Title

Globalization and Small Farmers in Latin America: Effects and Adaptations

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

The intersection of agriculture and international development is an increasingly important topic with critical implications for environmental sustainability and poverty relief. As the world becomes more interconnected, it is essential that we examine how and to what extent changing consumer demands and open trade networks affect the structure of agriculture in both the developed and developing world. In particular, we must examine the implications of these changes for small farmers, providing insight as to whether the globalized food trade offers an opportunity for development and poverty relief, or only further marginalizes poor populations and encourages unsustainable farming practices. Argentina and Chile are key examples of countries whose agriculture sectors have rapidly industrialized in response to globalization, and both offer insight into how structural changes may be affecting small farmers. Previous research on the topic has relied primarily on aggregate data or survey-based research methods and has focused primarily on effects rather than responses or adaptations to these changes. This study utilizes an ethnographic case study of eight small farms in Argentina and Chile, offering a less expansive but more nuanced insight into small farmers’ experiences and responses to globalization. Though results varied, farmers' main adaptations were 1) stepping out of agriculture or otherwise diversifying both on and off-farm income or 2) establishing new models of sale that provide greater income stability.

Category

Humanities

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Apr 15th, 10:40 AM Apr 15th, 11:00 AM

Globalization and Small Farmers in Latin America: Effects and Adaptations

The intersection of agriculture and international development is an increasingly important topic with critical implications for environmental sustainability and poverty relief. As the world becomes more interconnected, it is essential that we examine how and to what extent changing consumer demands and open trade networks affect the structure of agriculture in both the developed and developing world. In particular, we must examine the implications of these changes for small farmers, providing insight as to whether the globalized food trade offers an opportunity for development and poverty relief, or only further marginalizes poor populations and encourages unsustainable farming practices. Argentina and Chile are key examples of countries whose agriculture sectors have rapidly industrialized in response to globalization, and both offer insight into how structural changes may be affecting small farmers. Previous research on the topic has relied primarily on aggregate data or survey-based research methods and has focused primarily on effects rather than responses or adaptations to these changes. This study utilizes an ethnographic case study of eight small farms in Argentina and Chile, offering a less expansive but more nuanced insight into small farmers’ experiences and responses to globalization. Though results varied, farmers' main adaptations were 1) stepping out of agriculture or otherwise diversifying both on and off-farm income or 2) establishing new models of sale that provide greater income stability.