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CeASR Seminar: From vulnerability into precariousness? – High value crops a...

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Leeds Beckett University

City Campus

Rose Bowl, RB444

Leeds

LS1 3HB

United Kingdom

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CeASR Seminar (Social Change Programme): From vulnerability into precariousness? – High value crops as a pathway out of poverty.

Guest Speaker: Dr Sabin Bieri, University of Bern, Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

Agriculture is by far the most important source of employment for men and women in the poorer regions of the globe.86% of the world’s rural population depend on farming, 450 million are agricultural wage workers (FAO et al. 2010b, FAO 2010c, IAASTD 2009, OECD 2009). Small-scale, subsistence-oriented agriculture is a vital source of resilience and livelihoods (Doss 2011), and it is widely recognised that agriculture remains a primary engine of rural development and growth, providing a critical route out of poverty (IFAD 2011, WDR 2013). However, with large shares of female subsistence farming, agriculture in the global South is also viewed as underperforming (FAO 2011), and high-profile development policy platforms have issued demands for more capital-intensive commercial agriculture, promoting alternative forms of employment that can generate higher returns for workers (WDR 2008, 2013). This contribution asks whether the shift from subsistence orientation towards wage reliance enhances people’s choices and thus positively influences the well-being of households, or, in contrast, adds pressure on farming families, as they opt out of subsistence and are being pushed towards capital investment. Instead of increased choices and well-being achievements – the promises of development – small farmers may bear the risk of losing their land and face added dependency.

Sabin Bieri is a social geographer who specialises in questions of sustainable development, poverty and inequality. She seeks to understand processes of uneven development in the North-South context and thus has studied a range of topics from a political economy perspective. Her work has always been at the intersection of reseach, practice and politics. Her main areas of expertise include rural development, agricultural transition, employment and livelihoods, care, gender relations, well-being and the capability approach.

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Date and Time

Location

Leeds Beckett University

City Campus

Rose Bowl, RB444

Leeds

LS1 3HB

United Kingdom

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