Tradition and Revolution in Latin American Agriculture

Miguel This is an interview about globalization and agriculture with Miguel Altieri, Ph.D., a Chilean pioneer in developing the concept and best practices of agroecology. The interview is by Arty Mangan.

AM: You do a lot of work in Latin America with farmers. How are Latin American farmers dealing with the pressures of globalization?

Miguel: In Latin America we have a dual agriculture. There is a large-scale commercial sector of agriculture and also what we call the peasants, or small farmer sector. The small farmers are responsible for the food security of the region. About 60 percent of the corn, beans and potatoes – most of the food crops – are grown by the small farmers. The large-scale farmers are basically trapped in the agro-export model. They are the biggest users of the pesticides and fertilizers and also now the transgenic crops, particularly soybeans in Brazil and Argentina. Read More