Deadline extension of abstract submission: June 30th, 2017
We’re letting you know that the deadline for abstract submission is now extended to Friday, June 30th, 2017. Thank you for those of you who have submitted abstracts to the conference. For those of you who haven’t, please be sure to submit yours before or on the given date, so that we can proceed to the conference program as soon as possible. Thank you!
Today, more than ever, developing and developed nations are sharing closer concerns (albeit with different contexts) when it comes to food and agriculture – depletion of arable land and agricultural resources, inter-generational gap among farmers, and the changing face of the global food systems. What can we do for the future of farming? And what can we learn from each others? These questions pushed us to propose a conference theme able to build a North-South dialogue through reflections from one another’s experiences. In regard to this, and by drawing from Indonesia’s networks of agrifood activists, both academics and practitioners, the Conference Organizers have invited two keynote speakers who are prominent in their fields that will speak around a wide, connecting theme:
Food, Youth and the Future of Farming: Towards a Global North-South Dialogue
We are now opening a call for paper abstracts for this year’s meetings. We will accept abstracts on any agri-food related topic, and especially encourage submissions related to the 11 session themes presented below. If your abstract does not directly fit with one of the themes, it will be placed in a session with similar presentations as determined by the Organizers.
We are happy to invite you to submit abstracts by June 30th, 2017. If you wish your presentation to be included in one of the available sessions please indicate your preference.
An online submission form is available at the bottom of this page
Session 1: Researching the diversity of lived experiences of agri-environmental governance across North-South boundaries
Jeremie Forney – University of Neuchatel, Switzerland
Angga Dwiartama – Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia
In the last decades, the governance of agri-food systems has been increasingly related to providing answers to environmental issues. This evolution is often perceived as initiated in the global North, but the trend has developed at all scales in all part of the world and has reframed international relations, notably North-South relations. Much research has been done trying to understand what was at stake in these developments. In western countries, the focus has been put on national policies (e.g. CAP) and alternative systems (e.g. organic). In the developing or emerging economies, tensions between market access and exclusion and neo-colonial processes have been discussed, notably in the context of certification. Despite the differences these differences in research approach, North and South contexts are connected in many ways, by many human and non-human actors circulating through governance networks and complex value chains. Circulations of capital, work power, goods, standards and governance instruments are central in the current organisation of food systems. However, very little cross-over North-South dialog has developed so far in order to produce shared knowledge on AEG processes and practices.
Today, actors of food systems find themselves involved in complex assemblages of governance practices, developed across diverse networks and overflowing usual boundaries between public and private, market and policies, local and global. From Global GAP to national policies inspired by the multifunctional narrative, AEG practices varies in scale, scope, objectives and according to the fundamental logics they rely on. However, actors face this complexity as a whole. They have to navigate this complexity. Therefore, the result of governance could be seen as the joint effects and implications created by this complex set of instruments in a specific geographical, social and environmental location.
This session sets out to explore this diversity in the agri-environmental governance by looking at the concrete situations that result from these complex assemblages and that frame the action of individual and collective actors within food systems. It wants to build a dialog between case studies from southern and northern contexts and practices, in order to renew the understanding of governance practices and their relations with actors’ everyday life.
Session 2: Multi-stakeholder Initiatives: Practices, Power Relations, and Implications for the Governing of Agri-Food Sustainability
Vaughan Higgins – Charles Sturt University, Australia
Carol Richards – Queensland University of Technology, Australia
Multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs), often referred to as Roundtables, are an increasingly prominent way for addressing the sustainability of global commodity chains. These include initiatives such as the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil, Roundtable on Responsible Soy and Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. MSIs can be described as a consortium of different stakeholders that set private standards around a given governance issue, such as labour or environmental performance. MSIs perform certification, monitoring and compliance activities, by-passing traditional state forms of governance through their own privatised systems of regulation. They reflect the neoliberal shift from government to governance, and the tendency toward non-state, private authorities to develop and enact soft law in line with market-based rationalities. However, unlike proprietor standards initiatives led by retailers, which have been the predominant focus of agri-food scholarship in recent years, MSIs include a broader range of actors including retailers, processors, farming organisations and civil society groups. MSIs are also concerned with the triple bottom line of sustainability – economic, environmental and social – whereas proprietor standards are concerned primarily with food quality and safety. At face value, therefore, MSIs appear to hold greater potential than previous forms of agri-food governance to incorporate voices that are often not included, and to achieve improvements in environmental protection and social justice.
This session focuses on what the growing prominence of MSIs means for the governing of agri-food sustainability, particularly in the Global South. Contributors may be guided by the following questions, or propose additional ways to conceptualise this emerging phenomenon:
- In what ways are MSIs (re)defining agri-food ‘sustainability’ and what are the environmental and social consequences?
- Through what techniques do MSIs seek to harmonise sustainability standards and practices among diverse organisations and stakeholders? What are the key tensions, challenges and trade-offs?
- To what extent do MSIs enable civil society groups to have an influence on the sustainability of global supply chains?
- What is the relationship between MSIs and other forms of agri-food governance (private and public), and how does this influence the ways in which MSIs work in practice?
- What are the implications of MSIs for the development of more resilient and climate adaptable food systems?
- To what extent does the growth of MSIs represent a challenge to retailer control over agri-food standards?
Session 3: Reimagining Rural Myanmar
Bill Pritchard – University of Sydney, Australia
Ben Belton – Michigan State University, US
Mark Vicol – University of Sydney, Australia
In a short space of time, the traditional social and economic arrangements of rural Myanmar have undergone a dizzying and profound series of changes. As part of the overall process of democratization and liberalization, land tenure laws have been rewritten, agricultural credit systems have been restructured, foreign investment has surged, and restrictions on migration have been eased. The effects of these momentous processes of change are still being played out, and their longer-term implications not wholly clear. The aim of this Session is to provide an area for debate over these issues, with a view to working towards a proposal for disseminating research findings, potentially a special issue of an international journal.
Session 4: Financialisation, land investment and food security – North and South
Kiah Smith – University of Queensland, Australia
Sarah Sippel – University of Leipzig, Germany
Geoff Lawrence – University of Queensland, Australia
Since the global food and financial crises of 2008, financial actors have increasingly sought to expand their investment portfolios to include farmland located in both the global North and South. The effort is to transform land into a valuable and profitable financial asset class. The value of land comes from its being both a productive asset and the basis for capital gains via land appreciation. Together, these characteristics have been interpreted as a financialisation of land – whereby financial institutions (pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, investment banks, development banks etc.) and financial logics (i.e. risks and returns, liquidity, profitability) take centre stage in reshaping land ownership, access and use. Considerations about future food security have been among the key drivers for land investment decisions.
Research has also begun to show the heterogeneous effects of the financialisation of farmland across geographies, temporalities and scales, pointing to the different political and legal settings as well as implications across contexts. In globalised food and finance networks, the boundaries between North and South are increasingly blurred. And, while financial power continues to reside in the ‘core’ countries of US, UK and Canada, there is strengthening activity from financial actors in Asia and the Middle East, as well as from ‘transnational’ actors such as agribusiness firms. Food security, economic growth and other developmental goals converge to inform land investment strategies in different ways across space and time.
This special session invites agri-food academics, activists and practitioners to share empirical and/or conceptual case studies that explore the connections between land investment and food security, in both the global North and South. Key questions include:
- What patterns of land investment are emerging, and how do these reflect specific national priorities, contexts and outcomes?
- What are the relationships between Northern and Southern finance actors, and how do these shape investment strategies?
- Who benefits and who is disadvantaged in the financialisation of farmland in various settings?
- What are the implications for the future of food security, both for diverse local/national communities and for the global food system more broadly?
We invite papers that take a comparative approach to these themes, as well as papers on land investment and financialisation more broadly.
Session 5: Urbanization, food sovereignty and the advantage of collaboration
Ramalis Sobandi – Tunas Nusa Foundation, Indonesia
68% of 255 million Indonesia’s population is projected to live in cities and towns in 2025. In Asia, Indonesia’s urbanization has the fastest growth, giving pressures to the agriculture sector and conservation areas that lead to an accumulation of threat on food security and sovereignty. The Indonesia’s Food Law 18/201, as inspired by the World Food Summit, defines Food security as an open access to sufficient, diversified, safe and nutritious food as needed in any place and any period. It is assumed that villages and agriculture areas produce and the cities consume the food.
Drawing on the empirical fact from 5 years of on-going exertion, the session is designed to illustrate the present alternative food movement in Bandung and its relation to other 7cities in Indonesia. The conclusion of the session will exemplify the correlation of the level of urbanization to the process and acceleration of land use changes, agriculture production and food sovereignty.
We welcome papers that share similar findings from different cities, both in the Global North and South, and contribute to the construction of understandings of food sovereignty in the urban context.
Session 6: Making Markets: The Technopolitics of Assembling Agrifood Markets
Matthew Henry – Massey University, New Zealand
Carolyn Morris – Massey University, New Zealand
We can speak authoritatively about the rise of global capitalism, its various forms and trajectories, as well as its effects on institutions, people, and environments. Yet we know little of the day-to-day practices of imagining, making and maintaining markets as situated, technologically mediated, organisers of life. Emerging from intellectual traditions that stress the relationality of markets the organisers of this session welcome contributions that engage with the growing literature on the technopolitics of economization and market making. In particular we encourage contributions that reflect on the relationships between market making, materiality and market devices in agrifood.
Session 7: Imagining food futures
Chris Rosin – Lincoln University, NZ
With the easing of the 2009 food ‘crisis’ and the emergence of refugees as a headline topic, the concerns related to our ability to feed the world are currently receiving less attention in academic literature as well as the global media. The interrelated concepts of food security and food sovereignty remain, however, integral to North-South dialogues. In previous work with Paul Stock and Michael Carolan, I have argued for the benefits of using a utopian framework (in research, politics and public engagement) to enable a more open dialogue about our global food system that crosses apparently insurmountable differences regarding the appropriate mechanisms for feeding the world. In the spirit of this proposition, the proposed session invites presentations on case studies of food production and supply that are rooted in idealised conceptions of food provisioning with the intent of initiating dialogue around what constitutes a shared ‘utopian’ view of food at a global scale. The intent of the dialogue is not to establish a catalogue of practices in terms of their progressive or oppressive nature, but to arrive at a shared understanding of what the ideal food system would entail.
Session 8: From High Input Agriculture to Agroecology for Quality of Foods, Farm Life and Environment
Maarten Stapper – BioLogic AgFood, Australia
Food security has become a major global issue and will remain so with ongoing degradation of soils, depleting water resources, peak oil, global warming and nine billion people by 2050. The core of life on Earth is the daily requirement of food for people and all living organisms in the webs of life. These natural, self-organising ecosystems that have provided food for millennia are increasingly being disrupted by ecological destruction and changing climates caused by the ever-increasing world population, industrialisation (including food production and processing), deforestation, urbanisation, consumerism (food waste) and desired economic growth; all affecting the health of self and Earth.
Modern, industrial farming in both North and South is degrading soils to low fertility, instigating the dependency on synthetic fertilisers and chemicals. This greatly lowers the nutrient density of food and increases chemical contamination of food, water and air. Nutrition-related chronic diseases are increasing. Biodiversity in agricultural landscapes is declining. To solve problems, science, governments and public institutions keep intensifying food production and curing ill-health with more synthetics and technology, as they are driven by vested interests.
Agroecological farming minimizes the use of synthetic fertilisers and chemicals to regenerate soils while activating soil biology and increasing soil carbon. The aim is to produce healthy food in harmony with nature in biodiverse landscapes. Such productive and profitable farming systems have been endorsed in reports by UN agencies as the way to feed the world (eg. IAASTD 2008, UNCTAD 2013). Strengths are the greater use of local resources (eg. compost), knowledge and skills with linkages in and between communities. Associated soil carbon sequestration and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions will slow global warming. This all empowers the rural sector.
Demand for ethical and ecological food of quality is leading to changes in food provisioning; for example, connecting deforestation or slaughter house methods with consumption. Changes in science and appropriate policy are needed to create enabling environments for a move away from a linear to a holistic approach in agricultural management. Recognizing that a farmer is not only a producer of agricultural goods, but also a manager of an agroecological system that provides a number of public goods and services, such as water, soil, landscape, biodiversity and recreation. This is the challenge for the next generation of farmers to achieve.
Session 9: Becoming a Young Farmer: the Role of Youth in Rural Development
Charina Chazali – AKATIGA Centre for Social Analysis, Indonesia
The world’s agriculture faces a looming generational problem. In possibly all countries it is widely claimed that young people are not interested in farming, even though youth unemployment rates are high; the farming population is ageing and in many countries large numbers of farmers appear to have no successor. Meanwhile, farm land prices are rising rapidly, making farm land an attractive target for corporate investment.
Agriculture stands at a cross-roads between (a) further size and scale enlargement, more industrial farming under corporate ownership (and further decline in the number of livelihoods supported by agriculture); or (b) farm size maintenance or even reduction, labour-driven intensification, providing more livelihoods, better products, and more sustainable modes of producing on the land. At the same time, for those young people who are interested in farming, access to farmland (for ‘newcomers’), or access to farmland while still young (for would-be ‘continuers’, those from farming families) appears to be a major problem.
If visions of sustainable agricultural futures are to be realised, and if young people are going to have a place in that future, the problems that young people face in establishing themselves as farmers have to be taken seriously and given much more attention than has been the case in recent policy debate, and in recent research.
This session will make both theoretical and methodological contributions and applied contributions to policy debates on agricultural futures, rural youth employment problems and the generational reproduction of farming communities. Topics include (but are not limited to):
- On young people who are (trying to become) farmers, highlight initiatives, movements, and role of young people’s agency in overcoming well-known barriers, and realizing aspirations that appear to be against the odds.
- Local, national, and international visions of agricultural futures that currently exists in agrarian countries and how its effects to young people
- Intergenerational view on socio-agricultural reproduction, and how young people deal with it.
Session 10: Exploring the typology of Alternative Food Networks in the Global North and South
Angga Dwiartama – Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia
Sean Connelly – University of Otago, NZ
There has been an impressive proliferation of Alternative Food Initiatives (AFIs) in both developed and developing nations over the past decade. There is also, one might argue, a tendency among AFIs in these countries to grow and evolve into Networks and Movements that are interconnected in such a way that one might resemble, or influence, the others. On the other hand, although there is an apparent case of internationalization among these initiatives, the growing movements in each locale represents a particularity as the result of the local culture, geography, history, and social dynamics, as well as ongoing tensions between urbanization and rural restructuring in each of these regions. To cite Lucy Jarosz (2008)’s City in the Country, “AFNs are not a ‘‘thing’’ to be described, but rather emerge from political, cultural and historical processes”.
Within the Global North-South Dialogue, we are interested in understanding how AFIs in each world give colors to others, how their relationships engender the type of networks shaped and knowledge shared. Identifying this becomes pertinent in envisioning the type of Alternative Food Movements that would emerge in each particular locality and the effect they might incur to our current agrifood landscape.
In this regard, we welcome papers on Alternative Food Movements that might open up a north-south dialogue, offer comparable cases for co-learning, and provide a collaborative platform between the locally-bounded, but internationally-inspired, movements.
Session 11: Understanding the Impact of Rural Migration on Food Production in the Rural Landscape
Viesda Pithaloka – AKATIGA Centre for Social Analysis
The issue of migration stands at the nexus of the social and economic transformations that are reshaping the world of work and production. The ILO predicted in a report released in January 2017 that the demand to migrate would increase in the coming years, as frustration grows over dim job prospects in many origins, including in rural area. Developing and emerging economies are dealing with the upheavals of large-scale migration, brought about by rapid structural transformation. The ability of rural area to manage and adapt to migration flows will play an increasingly important role in shaping food production in the rural landscape in the years to come.
Some key issues that could be addressed:
- impact of return migrants in origin area
- implications of heightened internal migration on food production in the rural landscape
- migration and its support on agricultural development strategy.
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