarity with Venezuela’s Seed Law”