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Module 2: Agriculture and Sustainable Development

Despite a significant demographic decline in the percentage of the world’s labour force working in agriculture (from 62 per cent in 1960 to 33 per cent in 2007),  agriculture remains a hugely significant area in terms of critical and often inter-related issues such as food security, population growth (the global population is expected to reach 8.3 billion by 2030, according to the FAO), water availability and irrigation, the breeding of new varieties of plants via modern biotechnology techniques, intellectual property rights, climate change, the expansion of farmland for food production, and deforestation. 

In light of such developments, this module will examine whether agriculture, in tandem with macroeconomic and environmental policies at regional, national and international levels, can meet the challenges of sustainable development by creating the necessary conditions for rural development and sustainable agriculture. The imperative of increasing food production while simultaneously enhancing food security will also be examined along with an appraisal of what policies and interventions can enhance sustainable agricultural growth in developing countries. An assessment of the trade and agriculture policies mediated through governance institutions such as the European Union and World Trade Organisation will critically appraise their impact on agriculture and sustainable development in the global South.

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