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Title: Indigenous farmers' rural-urban migration and agrobiodiversity conservation : exploring connections in the Bolivian Altiplano Norte
Author: Baldinelli, Giulia Maria
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 1136
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2017
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This study investigates the connections between indigenous people's migration and agrobiodiversity conservation in the Altiplano Norte of Bolivia. The Altiplano Norte is located in one of the centres of origin and biodiversity in the world, where smallholder farmers maintain in their plots a wide range of agricultural varieties and relevant knowledge. Around Lake Titicaca significant effort has been devoted, in recent decades, to the prevention of genetic erosion. However, the phenomenon of farmers' rural-urban migration, although predominant in the Altiplano Norte, has been accounted for only marginally with regard to on-farm agrobiodiversity conservation both within the initiatives coordinated and implemented by national and international stakeholders, and in the academic literature. In order to produce useful knowledge for a better understanding of farmers' relationship with agrobiodiversity today, this research explores the broader context in which indigenous smallholders operate, according to traditional practices, as well as to new stimuli and priorities. The space in which they live and the identities and aspirations that influence their choices and behaviours are characterised by an increased proximity, at both a physical and an ideal level, between the rural and the urban dimensions. Two trends are identified and analysed in this work: 1) agronomic simplification, observable in the Altiplano Norte as well as in other developing countries' regions, as part of a process of deagrarianisation; 2) agrobiodiversity reinvention, taking shape in a period in which the indigenous roots of Bolivia, native crops and traditional dishes experience a revival in discourse and food practices. Temporary and return migrants are important characters in this process, as innovators and crucial allies for scientists promoting agrobiodiversity conservation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral