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Title: Incorporating and contesting the Corporate Food Regime in Colombia : agri-food dynamics in two Zonas de Reserva Campesina (Peasant Reserve Zones)
Author: Chohan, Jaskiran Kaur
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
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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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available