GEOG_130 (6/13)

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GEOG 130
Nicole C.List

GEOG 130 (6/13) Global Agro-Industrialism and the “Strategic Breadbasket” ● Durable Food Complex ○ Substitution ■ Mass-produced foods increase by substitution ■ Replacement of crops grown in tropical regions to those grown in temperate regions (substitution of cane/beet sugar for high fructose corn syrup) ○ Increased volatility in prices in sugar market ○ Less exports for Global South but new market for inputs ● Livestock Complex ○ High meat consumption = industrial meat production ○ Global Sourcing: rise of the feedstuffs industry, connected by transnational corporations to specialized crop farmers ○ Competition between humans and animals for food (and increasingly, biofuels ● Movement from national to Global Sourcing: flexible strategy used by transnational corporations to secure predictable supplies/inputs ○ Insurance/flexibility to grain access (increased movement to needed areas) ○ Benefit the countries? ○ More benefit to corporations than to individual farmers ● Tendency toward distance and durability & profits for small set of transnational corporations in all three complexes ○ Farms adapt production based on demand for raw materials by transnational corporations (not the ‘world market’) = pushed on technological treadmill ○ To meet quality standards, buy inputs from same transnational corporations ● Global Agro-Industrialism ○ Agriculture less organized in terms of nations/states & increasingly anchored to transnational corporations/global sourcing strategies ■ Inputs managed internationally by transnational corporations (equipments/production monopolized) ■ Production in developing countries ■ Processing controlled again by corporations ○ High-value products grown in Global South, increasingly dominated by agro- exporters ● Market Liberalization: SAPs (Structural Adjustment Policies) ○ Neoliberal market reforms (1980’s) ○ Late 70’s, countries took out loans to build factories to modernize (private, commercial loans from banks/sovereign countries) ■ Rise of interest rates = cannot pay debt ■ Rise of World Bank/IMF → SAPs ● Give loan but instead of collateral, adjustment measures (change economy) ○ Trans-national agribusiness from lack of government control ○ Adjustment measures included ■ Drastic reduction in public spending (including food subsidies) ● Ability to subsidize domestic/tariff foreign goods ● History of subsidies, scale of subsidies not equal ● The more farmers produce, the more they lose ■ Currency devaluation ● Cheaper to input goods even though make it more expensive on global scale ■ Export intensification (to earn foreign exchange) ● May collapse domestic market (not level playing field) ● Makes domestic more dependent ■ Privatization of state enterprises ■ Reduction of wages to attract foreign investors and reduce export prices (to attract foreign investors) ● Market Liberalization and GATT (1948) ○ Long history of protecting US farms on international markets ○ In response to ITO ■ Getting rid of tariffs on manufactured goods, did not include agriculture ○ Attempts to institutionalize rules to deepen corporate-led economic integration in global food economy ○ Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) ■ Reductions in trade protection, farm subsidies, government intervention (universal) ● US tariffs/subsidies decreased at higher percentage than developing world ■ 30% collapse of world prices for farm goods in first half decade since ■ Countries w/ capacity to pay retained subsidies = dumped on Southern farm productions ● Not actual playing field (McMichael) The Green Revolution: An Agro-Ecology ● Marshall Plan ○ US ag model of chemical ag to Global South ○ Norman Borlaug: 1940 w/ rockefeller Foundation to make high-yield varieties to Global South ■ ex. India tripling of food production ■ Global food production doubled (outpace population growth) ● Malthus? Malthus’s Theories proved incorrect ● Green Revolution (video) ○ Why called so/supported? ■ Malthus way of thinking ■ “War against hunger” ■ Rhythm within economy ■ US put in money for biotech ● Creating market relationships ● 1940: communist threat (“green” revolution vs. “red” revolution) ○ Various types of technologies? ■ Plant bio-technical methodology ■ Seeds generated by scientists ○ How did it affect targeting populations? ■ Ag exports soared
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