Published 13 August 2015
PhD candidate Luke Craven has been published in the latest edition of the Australian Geographer on ‘Conceptualising the Migration-Food Security Nexus: Lessons from Nepal and Vanuatu’ with Hom N. Gartaula.
In the past decade, international development practitioners have increasingly argued that migration improves the food security of households at origin, by providing the capital necessary for agricultural intensification or food purchase. These debates have occurred largely in isolation from a discussion of the values that underpin food production and consumption in the communities that migrants call home. We question the assumption that a shift from an agricultural-based economy to an economy based on remittances increases the ability of communities to secure access to food in the face of rapid economic and cultural change. In this paper, we present two independently conducted studies from Nepal and Vanuatu that investigate the impact of out-migration on local perceptions of agricultural and residential land and the meaning given to food security. Our data reveal that the value changes associated with large-scale out-migration have the potential to make the agricultural sector at origin more vulnerable, unproductive, unsustainable or unattractive, leaving a longer-term impact on food security. We offer some reflections on the implications of these findings for the structure of the migration–food security nexus.