In this episode of the IDS Between the Lines podcast, IDS Fellows Dominic Glover and Lidia Cabral interviews Glenn Davies Stone – Research Professor of Environmental Science at Sweet Briar College, Virginia – author of the book: The Agricultural Dilemma: How Not to Feed the World.
Listen to the podcast
In the book and podcast, the author questions everything we think we know about the current state of agriculture and how to, or perhaps more importantly how not to, feed a world with a growing population.
This book and podcast is essential reading for all studying and researching food production and agriculture.
About the author
Glenn Davis Stone is an anthropologist and internationally recognized authority on the history, politics, and ecology of agriculture and food production. He has conducted ethnographic research in Nigeria, India, the Philippines, and Appalachia (US); archaeological research in the Midwestern and Southwestern US; and work in an agricultural biotechnology lab. He has published over 80 academic articles (one of which won the Gordon Willey Prize) and one previous book, and has been awarded fellowships from the School of Advanced Research, the National Endowment for Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He is currently Research Professor of Environmental Science at Sweet Briar College, Virginia.
About the Interviewers
Dominic Glover specialises in the study of technology and processes of socio-technical change, principally in food systems, agriculture, and small-scale farming contexts in the global South. He has over two decades of experience in research, policy analysis, communication and teaching on technology, innovation, governance and policy processes relating to agriculture, biotechnology, rice production, rural development, and sustainability.
Lídia is a social scientist with training in development economics, social policy and development studies. She has 15 plus years of experience in international development and her work has concentrated on the politics of aid and public policy, particularly in relation to agriculture and rural development in Africa. Her latest research looks at Brazil as a development actor and its influence in shaping agricultural policy and research in Africa.
About the book
This book is about the three fundamental forms of agriculture: Malthusian (expansion), industrialization (external-input-dependent), and intensification (labor-based). The best way to understand the three agricultures, and how we tend to get it wrong, is to consider what drives their growth.
The book provides a thoughtful, critical analysis that upends entrenched misconceptions such as that we are running out of land for food production and that our only hope is the development of new agricultural technologies.
The book contains engaging and enlightening vignettes and short histories, with case studies drawn from across the globe to bring to life this important debate and dilemma. The book concludes by arguing there is a viable alternative to industrial agriculture which will allow us to meet the world’s needs and it ponders why such alternatives have been downplayed, obscured, or hidden from view.
You can by the book here.