Edward B. Barbier is Reader in Environmental Economics at the University of York.
After the Green Revolution: Sustainable Agriculture for Developmentby Gordon R. Conway
'The Green Revolution' of the 60's and 70's produced immense gains in food cereal production in the Third World. But there are huge problems in the 'post-revolutionary' era: farmers with small or marginal holdings have benefited less than wealthier farmers; intensive mono-cropping has made production more susceptible to environmental stresses and shocks. Now there is evidence of diminishing returns from intensive and intensively chemical agricultural production. What is needed is a new approach, equally revolutionary, but different in its ideas and style. The authors set out what they mean by 'sustainable' agriculture in the new era and look at the effects of international economic restraints and of national policies on the kind of development they see as necessary. They chart a path for sustainable livelihoods for Third World farmers enmeshed by forces outside their control. They describe methods of evaluating and resolving the tough trade-offs all levels of intervention, from international trade down to the individual farm. This book cannot provide all the answers, but it does indicate what international conditions we need to be aware of, what national policies we need to advocate and what approaches at the local level we need to adopt to ensure the goal of agricultural sustainability. Originally published in 1990
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