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New Books

New Books

More people, more food… worse water? – Water Pollution from Agriculture: a global review

FAO and IWMI, 2018, FAO, Rome, 225 pages, ISBN: 978-92-5-130729-8

Current patterns of agricultural expansion and intensification are bringing unprecedented environmental externalities, including impacts on water quality. While water pollution is slowly starting to receive the attention it deserves, the contribution of agriculture to this problem has not yet received sufficient consideration.

We need a much better understanding of the causes and effects of agricultural water pollution as well as effective means to prevent and remedy the problem. In the existing literature, information on water pollution from agriculture is highly dispersed. This report is a comprehensive review and covers different agricultural sectors (including crops, livestock and aquaculture), and examines the drivers of water pollution in these sectors as well as the resulting pressures and changes in water bodies, the associated impacts on human health and the environment, and the responses needed to prevent pollution and mitigate its risks.

Food Security, Gender and Resilience

Improving Smallholder and Subsistence Farming

 Leigh Brownhill, Esther Njuguna, Kimberly L. Bothi, Bernard Pelletier, Lutta Muhammad, Gordon M. Hickey (Eds.), 2018, Routledge, 176 pages, £36.99, ISBN: 9781138588929

Through the integration of gender analysis into resilience thinking, this book shares field-based research insights from a collaborative, integrated project aimed at improving food security in subsistence and smallholder agricultural systems. The scope of the book is both local and multi-scalar. The gendered resilience framework, illustrated here with detailed case studies from semi-arid Kenya, is shown to be suitable for use in analysis in other geographic regions and across disciplines. The book examines the importance of gender equity to the strengthening of socio-ecological resilience. Case studies reflect multidisciplinary perspectives and focus on a range of issues, from microfinance to informal seed systems.

The book’s gender perspective also incorporates consideration of age or generational relations and cultural dimensions in order to embrace the complexity of existing socio-economic realities in rural farming communities. The issue of succession of farmland has become a general concern, both to farmers and to researchers focused on building resilient farming systems. Building resilience here is shown to involve strengthening households’ and communities’ overall livelihood capabilities in the face of ongoing climate change, global market volatility and political instability.

Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition

Proceedings of the International Symposium on Agroecology in China – 29-31 August 2016

FAO and CAAS, 2018, FAO, Rome, 225 pages, ISBN: 978-92-5-130733-5

The Proceedings book includes the contributions from agreocology experts and practitioners that took part as speakers in the International Symposium on Agroecology for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems in China held Kunming, Yunnan, China from 29-31 August 2016. The volume has been prepared in order to collect and disseminate further the knowledge that has emerged from the Symposium. It offers evidence for and examples of agroecology as a means of increasing agricultural production through an ecosystem-based approach in China and other countries.