Agricultural Anthropology


Agricultural Anthropology

For those interested in agriculture and anthropology!

Members: 54
Latest Activity: Sep 8, 2014

Discussion Forum

Soils and Anthropology 5 Replies

Hello world,I am a soon-to-be graduating senior in Anthropology who has been working in my school's Agriculture Department for 2 years.  I am interested in soils and people's treatment of them from…Continue

Started by Max Sherard. Last reply by paulrchalmers Dec 10, 2011.

agricultural identities?? 2 Replies

Hi all,as part of my studies I'm exploring the multiple roles environmental discourses are engaged by different environmental movements, at a both grassroot level as well as at an institutional and…Continue

Started by Sara Avanzino. Last reply by Ash Apr 15, 2011.

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Comment by Monica Stroe on September 8, 2014 at 4:05pm

Hi, all,

I have a conference panel coming up that might be of interest to the group. Please share if you know anyone interested. Thanks!

SASC 2014 ConferencePanel 18. Agri-Food Production at the Fringe of...

Monica Stroe – National School of Political Sciences and Public Administration Bucharest

The homogenising pressure of EU policies paired with the flexibilisation pressure of neoliberal market forces gives rise to a new, post-modern rurality where processes of de-peasantisation and re-peasantisation run side by side as livelihood strategies. A new peasant class is emerging, as small-scale and so-called traditional farming are being reconfigured in a new horizon of post-productivist moralities and aesthetics, where the purity of production and the roles of ecological and landscape custodian often prevail. The structuring force of the Common Agricultural Policy filtered by national institutional settings results into grey areas of unregulated, misimplemented or miscommunicated fields, which can act as loopholes where both marginal or marginalised courses of action (“getting by”) and agri-business strategies can be acted out: seed autonomy and GMOs, land rights, common property management, pastoral nomadism etc. The panel seeks papers approaching – but not limited to – the following topics: agri-food and environmental governance, peasant activism, competing agri-food knowledge claims and transmission processes, alternative farming practices and incorporation of innovation, mechanisms of precarisation and the social sustainability of small-scale agriculture, commodity and non-commodity outputs of small-scale agriculture, production of public goods, artisan and quality food products, alternative distribution chains, consumption of rurality.

Comment by katja.kuivanen on September 29, 2012 at 6:56pm

Hi, I have an Honours degree in Social Anthropology from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and am currently doing a two year MSc in Organic Agriculture/Agroecology in the Netherlands....would love to hear how other people are synthesizing the two disciplines!

Comment by Elaine Forde on August 3, 2012 at 5:40pm

Job vacancy at GRAIN

an NGO supporting peasants' struggles for food sovereignety

Comment by Viorel Anastasoaie on May 7, 2011 at 11:18am
Hello, I'm Viorel Anastasoaie, finishing a Ph.D. in social anthropology in London at University College. I did my fieldwork among tobacco-growers in western Cuba in 2008-2009, being interested in questions of skill learning, work practices and social distinction among farmers. Overall, I'm interested in how small-scale farming has been transformed by the various shifts in agrarian policies of the Cuban Revolutionary state. I'm happy to join the group of 'agrarian anthropologists'.
Comment by Nicole Bachleitner on May 19, 2010 at 10:45pm
Hi, I'm an Austrian Anthropology student who, after 3 years of focusing on conflict studies, has recently decided to switch towards agricultural anthropology. Since my daughter was born 11 yrs ago I'm doing some organic small-scale farming, not for subsistance - just for fun, and to teach my daughter that vegetables and fruits don't grow in the supermarket. My main interest lies in GM crops and their potential chances and risks for farmers and consumers. Additionally, I'd like to focus on permaculture but haven't found the time yet to gather more information on that topic. Maybe membership to this group will give me the motivation needed to delve into permaculture as well.
Comment by SusanLayne Nielsen on January 31, 2010 at 1:46am
Hi, all. I do agree with Batchimeg S. that the subject as given is very broad. It's hard, if you live a farm life, not to hold to your heart the matters of food security, sustainability, development, and so on. Perhaps I should specify a "small farm life," because industrial mega farms don't really seem to have much view of sustainability -- they operate on the basis of today's market, and tomorrow be damned.

I suspect food security, at one level or another, is at the basis of almost every modern person's decision to keep a farm. We do it, living in the foothills of the Cascade mountains in Oregon, USA., though we could easily drive to town for our broccoli. What I mean by "at one level or another" is, food security entails more than just supply. It implies concern for a certain quality of food. If you are secure enough to know you will have food on the table, then you have the luxury of concern for quality.

Unfortunately, for the many who extract the barest essentials from farms around the world, there is little to tie sustainability to the need for immediate supply. For such people, if production destroys the land, well then, the obvious answer is to find more land.

This is a very abbreviated analysis, of course.But for most of us on small farms in North America today, there is little risk of hunger. For small producers worldwide, that isn't the case. The question, then, might be how to bring sustainable food security to populations that truly need it. What is it that keeps a farmer producing a crop that sucks life from the land (corn (maize) is an example that leaps to mind), and pouring chemical fertilizers into land that is rapidly becoming toxic and worthless? The 'green revolution' as it was known in the 1960's, the one that served up chemical NPK doses to the world in exchange for the once-sustainable farm practices of 2nd and 3rd world farmers has been disastrous. Yields may have been lower per cultivated acre under prior practices, but they did not destroy the land, and long-time indigenous crops had been more nutritionally balanced. With chemical amendments, yields of, for example, corn crops soared for a short time, population numbers responded by increasing rapidly, and then the depleted land collapsed under the load of over-production and drought. Nothing was sustainable about the green revolution. Malnutrition has been the inevitable result of post-WWII living through chemistry.

Sum-up: a small farm producing manures from small breed livestock (rabbits, poultry, sheep or goats at most), and producing mixed crops in rotation over several seasons, is able to maintain the health of the land. It is able to produce a surplus for family groups. Obviously, it does not produce enough to sustain an economy of export (I use the term to refer to market sales in general: export from the farm on the scale of industrial production). One wonders very seriously, how long our Western agricultural model will sustain itself. Given the depletion of sub-surface water tables, I think not much longer.

Sorry to be verbose. Smaller is sustainable. There.
Comment by Birkha B Pun on January 29, 2010 at 4:16pm
Actually it's the rare thing. i think, with the emerging of world with the development, the lacking of Agricultural priority and the indigenous systems of farmings, that the present least developed countries are facing chronic crisis, either food shortages or environment hazard.

Even developed nations lacked in being ration with this matter?
i heartliy give you the welcome note.
lets talk more.
Comment by Selen Eloglu on January 8, 2010 at 9:06am
I am doing my Master's and focusing on agricultural anthropology and I will be glad if we can share ideas. My interests rest at sustainable production, organic farming, local farming systems, ancient farming traditions... actually quite a lot of things.
Comment by Josué Villegas on January 8, 2010 at 8:36am
Hi. I'm working for mexican government in this proyect about agricultural sistems in Yucatan. I'll be glad to share some experiences in this group.
Best, Jozch

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