Spiral of contradictions between financialised capitalism and rural smallholdings in South and Mesoamerica

Irreversible destruction of the Earth's soil food webs leads to drought and collapse of global food security

Nubia Barrera Silva

Climate collapse is being felt on Earth without the leaders of developed countries having met the mitigation targets they set themselves. This is an unpayable ecological-environmental and economic debt to the countries of the Global South, as they are the main dispossessed of their well-being. The centuries-old denial of the natural right to dispose of their natural wealth for the benefit of the quality of life standards (unlimited consumption) of the Global North. The spectre of climatic events, anticipated for decades since the last century, are no longer science fiction but realities that no one can hide in any of the continents.

Turning to the subjects of this paper, we expose the food insecurity in South America and Mesoamerica, shaped by the conversion of fertile land into monocultures of export cereals, which reduces the biological potential and regenerative capacity of arable land. We also discuss how the war in Ukraine has worsened access to the fertilisers needed to meet the needs of agricultural soils. In reference to the economic contradictions - the focus of this paper - we expose the conflicts between regional elites and corporations with rural farmers to the detriment of food sovereignty under the collapse of climate and geopolitical conflicts in the war in Ukraine. When referring to the agri-food model and soil depletion, we inevitably come to the dependence on hydrocarbons and the addiction of soils to chemical fertilisers, the contamination of groundwater and its effects on declining human health. In contrast, we present the political-organisational model of some integral agroecological systems resilient to the climate crisis as an alternative to deliberate economic degrowth in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic in short value chains.


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