Journal Article

The Use of Epic Narratives in Promoting ‘Natural Agriculture’

Published on 10 February 2022

This paper profiles some key promoters of nature-based and natural systems agriculture – Masanobu Fukuoka, Wes Jackson, Jerome Irvin Rodale and Robert Rodale, and Allan Savory. The focus is on ‘narratives with epic elements’ that have been constructed around these personalities, and how these have helped gain legitimacy and influence for themselves, their ideas, and their organisations.

Similar processes and dynamics can be seen in more mainstream agricultural research. As the struggle over the future of agriculture is increasingly played out in corporate boardrooms, through PR agencies and on social media, it is critically important to understand how narratives with epic elements emerge, and are used to influence the debate about the future of agriculture and the potential contribution of nature-based solutions.

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Cabral, L. and Sumberg, J. (2022) The Use of Epic Narratives in Promoting ‘Natural Agriculture’, Outlook on Agriculture, February 2022, DOI: 10.1177/00307270221077708

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Lidia Cabral

Research Fellow

James Sumberg

Emeritus Fellow

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