New books for 2014

ID-10031308Here we bring you some of the latest books addressing topics such as food policy, global food security, African political change, gender mainstreaming and permaculture.

Frontiers in Food Policy: Perspectives on Sub-Saharan Africa edited by Walter Falcon and Rosamond Naylor.

This volume is a compilation of papers from the Center on Food Security and the Environment’s Global Food Policy and Food Security Symposium series discussing such topics as food price volatility, agricultural R&D and climate change.

Crop yields and global food security: will yield increase continue to feed the world? By Tony Fischer, Derek Byerlee and Greg Edmeades.

This is an reference book discusses the opportunities for crop yield increase to feed the world to 2050. Aimed at agricultural scientists and economists, decision-makers in the food production industry, concerned citizens and tertiary students, it includes information on crop area and yield change for wheat, rice, maize, soybean and 20 other important crops; a detailed tour of the key breadbasket regions of the world; a discussion on ways for achieving the target yields without a substantial increase in cultivated lands; and implications of further yield increase for resource use, agricultural sustainability and the environment.

Farmageddon: The true cost of cheap meat by Philip Lymbery, Compassion in World Farming

Over three years, the author has travelled the world bearing witness to the hidden cost of cheap meat and the devastating impact of factory farming – on people, animals and our planet. The result – Farmageddon – is a wake-up call, exposing factory farming as one of the most pressing issues of our time; responsible for unparalleled food waste, damage to our health and the countryside, and the biggest cause of animal cruelty on the planet.

Global Food Futures: Feeding the World in 2050 by Brian Gardner

By 2050 the world will be faced with the enormous challenge of feeding 9 billion people despite being affected by climate change, rising energy costs and pressure on food growing land and other major resources. How will the world produce 70% more food by 2050 to feed a projected extra 2.3 billion people? What will be the impact of food shortages and high prices on areas in crisis such as sub-Sahara Africa? Where will future production growth come from? And how do we balance the need for environmental protection with sustainable agricultural production methods. This text presents a scholarly, balanced approach to the contentious area of food production and supply up to 2050 – tackling the global food situation in all its totality, from agricultural production, technological advance, dietary concerns, population changes, income trends, environmental issues, government food and agriculture policy, trade, financial markets, macroeconomics and food security.

Balancing on a Planet: The Future of Food and Agriculture, David Cleveland

This book is an interdisciplinary primer on critical thinking and effective action for the future of our global agrifood system, based on an understanding of the system’s biological and sociocultural roots. Key components of the book are a thorough analysis of the assumptions underlying different perspectives on problems related to food and agriculture around the world and a discussion of alternative solutions. David Cleveland argues that combining selected aspects of small-scale traditional agriculture with modern scientific agriculture can help balance our biological need for food with its environmental impact–and continue to fulfill cultural, social, and psychological needs related to food.

Africa Uprising. Popular Protest and Political Change by Adam Branch

African politics has long been characterized as driven by the engine of violence. But today, violence is being overtaken by a new force: popular protest. Cities throughout the continent, from Tunisia and Egypt, to Uganda and Sudan, to Nigeria and Senegal, have seen uprisings by youth and unemployed, as well as organized labour, civil society activists, writers and artists, and religious groups. What is driving this new wave of popular protest in Africa? Drawing on interviews with activists in a number of countries, Adam Branch and Zachariah Mampilly offer a penetrating assessment of contemporary African protests, situating the current popular activism within its broader historical and continental context. Melding analyses of Africa’s incorporation into the global economy, the failure of African governments to truly democratize, the behaviour of opposition forces both formal and informal, and the role of African popular culture, the authors provide essential insight into understanding African politics at today’s key juncture.

Sustainable Revolution: Permaculture in Ecovillages, Urban Farms, and Communities Worldwide by Juliana Birnbaum and Louis Fox

Urban gardeners. Native seed-saving collectives. Ecovillage developments. What is the connection between these seemingly disparate groups? The ecological design system of permaculture is the common thread that weaves them into a powerful, potentially revolutionary–or re-evolutionary–movement. Permaculture is a philosophy based on common ethics of sustainable cultures throughout history that have designed settlements according to nature’s patterns and lived within its bounds. It is taking form as a growing network of sites developed with the intention of regenerating local ecologies and economies. Permaculture strategies can be used by individuals, groups or nations to address basic human needs such as food, water, energy, and housing, and the movement has been building momentum exponentially for the past 40 years. As a species, humans are being called forth to evolve, using our collective intelligence to meet the challenges of the future. Yet if we are to survive our collective planetary crisis, we need to revisit history, integrating successful systems from sustainable cultures.

Feminists in Development Organizations: Change from the Margins by R. Eyben and L. Turquet.

Feminists in Development Organizations arises from a collaborative project between 2007 and 2012 in which a group of feminists working inside the head offices of multilateral organizations, government aid agencies and international non-governmental organizations came together to critically reflect on their work. This book reflects on the progress of gender mainstreaming. It shows how feminists can build effective strategies to influence development organizations to foster greater understanding and forge more effective alliances for social change. This book is aimed at staff of development organizations – who want their organizations to become an instrument in helping transforming the lives of women – and at students and researchers concerned with the politics of gender mainstreaming.

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