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The WTO Agreement on Agriculture subjected agriculture to a set of international rules for the first time in the history of international trade. Ever since its negotiation, the Agreement has been at the forefront of the controversy surrounding the purpose and impact of the WTO itself. This commentary provides a full legal analysis of the obligations imposed by the agreement on WTO members, and of the complex history of the Agreement's negotiation and revision and the controversy surrounding its effect on international development.
This book critically examines the idea that the sustainability of agriculture could be improved by mimicking the structure and processes occurring in natural ecosystems. Researchers from around the world present comparative studies of multi-species farming systems, natural ecosystems and conventional agriculture. Case studies from Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and North and South America examine the implications of increasing the complexity of farming systems on water and nutrient cycling, productivity and resilience. Theoretical issues discussed include the role of biodiversity in agriculture, the trade-off between perenniality and productivity, the choice to integrate or segregate production and conservation in an agricultural landscape, and the social and economic challenges to adopting complex farming systems. One section is devoted to the application of this concept in southern Australia, where 15 million hectares of land are expected to be affected by salinity by the middle of the next century unless there is a significant change in agricultural practice.
In a time of great agricultural and rural change, the notion of 'multifunctionality' has remained under-theorized and poorly linked to wider debates in the social sciences. This book analyses the extent to which the proposed transition towards post-productivist agriculture holds up to scientific scrutiny, and proposes a modified productivist/non-productivist model that better encapsulates the complexity of agricultural and rural change. By combining existing notions and concepts, this book (re)conceptualizes agricultural change, creating a new transition theory, and a new way of looking at the future of agriculture.
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