Date of this Version
Cornhusker Economics (July 2011)
Higher education plays a pivotal role in analyzing and offering potential solutions to the world’s problems, and seldom have the world’s economic and social problems appeared more critical. As the world’s population increases and faces the unpredictable effects of climate change and begins to come to terms with the possibility of peak oil and its implications, we face rising concerns about food security and global food crises.
As we work to address these growing concerns it is increasingly apparent that our research must be interdisciplinary in nature. Because women play critical roles in the supply and consumption of agricultural products, these interdisciplinary efforts must also focus on the gendered dimensions of these problems. Is higher education, which has developed as a network of associations that are largely discipline specific and utilizes a reward structure that eschewes interdisciplinary contributions, prepared for the task? Can the disciplines of economics and agricultural economics successfully contribute solutions to these problems without paying more attention to gender issues? What can universities, government agencies and non-governmental organizations do to foster interdisciplinary dialogue and the utilization of gendered research?