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Nueva publicación: Narratives and Practices of Pesticide Removal in the Andean Valleys of Chile and Argentina (Tomás Palmisano)

Noticias de 14.11.2022

Palmisano, T. (2022). Narratives and Practices of Pesticide Removal in the Andean Valleys of Chile and Argentina. Environmental Science and Policy, 139:149-156.



The hegemony of the agribusiness model in Latin America has consolidated the implementation of the Green Revolution technological package in which pesticides play a fundamental role. Yet in the face of its negative social, economic, and environmental effects, many medium-capitalized producers, petty commodity producers, and peasants have developed various food production strategies beyond extensive pesticide use. Drawing from the convergence between rural sociology and agroecology, we address the narratives and practices of farming families that are constructing alternatives to pesticides. Our analysis focuses not only on the productive dimension but also on the political and cultural aspects of the strategies that the subjects deploy when distancing themselves from the hegemonic practices of agribusiness. To approach this objective, we combine an analysis of in-depth interviews and ethnographic notes carried out in the municipality of Putaendo (Valparaiso, Chile) and the Antinaco-Los Colorados valley (La Rioja, Argentina). The article contributes to previous theoretical work on alternative agriculture by analyzing practices and narratives as seen from four different levels: microeconomics, macroeconomics, politics, and family labor. Drawing from a combination of these perspectives, the agrarian producers in our study explain and exemplify the growth, deployment, threats and staying power of practices distinct to or in opposition to agribusiness. Additionally, the research confirms that the analysis of alternatives for changing agriculture should consider the interaction between technical components, such as the reduction or elimination of chemical pesticides, economic balance, such as providing an “adequate” level of income, and cultural elements, such as the co-existence of economic systems.