Feed the futureland: an actor-based approach to studying food security projects

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Springer Nature
Critical development and food studies scholars argue that the current food security paradigm is emblematic of a ‘New Green Revolution’, characterized by agricultural intensification, increasing reliance on biotechnology, deepening global markets, and depeasantization. High-profile examples of this model are not hard to find. Less examined, however, are food-security programs that appear to work at cross-purposes with this model. Drawing on the case of Feed the Future in Guatemala, I show how USAID engages in activities that valorize ancestral crops, subsistence production, and agroecological practices. Rather than the result of macro-level planning—of either the New Green Revolution or a greener reform regime—I argue that nonconforming food security projects can be traced to individual actors and their interactions on the ground. I draw on an ‘interface approach’ (Long 1990), focusing on the lifeworlds of development workers, their interfaces with each other, and with the to-be-developed. Doing so reveals how food security projects are significantly shaped by the relationships and interests of development actors enmeshed in particular organizational and national settings. This research contributes a fresh perspective on the food security paradigm and its role within the ‘corporate food regime’.
© The Author(s) 2023. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Version of Scholarly Record of this Article is published in Agriculture and Human Values, 2023, available online at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10460-023-10460-4 . Keywords: food security; development; Guatemala; food regimes; agrarian change.
Seay-Fleming, C. Feed the futureland: an actor-based approach to studying food security projects. Agric Hum Values (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10460-023-10460-4