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The future of agriculture: synthesis of an online debate

A synthesis of an online debate featuring 23 essays by food and development experts from 16 countries.

Fear that global demand for food will outstrip supply has sparked much handwringing and significant debate. To get beyond the question of securing steady supplies for food and beverage companies, and to rise above polarized discourses on large-scale industrialized vs. smallholder farms, in December 2012 Oxfam hosted a two-week online discussion on the future of agriculture. The debate formed part of Oxfam’s efforts to develop a creative and positive vision of food production that can ensure everyone has enough to eat always. This paper offers a synthesis of the online debate, the 23 essays by experts from 16 countries that formed the basis of the discussion, and Oxfam’s concluding remarks.


John Abdulla

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