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Agriculture, human security, and peace - a crossroad in African development

Edited by M. Taeb and A.H. Zakri
Published by Purdue University Press
Website: www.thepress.purdue.edu
2008, 203pp, ISBN 978 1 55753 482 8 (Pb), US$29.95

Agricultural development has a wider role than just the production of food. Subsistence farmers are dependent on agriculture to provide employment and income as well as food, all important elements that contribute to their personal security. In the aftermath of a conflict therefore, agriculture is often a vital part of the rehabilitation process. This book examines both the role of agriculture in alleviating extreme poverty and how it might contribute to greater human security and peace in Africa. The premise is that agricultural development could contribute to peace by raising incomes and employment, therefore reducing social frustrations and cultivating hope from despair.

This book brings together a diverse group of contributors, including scientists and politicians. One of these, Tony Addison, argues that "social peace is closely connected to successful agricultural development". He examines agricultural failure, rural inequality and competition over resources, as well as the role of agriculture in post-conflict recovery. Other issues covered include how agriculture can be both the fuel and a tool of war, the impact of conflict on agriculture, and whether technology and biotechnology can improve productivity of subsistence farmers and help bring about an African green revolution.

Aimed at policymakers, donors, aid agencies and NGO workers, this book succeeds in affirming the importance of agriculture in promoting social, economic and political development in Africa and beyond.

Date published: November 2008

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