166 pages, Tabs
As prices collapse and farming becomes commercialized, swallowed up by the global supply chains of giant food corporations and supermarkets, a desperate situation is emerging in which there could soon be little place left for the hundreds of millions of smallholders across the world. The situation is only set to deteriorate further if global policies do not change. The author argues that recent debates about world trade negotiations have only highlighted part of the problem: we must turn our attention instead to wider economic policies, the workings of the markets themselves and the division of power along the supply chains, to establish a practical set of solutions. Combining analytical rigour with a clearly accessible examination of the key factors, the author deftly points to the forms that these solutions could take.
'Tom Lines combines a lifelong commitment to development with a thorough knowledge of the complexities of global markets. Cutting expertly through economic jargon and myth, he explains why markets, far from being neutral, reflect the power and politics of those who govern them, determining who wins and who loses from globalization. You don't have to agree with every detail of his analysis to learn from this salutary reminder that the current boom in commodity prices is not the end of a history of commodity dependence which has left deep scars on the developing world.' - Duncan Green, head of research, Oxfam GB 'Thomas Lines explains with science and erudite, committed scholarship why it is necessary to understand the History of Poverty in order to make poverty history. Historically embedded structures of production and international trade make peasant farmers of the South hostage to a value chain from which they pick up crumbs, whilst traders and financiers accumulate wealth. The answer is not to find a place in the existing value chain, but to break it. This book must form part of an obligatory learning discipline by all who care to make poverty history.' - Yash Tandon, Executive Director, South Centre 'A timely, clearly-written book that shows how and why commodity markets fail, how they undermine food security and how poverty is made not fated. Lines unpicks the public policies, private standards and buyer power that impoverish but also discusses solutions; from prioritising food security not foreign trade, development of domestic and regional markets, reform of commodity markets and development of global competition policy to tackle the concentration of corporate power.' - Geoff Tansey, writer and consultant, Joseph Rowntree Visionary for a Just and Peaceful World and author of "The Food System" and "The Future Control of Food" 'This book shines a spotlight exactly where it is needed -- on the 900 million poor people in rural areas in the world. Rather than being 'assigned to the economic scrap heap' by the way global markets are currently organised, this book shows how radically changed policies can both help these people out of poverty and can provide the engine for true sustainable and just development.' - Stewart Wallis, Executive Director, nef (the new economics foundation)
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