A Research Design for Assessing the Possibilities of Localized Food Production

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Virginia Tech

Local food production movements have claimed a central role in proposals to mitigate some of the negative effects of economic globalization. Although not meant to be a panacea for the ills of the neoliberal order, local food production is advocated as a sustainable solution to a portion of the environmental degradation caused by global capitalism, and as a mechanism by which to rebuild community networks undermined by the globalization of commerce and culture and create the type of sustainable development necessary to restore and preserve the carrying capacity of the planet. This study seeks to develop a conceptual framework for assessing the potential for communities to create and sustain local food production by addressing three major factors that influence a community's ability to localize its food system: the physical capacity of the region or locality to produce enough food to feed its inhabitants, successful policy and trade adjustments by governments to create and enable the survival of local food production systems, and the willingness of consumers to participate in a localized food production system, which includes the community's willingness and ability to bear the costs of instituting and maintaining the local system.

sustainable agriculture, local food system, local food production