Farming styles in Mato Grosso, Brazil

by Mateo Mier y Teran

On 11 September in Wageningen I presented my PhD research on contrasting soybean farming styles in QuerĂȘncia, Mato Grosso, Brazil, on the southern fringe of the Amazon rainforest. The diversity of soy farming practices brings into question the simplistic portrayal of farming by the standard narratives that advocate or condemn soybean production in Brazil (e.g. be as a success model to reproduce in African countries or as a threat to the Amazon Forest and small-scale farming). I argue that the heterogeneity of farming styles has to be acknowledge for the implementation of policies for sustainable soybean agri-food systems. Here I will like to share some thoughts that came out from the seminar, and briefly show how I used the farming styles approach (developed by Jan Douwe van der Ploeg and colleagues from the Rural Sociology Group at WUR). Continue reading