On food, farming and land management: towards a research agenda to reconnect Urban and rural lives

Justin Dillon, Mark Rickinson, Dawn Sanders, Kelly Teamey

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    By 2015, it is estimated that 53% of the world’s population will live in urban areas (Chawla, 2002, p. 33). They will depend on those working in the countryside to provide food and other items considered to be essential or desirable. There is, however, evidence that the urban public’s knowledge of food production and associated land management issues (such as the use of pesticides) is woefully inadequate (see, for example, Kuhlemeier et al., 1999;Trexler, 2000). This appears to be an issue in many countries around the world. Desmond et al. (1990, p. 151) describing ‘new approaches for a better understanding of agriculture’, point out that ‘paradoxically, the United States has one of the world’s most plentiful food supplies and possibly the least agriculturally-informed public’. In Europe, a study of 686 Greek primary school children reported that ‘the pupils were ignorant about the significant impact of farmers on the food chain’ (Paraskevopoulos et al., 1998, p. 58).In some countries, such as England, farmers and other people who live and work in the countryside have expressed their dissatisfaction with the way that they are perceived by those who live in towns and cities. In some cases, this dissatisfaction has led to country-dwellers taking direct political action such as marches and disruption of motorway traffic. Given the potential impact of consumer knowledge and attitudes on farmers and those involved in the food chain, efforts are being made by a range of governmental and nongovernmental bodies to address the issue (see, for example, Groundwork, 2000).
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationTowards a Convergence Between Science and Environmental Education
    Subtitle of host publicationThe Selected Works of Justin Dillon
    EditorsJustin Dillon
    Place of PublicationAbingdon UK
    PublisherTaylor & Francis
    Number of pages17
    ISBN (Electronic)9781317549123
    ISBN (Print)9781138844292
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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