Around the world, many countries are increasing efforts to promote biomass production for industrial uses including biofuels and bio-products such as chemicals and bio-plastic. Against a backdrop of lively public debate on sustainability, bioenergy wields both positive and negative impacts upon a variety of environmental and socio-economic issues. These include property rights, labor conditions, social welfare, economic wealth, poverty reduction and more. This book discusses the issues and impacts of bioenergy, taking into account the local and regional framework under which bioenergy is produced, touching upon educational level, cultural aspects, the history and economies of the producing countries and an array of policies including environmental and social targets. The book surveys and analyzes global bioenergy production from a number of perspectives. The authors illustrate the complexity of interrelated topics in the bioenergy value chain, ranging from agriculture to conversion processes, as well as from social implications to environmental effects. It goes on to offer insight on future challenges associated with the expected boom of a global bio-based economy, which contributes to the paradigm shift from a fossil-based to a biomass and renewable energy-based economy. The expert contributors include researchers, investors, policy makers, representatives from NGOs and other stakeholders, from Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. Their contributions build upon the results of the Global-Bio-Pact project on “Global Assessment of Biomass and Bio-product Impacts on Socio-economics and Sustainability,” which was supported by the European Commission in its 7th Framework Program for Research and Technological Development, conducted from February 2010 to January 2013. The book benefits policy makers, scientists and NGO staffers working in the fields of agriculture, forestry, biotechnology and energy.
Recent history reveals that both the large-scale reforestation projects of the 20th century have often been less successful than anticipated, and that tree growing by smallholders – as an alternative means to combat deforestation and promote sustainable land use – has received relatively little attention from the scientific and development communities. Taking a first step to addressing that balance, this collection of peer-reviewed papers adopts a comparative approach to explore the potential role that tree growing by farmers can play in sustainable forest management. The goal of this approach is to identify common threads and to start to develop a framework for future research and practice. Presenting case studies from the Philippines and comparative data from a number of Asian countries the book reveals that farmer tree growing has the potential to play a significant role in sustainable forest management, and discusses the surrounding issues which must be addressed in order to realise this potential. The book is primarily aimed at research scientists and graduate students interested in relevant aspects of forestry, agroforestry, agricultural diversity, natural resource management and conservation in agricultural landscapes, as well as those involved in sustainable development and international development studies. It will also provide a valuable reference for professionals, managers, consultants, policy makers and planners dealing with issues in sustainable development, natural resource management, land use change issues and participatory approaches to resource management.
In the 1980s and 1990s, green manure/cover crop (GMCC) systems became a popular agricultural technology in research and development efforts for smallholder tropical and subtropical farmers. However, few syntheses of these experiences have been conducted. This volume of case studies contributes to bridging this gap by reviewing field-level experiences with these systems. Twelve case studies are included. Eleven of them describe experiences from Latin America (4 cases), Africa (6 cases) and Asia (1 case) and the twelfth case reports on the development of a GMCC systems database. Two concluding chapters, `Learning from the Case Studies' and `Future Perspectives', build upon the cases. The systems described are diverse. Some systems have been spontaneously adopted by farmers, while others have been introduced to the farmers through diffusion efforts. Some of the cases reviewed describe small, localized efforts while others report on large-scale, well-known ones, such as the combination of GMCCs and conservation tillage in Santa Catarina, Brazil, the maize-Mucuna system in northern Honduras, and the improved fallow systems in Eastern Zambia. Most experiences include both development and research aspects and to the extent possible the cases integrate these two. Discussion of the strengths and shortcomings of the systems and efforts is frank, and the goal is to learn from these experiences to benefit future efforts. It is expected that both researchers and development practitioners and students of tropical farming systems and soil management will find this volume of case studies useful.
Gray rock fences built of ancient limestone are hallmarks of Kentucky's Bluegrass landscape. Why did Kentucky farmers turn to rock as fence-building material when most had earlier used hardwood rails? Who were the masons responsible for Kentucky's lovely rock fences and what are the different rock forms used in this region? In this generously illustrated book, Carolyn Murray-Wooley and Karl Raitz address those questions and explore the background of Kentucky's rock fences, the talent and skill of the fence masons, and the Irish and Scottish models they followed in their work. They also correct inaccurate popular perceptions about the fences and use census data and archival documents to identify the fence masons and where they worked. As the book reveals, the earliest settlers in Kentucky built dry-laid fences around eighteenth-century farmsteads, cemeteries, and mills. Fence building increased dramatically during the nineteenth century so that by the 1880s rock fences lined most roads, bounded pastures and farmyards throughout the Bluegrass. Farmers also built or commissioned rock fences in New England, the Nashville Basin, and the Texas hill country, but the Bluegrass may have had the most extensive collection of quarried rock fences in North America. This is the first book-length study on any American fence type. Filled with detailed fence descriptions, an extensive list of masons' names, drawings, photographs, and a helpful glossary, it will appeal to folklorists, historians, geographers, architects, landscape architects, and masons, as well as general readers intrigued by Kentucky's rock fences.
This book assesses the institutional, technical and market constraints as well as opportunities for smallholders, notably, emerging farmers in disadvantaged areas such as the former homelands of South Africa. Emerging farmers are previously disadvantaged black people who started or will start their business with the support of special government programs. Public support programs have been developed as part of the Black Economic Empowerment strategy of the South African government. These programs aim to improve the performance of emerging farmers. This requires, first and foremost, upgrading the emerging farmers skills by providing access to knowledge about agricultural and entrepreneurial practices. To become or to remain good farmers they also need access to suitable agricultural land and sufficient water for irrigation and for feeding their cattle. Finally, for emerging farmers to be engaged in viable farming operations, various factors need to be in place such as marketing and service institutions to give credit for agricultural inputs and investments; input markets for farm machinery, farm implements, fertilizers and quality seeds; and accessible output markets for their end products. This book develops a policy framework and potential institutional responses to unlock the relevant markets for smallholders.
A Beginner's Guide to Raising Livestock and Growing Garden Produce
Author: Georgina Starmer
Smallholding as a concept is not limited to small-scale farming, and anyone can bring parts of it to their everyday lifestyle, whether it's a window box to grow produce, a garden to keep chickens, or a field or two for other livestock. Providing a comprehensive overview of smallholding for the beginner, Smallholding is a practical guide to growing food and farming livestock. It helps the reader learn how to incorporate some self-sufficiency into their lifestyle, to become knowledgeable enough to keep livestock, and to enjoy working and being productive with the land they have. It also gives information about making a profit from the fruits of labor, such as selling surplus home grown produce at the farm gate or farmers' markets. Contents include: an A-Z growing guide for fruits and vegetables; buying or renting land; soil health; composting; fruit trees; pasture management; and stock fencing. Detailed livestock information is also given on: keeping bees; caring for poultry; goats; llamas and alpacas; pigs; sheep and cattle; and the legal requirements that come with it. Smallholding is a practical, comprehensive guide to smallholding for beginners, aimed at people who have access to land, as well as those growing produce in their back garden. Georgina Starmer is an experienced writer on rural topics, and author of several smallholder articles for 5M websites. She shares her passion for smallholding, sustainability and natural food on her blog. [Subject: Farm Studies, Agriculture Studies, Agricultural Policy]
This title aims to provide introductory and concluding surveys of the subject of farms, trees and farmers. Two central parts explore trends in farmer tree-growing and the factors which influence decision-making. Eight case studies cover, among other topics, the need for tree products, market access, the allocation of land and labour, and exposure to risk. In showing why farmers decide to grow or not grow trees, it seeks to increase the reader's knowledge about farming systems and to provide a guide to encouraging farm forestry throughout the world.
Farm Families and the Ecology of Intensive, Sustainable Agriculture
Author: Robert McC. Netting
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Category: Technology & Engineering
Contrasting the prevailing theories of the evolution of agriculture, the author argues that the practice of smallholding is more efficient and less environmentally degrading than that of industrial agriculture which depends heavily on fossil fuel, chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. He presents a convincing case for his argument with examples taken from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas, and demonstrates that there are fundamental commonalities among smallholder cultures. "Smallholders, Householders" is a detailed and innovative analysis of the agricultural efficiency and conservation of resources practiced around the world by smallholders.