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Lecture 6

GEOG 210 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Horacio Cartes, Ceratonia Siliqua, Handmark

Course Code
GEOG 210
Jon Unruh

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1. The Gran Chaco
2. A large scale farmer: Belem
3. A small scale farmer: Maria
4. How globalization affects land use and the environment
1. The Gran Chaco
This is where some Tin Tin comics took place
Covers three countries: Northern Argentina, parts of Bolivia and Paraguay
Combination of fry, low forest and wetlands
Interesting dynamic -> has been deforested very quickly
A lot of protests and NGOs about deforestation and use of indigenous lands
Large scale are soybeans and cattle ranching
Small scale is usually pretty poor
2. Large scale farmer: Belem
Agribusiness in Argentina
Argentine is top exporter of soy
Soy production has replaced grazing lands
Move towards industrial farming and less free-range
From Villa Maria, Cordoba
o Very modern and developed
Moved to Santa Cruz, Bolivia
o 2000km away and tropical very different environment
Large scale farmers move around a lot in South America
Moved to Bolivia because of soybean boom
The Soy Boom in the Argentine Pampas
Growing demand for soybeans (China Effect)
o Growth of China in terms of population and consumption
o Consumption of pork increased and pork is fed with soybeans
Growing demand for bio fuels
o Can be converted into an oil that can be used to fuel vehicles
Rising soy prices in the early 2000s
Technological advances in the 1990s
o Round-up (RR) soy
Genetically modified seed to make the soy bean plant tolerant to round
up so that you dont kill the plants while trying to kill the weeds
o No-till farming
No need to harrow to control weeds anymore because of Round Up
Better because soil shouldnt be moved around too much and gets
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o Silo-bags
Instead of traditional metal so you can store directly on site
Argentine crisis and currency devaluation (2001)
o Agricultural inputs paid in pesos
o Soy sold in dollars
o Debt contracted in dollars paid in back in pesos
Many farmers benefited highly (other went bankrupt)
o Borrowing money for machinery and seeds
o Were being paid in a currency worth much more than home currency and
therefore highly benefited
Lots of cash…what to do? for farmers
Because of crisis no one trusted the bank
A lot of people looked for ways to invest in land and agriculture with the extra money
Meanwhile in Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Early 1990s: massive soy expansion with lots of Brazilians moving to Bolivia
o Moved because wanted to flee inflation in Brazil
o Realized they could buy very cheap land
Late 1990s crisis
o Several harvest failures
o Plummeting soy prices
o Credit crisis
Now you have a lot of farmers who cannot pay their debts. The creditors then seized the
assets and these Brazilians lost their land and went back to Brazil
After that, rising prices and lots of land
Spatial Interaction (remember Ullmann)
Complementarity: effective demand for land
o Bolivia has too much land and too little cash
o Argentine farmers have too much cash and too little land
10-15% of agricultural land in Santa Cruz managed my argentines in 2013 (from almost
nothing in 200)
Belem buys 8000 ha in the area (several properties)
What does Belem Produce
o Mostly one variety
Some other crops (wheat, sunflowers)
These crops are all rotated
o Two different breeds and around 4000
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