Wetland Production and Smallholder Persistence: Agricultural Change in a Highland Peruvian Region

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Abstract

This study integrates regional political ecology concepts via the ideas of structuration, a politics of place, and production ecology in order to examine the ecological and social relations embodied in wetland agriculture. Montane bogs were converted into fields roughly twenty years ago when peasant cultivators in Colquepata District (southern Peru) responded to a convergence of production and demand incentives. Environmental conditions, regional social and economic structures, and government policy most shaped the temporal and spatial realization of these stimuli. Both the expansion of local commerce and the capture of state agricultural subsidies depended on social relations that formed historically through ethnic and peasant resistance against landlord domination in a “region of resistance.” Flexible labor allocation required by the biological ecology of wetland fields has contributed to the persistence of production by peasant smallholders. The social practices and struggles of dominated peasants, as well as the ecology of production, etch critical temporal and spatial dimensions in the processes of agricultural change, capitalist development, and associated environmental transformations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)443-463
Number of pages21
JournalAnnals of the Association of American Geographers
Volume81
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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