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Introduction

  • Bernadette Andreosso-O’Callaghan
Chapter
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Abstract

In an era molded by the dominance of the so-called ‘new economy’, that is, the growth of the information and computer technology sector, and also by the gradual and inexorable decline of the agricultural sector as a share of total human economic activities, one may wonder what is the rationale for another book on agricultural economics. Besides the usual arguments, which can be summarized by the idea that agricultural economics deals with questions vital for the well-being of human kind, for example, the production of food, a basic necessity, and that the capabilities of agricultural economists can best be used for resolving real-world problems, two important dimensions have emerged in recent years. First, the recent advances in food engineering, through the production of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and their perceived risks on human beings have revived the debate on food quality, and on consumer safety and welfare. The interest in food quality has also been fuelled by recent outbreaks of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and foot and mouth diseases in Europe. Second, food security, that is, the ability of agriculture to provide adequate food supplies, coupled with a growing population and the intensification of agricultural productive methods, which through pollution and environmental degradation undermine future agricultural productivity, are important and growing problems facing humankind in this new millennium. A major concern for many countries in this new century will indeed be the ability to find sufficient and adequate water supplies for the production of food commodities.

Keywords

European Union Agricultural Economic Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Common Agricultural Policy Mouth Disease 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Bernadette Andreosso-O’Callaghan 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernadette Andreosso-O’Callaghan
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LimerickIreland

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