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Sustainable Maize Production and Consumption in China: Practices and Politics in Transition


Journal of Cleaner Production


Adrian Ely

Sam Geall

Yiching Song


15 October 2016

This paper discusses the technological, political and socio-cultural factors central to such systemic changes, with a focus on maize as a core case study. In particular it presents and discusses two contending pathways towards more sustainable maize production and consumption: indigenous innovation and alternative pathway. The two pathways claim different environmental benefits and present different risks and political implications. The paper analyses the food practices in transition in each pathway, identifying links with shifting political conditions and pointing to the increasingly significant role of consumer agency in steering patterns of maize production and consumption in China.