Desarrollo, territorio y desigualdad en la globalización : Conflictos actuales en la agricultura familiar del nordeste de Misiones, Argentina
Development, territory and inequality in nowadays’ globalization : Current conflicts in the family farming sector in Northeast Misiones, Argentina
Summary, in English
In this paper we call into question the relationship between development, inequality and territory in the current context of globalization and within the framework of public policies designed, supposedly, to benefit those social actors with fewer resources. In order to do this, we focus on a case study in the northeast of the province of Misiones, Argentina. Here tobacco production, forestry and alternative family farming (AF) (dedicated to food production) are in dispute over the territory, leading to conflict over private land occupation. The analysis evidences: (a) The territorial changes resulting from globalization processes in local areas. (b) The ways in which these changes affect and limit the development proposals arising from public policy aimed at alleviating social inequality. To advance in the understanding of these processes we need to: (a) Recognize the different views and methods that account for social, economic, political and institutional inequality, both from the perspective of the actors and in its material expression in the territory. (b) Identify the power relationships in the area (particularly in relation to the dispute over the use and appropriation of land). And (c) examine the various and contradictory models and development proposals that express these relationships. The study is based on a qualitative methodology focused on a case study and centered in interviews conducted during 2008 and 2009 to the main actors involved in the conflict over land in the northeast area of the province of Misiones, Argentina. The study shows the contradictions of public policy that proclaim productive growth and development in a legal framework for liberalization and deregulation in favor of large-scale transnational investment, underpinned by large-scale productive activities, highly demanding of land and water. Such investments, by contrast, have an insubstantial labor requirement. This conception of development implicit in the economic growth proposal by those sectors that hegemonize economic power, social inequality is displayed as a "negative externality" that must somehow be contained, assisted; ignoring or hiding the fact that only structural changes can overcome those inequalities. In short, this is a conceptual, ideological and pragmatic framework which implies a non-viable context for family farming. In turn, small-scale farmers and rural workers who manage to achieve a greater understanding of these processes are challenging the dominant development model, as well as the strategic alliances that the state maintains with those powerful sectors. And from this perspective, they struggle to play a role in development by producing food, from and for their place and/or province.