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Incorporating and contesting the Corporate Food Regime in Colombia: agri-food dynamics in two Zonas de Reserva Campesina (Peasant Reserve Zones)

Chohan, Jaskiran Kaur; (2020) Incorporating and contesting the Corporate Food Regime in Colombia: agri-food dynamics in two Zonas de Reserva Campesina (Peasant Reserve Zones). Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis explores how the Colombian nation and local, particularly municipal, spaces integrate with and resist the corporate food regime (CFR), which consists of corporate control over all aspects of agriculture from seed to finished product. The research identifies agroecology as the key oppositional movement, science and practice to the CFR. It analyses contingent agroecological expressions to understand differentiation among the peasantry and the conditions that shape the emergence of resistance to the industrial model. Colombia is illustrative because smallholder land access is a historic issue. The need for pro-campesino farming has been reemphasised with the cessation of civil war, subsequent peace negotiations in Havana and the 2016 agreement between the government and FARC-EP. The thesis explores global CFR integration in two Zonas de Reserva Campesina (ZRC) or Peasant Reserve Zones- Colombia’s only pro-campesino development model, first established in 1994, which was also identified in the 2016 peace agreement as a rural reform mechanism. Data collection consisted of secondary sources, over 100 interviews from public policy figures to campesinos and participant observation. The research finds both integration and resistance, resulting in hybrid agricultural systems. In both cases, CFR integration takes place through economic and violent dispossession of smallholder lands- by agribusiness and armed actors respectively, (New) Green Revolution technologies that engender dependence on agribusiness inputs, but also due to neoliberal deregulation and export-oriented economic policies formed by various governments, which have weakened smallholder economies over time. Nevertheless, smallholders in both cases present numerous practical examples of agroecology and are building successful alternative food networks in opposition to agribusiness food circuits. The Colombian cases reveal that it is crucial to place the CFR in national and local contexts to view how actors and circumstances, such as the civil war, hinder and help integration and resistance.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Incorporating and contesting the Corporate Food Regime in Colombia: agri-food dynamics in two Zonas de Reserva Campesina (Peasant Reserve Zones)
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2020. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms.
Keywords: Agroecology, Corporate Food Regime, Zonas de Reserva Campesina, Peasants, Colombia, Agriculture
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10093593
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