Keynote “Food for Thought; dealing with the ‘B’ word”
Professor the Lord Trees, Emeritus Professor of Veterinary Parasitology, University of Liverpool and Crossbench Peer, House of Lords.
Brexit will have a huge impact on agriculture and this presentation will concentrate on the impact on the production of livestock and livestock products for food.
The issues around Brexit and livestock involve trade, regulation, labour and financial support. Superimposed on this there are the fundamental issues of food security; the environmental sustainability of food production; the efficiency and productivity of our systems to provide resilience in a global market; and the maintenance of our rural economy. In facing these challenges justifying tax-payer support in a post-CAP era through the provision of “public goods”, and secondly improving the productivity, sustainability and competitiveness of livestock production will be key to maintain a viable livestock industry in the UK. Research and innovation and their implementation will be crucial to whatever approach the government takes
The future of small farmers in Asia’s Mekong region
Jonathan Rigg, National University of Singapore
The Mekong region, encompassing Cambodia, China, the Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, has made the transition from ‘battle field to market place’, from disconnected to integrated, and from subsistence to market, in less than a generation. And yet small farmers – smallholders – remain the predominant social and economic unit across the region. How and why have small farmers persisted in the context of such deep and rapid transformation? Is it simply that we are waiting for the Mekong’s ageing farmers to pass on, or is there a certain quality about smallholder livelihoods that explains their persistence? Drawing on field research in Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, the presentation will argue that shining a light on the smallholder illuminates wider social and economic transitions, the quality of Asia’s growth, and hints at what the future might hold.