Self-Reliance vs. Self-Sufficiency


From So Shall We Reap, Colin Tudge
via The Transition Handbook, Rob Hopkins

A system of farming that was truly designed to feed people and to go on doing so for the indefinite future, would be founded primarily on mixed farms and local production. In general, each country (or otherwise convenient political or geographical unit) would contrive to be self-reliant in food. Self-reliant does not mean self-sufficient. A self-sufficient country would produce absolutely everything that it needed, and would not trade with outsiders and this, for most countries, would be a non-sense…

Self-reliance does mean, however, that each country [or county or region - Ed.] would produce its own basic foods, and be able to get by in a crisis. Strategically, this can be highly desirable. Britain found this in both world wars, when the entire country was under siege. Today, surely, most poor countries would benefit from basic self-reliance, and might well make this their prime goal, even if they also attempt to compete in world markets with rivals that have various kinds of head start.

See also Disaster Farming


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