GEOG 430
Human Use of the Environment

Lesson 6 Reading


Required Reading:

Graddy-Lovelace, G. (2017). The coloniality of US agricultural policy: articulating agrarian (in) justice. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 44(1), 78-99.

This paper analytically traces the historic legacies of coloniality within US agricultural policy. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a long history of racist subjugation, predominately through agribusiness monopolies. Graddy-Lovelace (2017) highlights the remaining, post-reform divide-and-conquer strategies and the colonialist mentalities of these monopolies and the impact of these legacies on USDA relationships. She also asserts that the lasting impact of coloniality builds upon expressed need to decolonize agricultural policy by grassroots organizations and remove restrictions surrounding the definition of a 'peasant'. In doing so, it could aid in exchange between grassroots agrarian alliances within the US as well as promote internationale advocacy for peasants’ rights.

Altieri, M. and V.M. Toledo, (2011). The Agroecological Revolution of Latin America: Rescuing Nature, Securing Food Sovereignty and Empowering Peasants. Journal of Peasant Studies, 38 (3): 587–612.

This paper provides an overview of the growing ‘agroecological revolution’ in Latin America due to the expansion of agroexports and biofuels. A heterogeneous mix of agroecological science and indigenous knowledge systems has created novel new approaches and technologic advancement in improving food security at local, regional, and national scales. It's been recognized in Latin American counties (e.g., Brazil, Central America, Mexico, Cuba, and the Andean region) that there are significant socio-economic and socio-ecological benefits for both rural and urban communities when agroecological models are implemented. Altierie and Toledo (2011) suggest that the 'agroecological revolution’ is developing in epistemological, technical, and social ways which are promoting positive changes to natural resource agrobiodiversity, food production, and grassroot initiatives. They determine these changes directly challenge neoliberal modernization policies, thus making new political venues for Latin American agrarian societies.

NOTE: Links to the readings are located in the Lesson 6 module in Canvas.