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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe Paraguayan agrarian sector is highly unequal. With one of the highest levels of land inequality in the world, 94 percent of arable land dedicated to commodity crop agriculture, and entrenched alliances between large-scale agriculture producers and landowners with the country’s political establishment, traditional campesino agriculture is rapidly diminishing across the country. Paraguay’s transition towards a large-scale agro-export model has a raft of implications for both the food security and food sovereignty of its smallholder producers. This research explores the sugarcane cooperative Manduvirá as an alternative model for community development in rural Paraguay. Manduvirá has over 900 members who produce on five to seven hectares of land, they built, own, and operate their own organic sugar mill, and directly export to over 25 countries. Moreover, through a democratic cooperative process, Manduvirá’s members have used their success in the export sugar sector to reinvest in a number of community-based initiatives to address the changing food security and food sovereignty landscape. This research examines the role that Manduvirá fulfills in addressing food security and food sovereignty in attempts to understand the broader role that smallholder agricultural cooperatives can play in the community development process.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Latin American Studies