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Diverse agri-food practices and their transformative potentials


Abstract


There is an upheaval in reconsidering the socio-cultural dimensions of "agri-culture" as resources for creating alternative geographies of food. At the same time discourses returned to reactivate a productivity agenda stressing the need of "feeding the 9 billion in 2050" promoting technological solutions such as GMOs, reactivating the imaginary of the Green Revolution, organizing farming within global food chains and fighting against hunger based on scientific principles. Others emphasize, however, that the dominant entrepreneurial model of farming within global food chains has not been successful in reducing but rather increases the longstanding social and ecological contradictions of the capitalist models of organizing food production. It is stressed that the breakdown of local food systems caused by the globalization of food production and distribution has not only caused a food crisis that now reaches over more than 700 million people, but has also caused widespread ecological damage, a loss of peasant cultural diversity and increased poverty. New forms of agrarian resistance, exemplified by the peasant movement La Via Campesina's call for food sovereignity, create a potential to reframe and rethink agri-food futures. Reflecting on the diverse forms and trajectories of various struggles for alternative agri-food practices, four transformative potential domains can be identified through which "food geographies of care and responsibilities" may be realized. The four domains of social struggle for integrating diversity related to social movements efforts are to: re-territorialize agri-food systems (Van der Ploeg, 1991, 2008, 2013); apply the Diverse Economies Approach (Gibson-Graham, 2006, 2008) and to read rather for difference than for dominance; develop a critical-reconstructive (bio)technology approach; The case of tailor-made biotechnologies; de-couple the productive relationship of diversity from a cognitive capital-centric framing.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i9788883051432p85

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