Mathieu Callamé – Agroecological revolution. Feed your self tomorrow

2024-06-06 00:00:00

1Rural Financial system is an educational journal that has commonly and legitimately given house to debates that, to some extent, cross the boundaries of scientific exercise. The thought of ​​legitimacy resonates in some methods with the principle ambitions of the French Rural Financial system Society (SFER, based in 1949), of which the journal is a product, to deliver collectively scientists, the skilled agricultural group and civil society. That’s the reason, within the context of the present environmental disaster, within the context of questioning the agricultural manufacturing mannequin inherited from the late Nineteen Fifties, the query of agroecological transformation has been imposed in nearly all social areas, even to the purpose the place they now intersect. Examine views on the identification and software of the very best political, financial and agricultural levers to withstand the specter of worldwide warming. It’s subsequently logical to overview the final ebook printed by Matthieu Calame, entitled The Agroecological Revolution.

2Matthieu Calame, director of the Charles-Léopold Mayer Basis for Human Progress, will be part of the record of those that have handled the final ecological disaster earlier than him. This disaster is linked to agricultural exercise. In lower than 100 pages, in 5 chapters, the writer lays out for the primary time the agrarian disaster, the influence of agricultural exercise on environmental and local weather degradation, in accordance with the gathering The Superb Republic. Secondly, after recalling what he calls the basic rules of agroecology, Mathieu Calame explores the political pathways to advertise and implement an agroecological transition. Subsequent, the writer argues that industrial agriculture is on a decline and that agroecology is a part of a forward-looking strategy.

3The title of this ebook is radical. He intends to shock his readers. As a result of the phrase “revolution” itself shouldn’t be easy, particularly as a result of it has a number of meanings. Removed from the thought of ​​periodic translations of stars described by celestial mechanics (orbital interval), which refers back to the length required for a star to finish a revolution round one other star, the writer’s thought of ​​”revolution” is kind of totally different. Totally different. Mathieu Callamé does have the thought of ​​a rupture, of getting out of the preliminary state of affairs – the manufacturing mannequin of intensive agriculture – to outline a brand new paradigm centered on agroecology. There isn’t any return to the preliminary place, fairly the other. It’s a query of mutation, and of mutation in a exact route, particularly the definition of a brand new group of agricultural manufacturing that meets the pressing must battle the degradation of local weather, soil and public well being. To the extent that the outdated mannequin – just like the outdated regimes all through historical past – has reached its limits and has brought about many unfavourable externalities which have led to the specter of extinction of species, biodiversity and even the extinction of life on Earth.

4Studying Mathieu Callamé’s ebook, the agricultural sector appears to have been absorbed by the commercial logic, the logic into which public insurance policies led it after the Second World Warfare as a part of the ambition to modernize the agricultural sector. From this angle, the chapter entitled “From the tank to the tractor” from pages 35 to 39 is kind of convincing. The writer argues that it’s vital to determine a direct hyperlink between the institution of this intensive agricultural mannequin and the ecological disaster that societies – to begin with European societies – have been experiencing for a very long time and that has been intensifying in recent times. The ebook additionally makes use of the Ukrainian battle to point out that if we don’t abandon this mannequin, world meals safety is not directly threatened. This is the reason the planting and breeding practices that characterize this intensive agriculture are examined to focus on their dangerous penalties, and why it’s vital, even crucial, to return to a sure “management of the artwork of agriculture” (web page 22). On this subject alone, one may marvel if the rise in meals insecurity wouldn’t have been exacerbated if this capability was not maintained a minimum of impartially (the writer appears to hyperlink it to the Ukrainian struggle, and he isn’t totally flawed). Sure international locations produce in accordance with the mannequin that’s continuously criticized within the work.

  • 1 Please refer specifically to Descola P. (2005). Past Nature and Tradition. Paris, Gallimard, Cole (…)

5After a critique of the agriculture of the final sixty years, the writer critiques the principle rules of agroecology. Furthermore, with this ebook, Matthieu Calame provides a brand new cornerstone to the edifice that he had beforehand constructed because the publication in 2016 of the work entitled Understanding agroecology. The primary added worth of his work is to deepen the idea of agroecology by giving a rigorous definition. Essentially, for the writer, agroecology is the reconciliation between human exercise and the biosphere, two entities which have been separated for too lengthy (p. 64) and, additional, it’s the abandonment of the separation of the earth, the meadow and the forest. (p. 69). “Agroecology should reintegrate ageing, salt and forest,” he says on the identical web page. The phrases and convictions of Matthieu Calame resonate with the message that Philippe Descola has been repeating for years, that the separation of nature and tradition is not allowed.1.

  • 2 See Douwe van der Ploeg J. (2014). Peasants within the twenty first century: China’s re-peasantization motion (…)

6The writer subsequently proposes a lot of measures to facilitate the transition in the direction of this agroecology that he fervently hopes will emerge. Land, water, inputs (which he calls “fungicides” (p. 74)), coaching of agricultural stakeholders, and so on., many levers should be emphasised to ensure the trail in the direction of another agriculture. An important level of this work lies within the purpose of “re-agriculture” (pp. 78 et seq.). Following the reflections of one other writer, specifically Jan Douwe van der Ploeg, Matthieu Calame, citing the instance of his ebook printed in 2014, factors out that it’s essential to re-examine the place of the peasantry, broaden the social {and professional} origins of those actors on the land and facilitate the emergence of a brand new peasant development.2It goes with out saying that every one of that is intently associated to a sober society.

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7It goes with out saying that behind the brand new peasant dynamics is the necessity and need to combine into the socio-economic system. We could remorse this, however it’s undoubtedly because of the sheer measurement of the work printed on this assortment and the shortage of debates across the “rural commune”, which traditionally produced a wealthy literature, one of many highlights of which is the correspondence between Vera Zasoulitch and Karl Marx shortly earlier than his dying. How does the brand new peasantry advocated by Mathieu Callamé differ from the Russian “rural commons” (the topic of the controversy between the 2 authors simply talked about)? Extra usually, does this re-agrarianization dynamic have a robust skilled enchantment – except it’s not actually skilled – or does it represent a lever for the regeneration of agricultural property? Does this imply that the EU support allotted throughout the framework of the CAP disappears? Such reflections are sorely missing within the work. As a result of even when this implies turning to a different productive universe, we would marvel what would turn out to be of the CAP, since, within the background, it’s the supply of the injury highlighted by the writer to justify his plan for an agroecological revolution.

8Allow us to deal with the passage that the writer dedicates to the EU. When Matthieu Calame makes the declare (p. 97) that the EU “has little capability to take part within the battle for world hegemony, but it surely has a lot to realize from turning into a contributor to a regulated worldwide order, of which agroecological points shall be half”, turning into one of many pillars. Aside from the truth that we consider that the EU intends to rise to the standing of a normative energy on this space (which is totally different from “contribution”), the writer appears to neglect, or pretends to neglect, that in accordance with steady historic expertise, the worldwide order can solely be constituted round a hegemon, which is moreover endowed with the attributes of energy: army, financial, technological and, little question, meals energy, because the Ukrainian struggle appears to point out. From this viewpoint, the EU doesn’t actually have the means to appreciate its ambitions. And it’s not sure that agroecology can turn out to be an influence service for a rustic or a gaggle of nations tomorrow.

9The reader who remains to be unfamiliar with the idea and the agroecological program will discover the weather he lacks to know the topic. Anybody who takes an extended, important have a look at trendy agriculture and its unfavourable impacts on biodiversity and the setting is not going to be taught greater than they already know, however will solely affirm that motion is important, even pressing.

10Allow us to finish this overview of the work of Matthieu Calame with a extra important assertion. The writer (however he isn’t the one one) clearly devotes more room to explaining how industrialized, intensive agriculture generates critical unfavourable externalities, as economists say, to the purpose the place it now threatens world meals safety, because the writer factors out from the start, solely to explaining the agroecological instructions he expects to use. After they come, we ponder whether paradigmatic revolutions shall be really easy to realize, a lot in order that generally Matthieu Calame appears to flirt with a sure backwardness. That is evidenced by his analysis of the “dysfunction of the household farm” (pp. 41-43), which he appears to remorse. But the intensive mannequin can solely be deployed and performance by means of the mannequin of household farmers with two annual work items (UTAs). instance of round reasoning.

11Nonetheless, the writer is considerably silent on the progress made in agricultural modernization since 1960, particularly by way of agricultural labor productiveness, self-sufficiency, and so on. This absence is moreover confirmed by the shortage of quantitative knowledge on the precise outcomes of earlier modes of manufacturing, which might have summed up what he describes because the “intensification” of agriculture.

12We make clear that if agroecology requires public intervention, which is prime to the structure it requires, this public intervention is by definition a assure of nationwide social cohesion. Given the divisions which have fashioned round ecological points, are the authors certain that public authorities are capable of reconcile the very totally different pursuits expressed inside society? Take heed to the farmers, who generally surprisingly declare to be the very best connoisseurs of nature and whose experience is worthy of all ecological papers. How can we reconcile the views and practices of all these actors? Are the authors certain that agroecology is the brand new social contract in France? How can we lengthen this social contract globally? In different phrases, the “agroecological revolution” is undoubtedly nonetheless a great distance from turning into a totally shared social actuality.

13A small work, definitely, however wealthy sufficient in substance, and containing the principle paradoxical debates that are solely simply starting, that you’re suggested to learn it.

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