Amid the growing calls for a turn towards sustainable agriculture, this book puts forth and discusses the concept of agrarian extractivism to help us identify and expose the predatory extractivist features of dominant agricultural development models.

The concept goes beyond the more apparent features of monocultures and raw material exports to examine the inherent logic and underlying workings of a model based on the appropriation of an ever-growing range of commodified and non-commodified human and non-human nature in an extractivist fashion. Such a process erodes the autonomy of resourcedependent working people, dispossesses the rural poor, exhausts and expropriates nature, and concentrates value in a few hands as a result of the unquenchable drive for profit by big business. In many instances, such extractivist dynamics are subsidized and/or directly supported by the state, while also dependent on the unpaid, productive, and reproductive labour of women, children, and elders, exacerbating unequal class, gender, and generational relations. Rather than a one-size-fits-all definition of agrarian extractivism, this collection points to the diversity of extractivist features of corporate-led, external-input-dependent plantation agriculture across distinct socio-ecological formations in Latin America.

This timely challenge to the destructive dominant models of agricultural development will interest scholars, activists, researchers, and students from across the fields of critical development studies, rural studies, environmental and sustainability studies, and Latin American studies, among others.

chapter |20 pages


ByBen M. McKay, Alberto Alonso-Fradejas, Arturo Ezquerro-Cañete

chapter 1|24 pages

The Biotechnological Agrarian Model in Argentina

Fighting against capital within science
ByCarla Poth

chapter 2|19 pages

Extractive dynamics of agrarian change in Bolivia

ByBen M. McKay, Gonzalo Colque

chapter 3|21 pages

Agrarian extractivism in the Brazilian Cerrado

BySérgio Sauer, Karla R.A. Oliveira

chapter 5|18 pages

Agrarian extractivism and sustainable development

The politics of pineapple expansion in Costa Rica
ByAndrés León Araya

chapter 6|22 pages

Gender inclusion in the sugarcane production of agro-fuels in coastal Ecuador

Illusionary promises of rural development within a new agrarian extractivism
ByNatalia Landívar García

chapter 7|26 pages

Life purging agrarian extractivism in Guatemala

Towards a renewable but unlivable future?
ByAlberto Alonso-Fradejas

chapter 8|21 pages

Extractive agave and tequila production in Jalisco, Mexico

ByDarcy Tetreault, Cindy McCulligh, Carlos Lucio

chapter 9|22 pages

Forestry extractivism in Uruguay

ByMarkus Kröger, Maria Ehrnström-Fuentes