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A History of World Agriculture


A History of World Agriculture: from the neolithic age to the current crisis
By Marcel Mazoyer and Laurence Roudart

About this book
A History of World Agriculture begins with the emergence of agriculture after thousands of years in which human societies had depended on hunting and gathering. It shows how agricultural techniques developed in the different regions of the world, and how this extraordinary wealth of knowledge, tradition, and natural variety is endangered today by global capitalism, as it forces the unequal agrarian heritages of the world to conform to the norms of profit.

During the twentieth century, mechanization, motorization, and specialization have brought to a halt the pattern of cultural and environmental responses that characterized the global history of agriculture until then. Today, a small number of corporations have the capacity to impose on the planet the farming methods that they find most profitable. Mazoyer and Roudart propose an alternative global strategy that can safeguard the economies of the poor countries, reinvigorate the global economy, and create a livable future for all.

Review quotes
"Replete with rich reflections on agriculture . . . It is a testament to the enormous erudition of its authors and a defense of peasant economies victimized by neoliberal policies."—Le Matin (France).

"This book is a major contribution to the analysis of agricultural history as well as to reflection on the long term economic, social and environmental development of society."—Michel Griffon, Hum Ecol (2008).

About the authors
Marcel Mazoyer is professor of comparative agriculture and agricultural development at the National Institute of Agronomy (INA) in Paris, where he succeeded Ren‚ Dumont. He is author of several books on the history of agriculture and has worked on agricultural policy in more than 20 countries.

Laurence Roudart is an agricultural engineer and researcher at the INA and has consulted widely in Africa and Asia.


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