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|Meet Day||T/Th||11:40 AM - 1:00 PM||LAND|
Food and farming systems around the world are heavily shaped by government policy. The challenges governments face in this area range from widespread undernutrition in poor countries to a growing obesity crisis in wealthy countries. Skewed ownership of agricultural land and inadequate infrastructure are persistent sources of rural poverty and social inequity. Unsustainable environmental damage from agriculture takes place in both low-yield farming systems (e.g., in Africa today) and in high-yield systems (e.g., in the United States and Europe). Government policies often distort food markets in poor countries by taxing farmers and subsidizing consumers, while in rich countries they typically do just the opposite. New cultural demands for organic, local, and slow foods encounter resistance from the conventional food and farming sector. Climate change threatens the future productivity of many important farming systems. This course will review the economic and political landscape of food and farming in both rich and poor countries. It emphasizes the durable importance of national governments and national policy making, plus the significant influence of intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), multinational food and agribusiness companies, and various international NGOs ranging from humanitarian relief and advocacy organizations, to social entrepreneurs and philanthropic foundations.