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Poverty With Added Vitamins? Competing Ways to Govern the World Food System’ Raj Patel


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2 June 2015, 4.30pm University of Pretoria ‘Poverty With Added Vitamins? Competing Ways to Govern the World Food System’ Raj Patel, New York Times bestselling author of “Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System” and The “Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy”

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Poverty With Added Vitamins? Competing Ways to Govern the World Food System’ Raj Patel

  1. 1. Poverty With Added Vitamins? Competing Ways To Govern The World Food System Raj Patel Research Professor Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs University of Texas at Austin
  2. 2. Which is the most important agricultural technology? 1. the plough 2. fencing 3. the seed drill 4. inorganic fertilizer 5. genetically modified crops
  3. 3. •19th century 21st century TECHNOLOGY OF EXCLUSION Source: UK Ordnance Survey
  4. 4. Global Ecological Footprint: Cheap Nature Davis, Steven J., and Ken Caldeira. 2010. "Consumption-based accounting of CO2 emissions." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107 (12):5687-92.
  5. 5. Cheap Workers need Cheap Food needs Cheap Nature Credit: Mike Mozart (cc v2 license)
  7. 7. New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition Source: The Guardian
  8. 8. Business Alliance for Food and Fortification • ‘Companies already own the right technology to make a difference as well as the distribution channels and communication networks’ Business Alliance for Food and Fortification 2005
  9. 9. Source: ONE (2013)
  10. 10. Malawi’s Key Commitments 1. Improved score on Doing Business Index to top 100 countries 2. Increased dollar value of private sector investment in the agriculture sector and value added agro-processing 3. Increased private investment in commercial production, sale of inputs and produce and value addition
  11. 11. Project Million US$ Malawian Registered Companies Agora Limited Construct toor dhal (sic) plant 4.7 Dairibord Malawi Private Limited Import new breed of cows, increase land for commercial dairy farming 3.0 Exagris Africa Limited Upgrade irrigation and diversify crops on 5000 ha of estate land 2.0 Malawi Mangoes Construct processing facility, build outgrower scheme, increase land under cultivation by 1000ha 10.0 Press Agriculture Limited Expand seed production on 50,000 hectares of land, invest in oilseed processing 5.0 International Companies Bunge Promote the growing, the structured marketing and export of soya beans Illovo Sugar Malawi Limited Increase sugar production on estates 30.0 Limbe Leaf Tobacco Company Expand farmer contracting program 30.0 Monsanto Malawi Limited Advance existing testing efforts to introduce hybrid maize and Bt cotton Standard Bank Increase commodity and production finance, in particular to oil seed sector Total (not all projects included above) 139.7 Some specific commitments to the New Alliance Source: New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition
  12. 12. So Why is it Called the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition? Source: Kevin Dooley/Flickr, Nishan Bichajian/MIT Libraries
  13. 13. The Era of Poverty with Added Vitamins
  14. 14. Malawi’s Problem in 2000 • Life expectancy : 46 years old • HIV/AID Prevalence: 14% • Child malnutrition (stunting): 50% • GDP/Capita: $150
  15. 15. Soils, Food and Healthy Communities Project, Malawi
  16. 16. Source: Raj Patel, Rachel Bezner Kerr, Lizzie Shumba, Laifolo Dakishoni. 2015. Cook, Eat, Man, Woman: The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, Nutritionism and its Alternatives from Malawi. Journal of Peasant Studies, 42(1)
  17. 17. Results •  Sanitation & Healthcare • Grain Storage • Credit facilities • Climate change enterprise • Child Malnutrition Clinic closes • Cost $8/person/year
  18. 18. Source: Smith, Lisa C., and Lawrence Haddad. 2015. "Reducing Child Undernutrition: Past Drivers and Priorities for the Post- MDG Era." World Development 68 (0):180-204. doi:
  19. 19. Food Sovereignty & Agroecology • Everyone is a scientist-entrepreneur-activist- cook • Contributive justice • Peer-to-peer • Joyful and tough • Internalised social and environmental costs • Re-learning the commons • Challenge power and inequality
  20. 20. Questions • What’s your theory of change? • What happens to corporate power? • What happens to private property? Gandhi on Salt March
  21. 21. Thank you • RAJPATEL@UTEXAS.EDU • @_RAJPATEL