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Tag Archives: Economics of Agriculture




“The Food Crisis: Implications for Decent Work in Rural and Urban Areas”

The International Center for Development and Decent Work (ICDD) Annual Thematic Conference –University of Kassel, Kassel, Germany, July 4-6

In recent years, food prices have gone up to prohibitive levels for many of the world’s poor. They have remained high and volatile. While many poor city dwellers have had to switch their diets to include only very basic foods, the vast majority of those who are hungry in the world today (over half a billion) are working in agriculture, either as small landholders or as waged agricultural workers. This paradox has sparked a lively debate about the reasons for food price increases. However, the implications for the Decent Work agenda have received less attention. The four dimensions of the Decent Work concept (creating jobs, guaranteeing rights at work, extending social protection and promoting social dialogue) do not explicitly cover the issue of rising food prices. On the one hand, price increases for the most basic household items threaten any gains achieved through the Decent Work agenda. On the other hand, increased food prices may in principle provide an opportunity for agricultural labour, yet the majority of the food producers seem not to have benefited from rising prices. Apparently, the bargaining power of many producers has been weakened vis-à-vis the buyers of agricultural produce. This development points to another dimension not explicitly addressed by the Decent Work agenda: power relations along the food chain. TheInternationalCenterfor Development and Decent Work (ICDD) wants to commit its Annual Thematic Conference “The Food Crisis: Implications for Decent Work in Rural and Urban Areas” to an exploration of the origins of the food crisis, its implications for the Decent Work agenda, and strategies for addressing the crisis.

The general themes to be discussed are:

Assessing the Scope of the Food Crisis: Is there a rural – urban divide? What is the impact on workers and small landholders? What are the implications for the Decent Work agenda?

Origins of the Food Crisis: Financialization, land grabbing, climate change and soil degradation, agribusiness, agro-fuels, EU trade policies, demography, productivity obstacles, and other relevant topics.

Remedies for the Food Crisis: Increasing agricultural productivity, improving logistics, empowering agricultural workers, food sovereignty, and other relevant topics.

We encourage potential contributors to include a gender-sensitive analysis whenever possible.

If you would like to present a paper in one of these areas, please send a brief abstract (less than half a page) by April 1, 2012 to:

Please include the following information:




Professor Dr. Christoph Scherrer, “Globalisierung & Politik”, FB 5 – Gesellschaftswissenschaften, Universität Kassel, Nora-Platiel-Straße 1, D-34127 Kassel, Tel.: +49 (0) 561 804 3253 Sekr.,


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