In the second half of 2017, Alternautas was devoted to developing a Special Issue entitled 'Agribusiness, (Neo)Extractivism and Food Sovereignty: Latin America at a Crossroads?'. More than ever, the fields of Latin America have become conceptual and direct battlefields, where ideological, economic, political and cultural positions clash. The expansion of the agroindustrial frontier, fuelled by technological advances in genetically modified crops and the large-scale use of pesticides and fertilisers, is one aspect of the intensification of extractivist activities that have dominated the region’s recent political economic model, further increasing tensions surrounding environmental issues and land use (e.g. Gudynas 2013, North and Grinspun 2016, Svampa and Viale 2014, Svampa 2015). Counterbalancing the advances of industrial agriculture, some rural communities and environmentalist groups have sought to promote and strengthen alternative agricultural models through practices as diverse as polycropping, seed saving, agroecology schools and judicial resistance.
The papers in this special issue, published between August and December 2017, have explored some of the tensions, changes and conflicts arising from the expansion of agribusiness as the dominant mode of accumulation and food production in the region. They evidence – based on original research – on the multiplicity of mechanisms through which agribusiness has transformed the social, political, economic and environmental landscape of the region. Not only do these contributions cover a wide range of topics that demonstrate the extent the agribusiness mode of production’s advancement – including educational programmes, the role of science and international initiatives, and seed sovereignty struggles – but the diverse disciplinary backgrounds and methodological approaches of the authors also offers a very rich analytical focus.
To mark the completion of this special issue, we have collated and published all of the articles, available in a PDF, in open-access format to be distributed freely. We wish you all a happy reading!