Implementing Place-Based Food Systems when Access to Place is Precarious

Keywords: Land, Access, Agroecosystems, Political Ecology, Peasant Farmers, Smallholders, Guatemala

Abstract

Agroecologists and development practitioners claim that the use of agroecological practices can reduce poverty and increase food security. However, this assumption is made without understanding how peasant households can access land on which they can implement agroecological practices. This research explores two research questions: How does differential access to land influence a household’s decision to implement agro­ecological practices? What types of land-tenure statuses are conducive to adapting agroecosystems? I find that household implementation of agroecological practices by peasant households in rural Guatemala is shaped by access to land, specifically land ownership and parcel size, because of the household’s ability to create system­atic changes to crop and livestock production. The household’s ability to implement agroecosystems that cycle nutrients throughout the farm to increase productivity and reduce risk affects its decision to invest in new agroecological practices. I analyze the implementation of agroecological practices among households in San Martín Jilotepeque, Chimaltenango, Guatemala, through qualitative interviews conducted in early 2016.

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Author Biography

Maria J. Van Der Maaten, Iowa State University

Lecturer, Department of Sociology

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Published
2019-07-22
How to Cite
Van Der Maaten, M. J. (2019). Implementing Place-Based Food Systems when Access to Place is Precarious. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 9(A), 1-2. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2019.091.027