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On Planning for Development:   Agribusiness
rural development - agrarian policies - agribusinesslandgrab - food - migration - poverty - globalization

From  FAO, The State of Food and Agriculture 1997, part III


Agriculture and industry have traditionally been viewed as two separate sectors both in terms of their characteristics and their role in economic growth. Agriculture has been considered the hallmark of the first stage of development, while the degree of industrialization has been taken to be the most relevant indicator of a country’s progress along the development path. Moreover, the proper strategy for growth has often been conceived as one of a more or less gradual shift from agriculture to industry, with the onus on agriculture to finance the shift in the first stage.
This view, however, no longer appears to be appropriate. On the one hand, the role of agriculture in the process of development has been reappraised and revalued from the point of view of its contribution to industrialization and its importance for harmonious development and political and economic stability. On the other hand, agriculture itself has become a form of industry, as technology, vertical integration, marketing and consumer preferences have evolved along lines that closely follow the profile of comparable industrial sectors, often of notable complexity and richness of variety and scope. This has meant that the deployment of resources in agriculture has become increasingly responsive to market forces and increasingly integrated in the network of industrial interdependencies. Agricultural products are shaped by technologies of growing complexity, and they incorporate the results of major research and development efforts as well as increasingly sophisticated individual and collective preferences regarding nutrition, health and the environment. While one can still distinguish the phase of production of raw materials from the processing and transformation phase, often this distinction is blurred by the complexity of technology and the extent of vertical integration: the industrialization of agriculture and development of agroprocessing industries is thus a joint process which is generating an entirely new type of industrial sector.

Róbinson Rojas -1997
Notes on agribusiness in the 1990s
The enormous economic-political power that transnational corporations in agribusiness can exercise in the host countries where they operate comes mainly from the links between production and trade in what is called 'vertical integration'.
United Nation's World Investment Report 1996, "Investment, Trade and International Policy Arrangements", U.N., 1996, describes the dynamics driving agribusiness towards oligopolistic markets:
"...renewable resources products are imported by firms of the home country (as a rule, a developed country), normally in the first instance through arm's length contracts, i.e. by trade between independent companies. Then, for various reasons -ranging from the minimization of transaction costs (such as the need to ensure the security of supplies, and thus reduce the costs of accomodating potential opportunism on the part of an independent supplier) to the exploitation of economies of scale, and depending on the resource involved -home-country firms undertake FDI in a backward vertical integration process to internalize markets for raw materials and thus assume control of foreign activities...

S. Raghavan/S. Chatterjee (June 24, 2001)
How your chocolate may be tainted
DALOA, Ivory Coast - There may be a hidden ingredient in the chocolate cake you baked, the candy bars your children sold for their school fund-raiser o that fudge ripple ice cream cone you enjoyed on Saturday afternoon.
Slave labor.
Forty-three percent of the world's cocoa beans, the raw material in chocolate, come from small, scattered farms in this poor West African country. And on some of the farms, the hot, hard work of clearing the fields and harvesting the fruit is done by boys who were sold or tricked into slavery. Most of them are

between the ages of 12 and 16. Some are as young as 9.
The lucky slaves live on corn paste and bananas. The unlucky ones are whipped, beaten and broken like horses to harvest the almond-sized beans that are made into chocolate treats for more fortunate children in Europe and America.

C.Hines 1984
Agribusiness. A block to Africa's food self-reliance
While Africans are dying of hunger, huge transnational agribusiness corporations continue to amass profits by exporting food from those same countries. Colin Hines comments on this obscene paradox: "The Ethiopian famine, and the world's response to it, together with similar events in the Sudan and elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, mean that once again Africa is being labelled "the hunger continent". This onslaught of bads news can easily lead to a fatalistic despair that can blind people to the complexities behind the media images. It can also obscure the reasons why the famine happened in the first place, and hamper a consideration of what can be done.

9 April 2004:
Farming is one of the biggest global environmental threat, says new book
MARKET AG (agribusiness)
Search AG (agribusiness)
Global Agribusiness Information Network (GAIN)
Welcome to AgribusinessOnline, a free market intelligence and technical information service for agribusiness professionals. AgribusinessOnline is brought to you as a free service by Fintrac Inc. as part of its mandate to disseminate market intelligence and new technologies to farmers and other agribusinesses worldwide. It was created through the merger of Fintrac's Global Agribusiness Information Network and MarketAg.

US Asia Regional Agribusiness Project
The purpose of the Asia Regional Agribusiness Project (RAP) was to increase and continue the effectiveness of USAID mission agribusiness projects and programs in promoting market efficiency and trade and investment in an environmentally sustainable manner. RAP provided a mechanism for coordinating mission, bureau, and other USAID and U.S. private sector and government agribusiness development efforts in Asia. RAP assistance was used primarily in improving private sector agribusiness performance and participation in Asia, particularly as they relate to the development of joint ventures with U.S. agribusiness.RAP activities included:
1) improving regional market transparency,
2) creating a better understanding of regional market support infrastructure,
3) defining product quality standards for market entry;
4) identifying solutions to agribusiness development environmental concerns;
5) serving as a regional liaison with the U.S. private sector;
6) incorporating gender concerns into mission agribusiness efforts;
7) addressing key regional agribusiness development issues that transcend individual country programs.

GAIN -Links on the WWW
Centro de Documentación de Desarrollo Rural
El Proyecto CEDERUL es un Portal en Internet, es un Grupo internacional e interdisciplinar de expertos en Desarrollo Sostenible, son Proyectos de Investigación y de Ayuda al Desarrollo, son Publicaciones, son Jornadas, Congresos y Seminarios, es enseñanza on line…es un referente para quienes trabajan por un desarrollo sostenible. En septiembre de 1989 se crea la Escuela Universitaria Politécnica de Huesca de la Universidad de Zaragoza. Su entonces Rector, Dr.  Vicente Camarena encarga al Dr. Enrique Sáez la Direccción del nuevo Centro universitario que impartirá las enseñanzas de Ingeniería Técnica Química e Ingeniería Técnica Agrícola.


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