C Futemma, F de Castro, ES Brondízio. 2020. Farmers and Social Innovations in Rural Development: Collaborative Arrangements in Eastern Brazilian Amazon. Land Use Policy, vol. 99. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2020.104999
Brazilian small-scale farmers are seeking new types of collaborations and economic opportunities amid a changing world. Market opportunities, however, have incurred demanding environmental, financial and labor requirements, and created trade-offs between expanding cash crops and maintaining livelihood security. We analyze the Tomé-Açu region in the Brazilian Amazon, where different collaborative models between small-scale farmers and other social agents (industries, government, non-governmental organizations) have emerged. Local farmers are engaging in collective actions and pursuing different types of partnerships, which facilitate knowledge exchange and access to market niches, also helping them overcome the infrastructural and logistical deficiencies that have historically limited rural development in the region. In particular, we discuss the diffusion and adoption of agroforestry and oil palm production systems among small-scale farmers. We examine the challenges and opportunities these partnerships and social innovations have created for local farmers, who are part of heterogeneous groups with distinct roles, assets and contexts. The state-led oil palm program posed challenges to small-scale farmers who experienced asymmetrical relationships within their partnership with private companies. On the other hand, the farmer-led agroforestry model opened new opportunities for farmers who had more flexibility in deciding their production arrangements, developing new agroforestry techniques, and pursuing commercialization pathways. Despite their limited power, small-scale farmers have been able to overcome some structural barriers through innovations, entrepreneurship, and renegotiation of oil palm contract farming. Thus, their ability to engage in both farmer-led agroforestry and state-led oil palm programs provides concrete examples of the potential of local governance based on collaborative arrangements to support sustainable farming production systems.
Find the full text at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2020.104999