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THE BREAKDOWN OF SUSTAINABLE, SUBSISTENCE MODES OF PRODUCTION DUE TO THE CONSTRAINTS AND TEMPTATIONS OF THE COMMERCIAL MARKET ECONOMY AND THE EMERGENCE OF "GUARDIANS" OF PRODUCTIVE LANDSCAPE [Abstract ID: 1206-06]
Many factors have been eroding sustainable, subsistence modes of production, which used to be the norm throughout Ethiopia. One of the growing forces of change is the commercial (market) mode of production that impacts on the subsistence farmers (agricultural and/or pastoral), both luring and coercing people to abandon their ancient subsistence mode of production, or forcing them to find ways to make a living by juggling subsistence activities with commercial ones. The farmers who keep pursuing a subsistence mode of production, whether fully or partially, are emerging "guardians" of a sustainable mode of production, which urgently needs be sponsored. I will explore this topic with reference to what I have observed in the South Omo region over the past 47 years. Taxation, urbanization, deforestation, land grabbing, commercial production of grain (especially maize), food relief programmes, educational opportunities, compulsory schooling, manufactured clothing and other goods, armaments, alcohol, pesticides and fertilizers, medicines, mobile phones... are just some of the constraints and temptations that I will consider.