peasants, pigs, and agribusiness…some recent articles

(1) Thank you Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, for this brilliantly straight-forward article about private investment in agriculture and destruction of the “global peasantry”.

It is regrettable that, instead of rising to the challenge of developing agriculture in a way that is more socially and environmentally sustainable, we act as if accelerating the destruction of the global peasantry could be accomplished responsibly.

Please read the article here, at, a blog maintained by GRAIN.

(2) Here is an article called, “Pig-Sticking Hungarian Style: Can Small Farmers be Saved?” from Conducive Chronicle on May 14, 2010.  The author, Matthew Treadwell, writes about witnessing an “old school” pig slaughter in a small Hungarian village in 2004, and situates his experience within new agricultural policies the country came under with accession to the EU that same year.  Aside from using words such as “disgusting” and “nauseating” to describe various slaughter processes and resulting consumables, which I find rather unnecessary and counterproductive, the article provides some insight to the challenges small farmers face when agricultural policies take a decidedly industrial turn.

(3) I’m an occasional guest writer at the China section of IATP’s Think Forward blog (Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy).  Here is a recent post about “Chinese piggybusiness”.  It is very short, but includes current estimates about the the share of pig production controlled by agribusiness firms in Sichuan Province.

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