Agriculture in Chains - Stefan de VylderLondon: Zed Press, 1982, Hardback.
Condition: Good. A pleasant enough reading copy. Gently bruised at the head, tail and corners of the binding. Pages deeply tanned by age. Hinges weak at the contents leaves.
Contains: Tables; References;
From the cover: “Agriculture in Chains is a scholarly study by a prominent Swedish development economist of why food production in so many Third World countries is not sufficient to meet even the basic nutritional requirements of the rural population. Dr. de Vylder takes the case of Bangladesh, which economists virtually write off as having problems that are insoluble. The author shows that an interlocking set of factors exist that fatally constrain the efforts of the village population to grow more food. But these constraints (or biases) could be removed if the hold of those classes presently controlling Bangladesh’s government, civil service and land tenure system was broken.
Dr. de Vylder shows the full dimensions of poverty in Bangladesh, which is in stark contrast to the country’s very considerable development potential. He then systematically, and with carefully collated empirical information, shows the series of biases that throttle food output.
The importance of this book is its argument about food production generally in the Third World. On the one hand, the author argues that the frequent failure of food ‘production to keep up with population growth is not tile fault of the peasants or due to any alleged characteristics on their part. On the other hand, no strategy based on technological input packages or new forms of organization will solve the problems until the external factors constraining peasant producers are removed There AS a solution to food production in the Third World, even in countries like Bangladesh with high rates of population growth and high densities on the land. But that solution requires clear political preconditions involving fundamental changes in the distribution of power in these societies.”