This special issue aims at criticizing conventional development studies, focusing agriculture and rural communities. The United Nations adopted the resolution of ‘the UN Decade of Family Farming (2019-2018)’ in 2017, which was followed by ‘UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas’ in 2018. International communities are changing their notion on peasants or family farms. SDGs also highlight the role of them. Conventional development studies should be reviewed on the context of such change of international communities. This special issue includes four papers by Ikegami, Hiraga & Hisano, Yamane & Ito, and Nishikawa.
This paper summarizes major trends in development studies and development aids in agriculture and rural areas. In particular, it explains how peasants and family farms have been placed until now, taking the Eastern and the Southern parts of Africa into consideration, which are facing poverty and food insecurity. Mainstream of agricultural and rural development studies have regarded peasants or family farms are out of date and are to overcome because of low productivity. On the contrary, this paper proposes that it is necessary for development studies to change conventional notion and to recognize them as actors for development of their own initiative.
The half-century's effort to increase food supply has not solved the world food problems, and “Zero Hunger” remains to be the second goal of the Sustainable Development Goals. This paper aims to suggest a theoretical framework to analyze food and agriculture that are embedded in the capitalist world economy. It first reviews research trends of the capital appropriation of agriculture, agri-food business analysis, and the Food Regime frameworks, as well as the recent discussions on the financialisation of food and agriculture. Then, the paper discusses the historical case of Japan by positioning it in the Food Regime frameworks; how Japan's modern food system has developed along its capitalist development since the 19th century. It reveals the policy decisions of Japan's modern nation state and its effort to accumulate capital, together with large Japanese capital of Zaibatsu (the origins of some sogo-shosha), contributed to build modern industries of flour-milling, vegetable oil refining, and sugar manufacturing. As Japan opened its market in the middle of the 19th century, it began importing wheat flour, which had become a world commodity in the First Food Regime. Japan itself contributed to promote soy as a world commodity in the First Food Regime in the Asian context. Then, Japan established modern sugar industry based on its colonial crop in Taiwan. After WW2, these industries, together with sogo-shosha, incorporated Japan's food system into the US-centred agri-food complexes in the Second Food Regime. In the current Global Corporate Food Regime, Japan's sogo-shosha and large food-related companies have been expanding their business abroad, especially to the growing economies of Asia. In conclusion, the theoretical frameworks for the capitalist food system are necessary to analyze the world food issues, as our food and agriculture have been deeply embedded into the capitalist power relations.
Environmental degradation in the form of global warming has progressed to such an extent that it threatens the future of humanity; hence, a review of development, which has been pursuing material richness and convenience, and a search for a sustainable society have begun. In modern agriculture, technological advancement has taken rapid strides to achieve productivity and efficiency for catering to the increased urbanization and for feeding the growing population. However, the exploitation of nature to improve productivity and the rampant use of pesticides has caused irreversible damage to the environment.
A symbiotic society that aims to break away from the capitalist system must work to become a sustainable society with a balance between decentralized cities, agriculture, and industry. Agriculture in such a de-modernized society should be aimed at supporting the environment and the people who work in the agricultural sector as well as their respective regions; this will ensure a harmonious amalgamation of economic, ecological, and living values. Agricultural technology support and agricultural science should be aimed at the realization of the society. In the current state of agricultural science with advanced specialization, it is impossible to deal with areas individually. It is necessary to first analyze the actual condition of the area and to make the flow of technological development inductively directed from a comprehensive point of view, focusing on the local agriculture and farmers.
Seeds are not only the most indispensable inputs for crop farming but also an integral part of biological diversity. FAO has long been drawing attention for sustainable management of seeds and importance of continuous and conscious participation of farmers in such efforts. With this background, although management of seeds is an important issue to be analyzed for realization of sustainable development, existing framework of analyses is mostly based on economic valuation of seeds with right-based approach for management. In this article, the author first explains various understandings of use value and non-use value of seeds as genetic resources. Then, the author introduces existing frameworks of management of genetic resources established in the present world, referring to international legal frameworks, namely Convention on Biological Diversity, The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, and International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants. Farmers' Rights and Food Sovereignty ideas are also explained. Then, practices on the fields are presented to show realities of management by stakeholders, especially farmers, and academic perception on such practices including Endogenous Development and Sustainable Livelihoods Approach is also discussed. Emphases are drawn to farmers' perception on seeds as non-commodity and subjects of co-existence in day-to-day practices, and also to outsiders' attitudes of cherishing this perception. Bridging the ideas of political-economy approach and field-based agronomy approach is proposed for realization of sustainable management of seeds.
This study aimed at revealing from the viewpoint of conviviality how fragile households and marginalized geographic communities in Ghana can reorganize their school communities. The study adopted the concept of conviviality, which Nyamnjoh (2016) asserted as a technique which people in diverse background use to avoid conflicts through dialogues in African society. The study employed a qualitative case study of two public basic schools in rural areas in the Akatsi South District. In developing countries, the commonality of constituents between geographical and school communities are dissolving and fragile households tend to be left behind in marginalized geographical communities, resulting in educational and regional disparities. Previous literature on community participation in school management have revealed various challenges such as conflicts, differentiations, and alienations among school-level stakeholders. Thus, this study aims at answering a research question how conviviality will work for reorganizing school communities.
Ghana is one of early attempts in participatory school management in Africa, establishing the School Management Committees (SMC) in 1995. The author chose Ghana as a field of the study because Ghana has lessons learnt in this field over two decades and can share its experiences with neighboring countries. In September 2017 and September 2018, the author conducted semi-structured individual and focused group interviews with headteachers, teachers, and SMC executive members, and reviewed the minutes of the past SMC meetings. The results showed that two schools had clear differences in a way that their school communities avoided conflicts over the students' discipline, the chieftaincy issue, and the headteacher's working attitude and use of PTA levies. With conviviality, empowerment within school communities has been observed while lack of conviviality made conflicts, indifference, or lack of commitment within school communities unsolved. This study made its contribution to describing in details the characteristics of conviviality in the field of community participation in school management.
This paper aims to empirically assess whether Micro Credit (MC) program has impact on rural poverty alleviation, and on the change of household's labor allocation from agriculture sector to non-agriculture sector. Previous studies have provided evidence that economic development was accompanied by the expansion of non-agriculture sector into which the labor allocation of rural household shifted from agriculture. On the other hand, with the recent remarkable growth of MC program, there is a significant number of researches on effectiveness of MC for poverty alleviation, whereas there is a limited number of empirical evidences which assess the effectiveness of MC in relation to the shift of household's labor allocation.
This paper examined the case of the Nepal Poverty Alleviation Fund program, and applied quasi-experimental method by eliminating “endogenous bias” problems. The results indicated that MC program was effective in poverty alleviation and had impact on household's labor allocation by shifting from agriculture to non-agriculture sector. Also, there was a difference in the change of labor allocation by gender. Men in beneficiary households were more likely to shift to non-agriculture sector than women.
This paper also suggests that MC program would be effective if it could consider other types of interventions to support rural women in Nepal who play a major role in agriculture sector from the perspective of “Feminization of Agriculture”.
This study aims to empirically investigate spatial market integration between rural shipment markets and central wholesale markets on the vegetable marketing in Java. We also clarify whether middlemen in central wholesale market work well for the spatial market integration. We first confirmed the spatial market integration had not been observed well during our field survey by using econometric tests. From our field survey, we found that efficient price transmission is suffered from mark-up by Bandar who are specialized wholesaler for settlement and observed at central wholesale market in West Java. Another factor is the high enforcement cost for Bandar, who needs vast amount of settlement fund in the case of default with Centeng who are broker in the market place. On the other hand, neither search cost nor classification cost are obstacles for achieving the spatial market integration because of auction-like nature of the transaction in the market place.