Memories of agrarian territory. Diversity of family farming in the south of Santa Fe

Keywords: work, environment, strategies


A great number of territorial transformations have occurred in the South of the Santa Fe province during the last three decades. In the context of soybean productive specialization the standing out transformations are: disappearance of producers, decrease in the number of workers, and an increase of social conflictivity over environmental issues. The purpose of this research is to explore -within a local context of decreasing job availability- how the population can earn an income and who are creating production, commercialization and food consumption alternatives that reduce the risks caused by the generalized production model.This article is a partial advance from a qualitative investigation, in an exploratory phase, with a methodology based on semi-structured in-depth interviews with family producers from the South of Santa Fe.The changes in the technical-productive model and the network of agricultural-industrial relations involve other ways of addressing the rural. The spaces between the rural and urban worlds, between the local and the global are blurred and redefined, with the appearance of new scenarios and criteria which define the ways of production.It is observed that family production persists, changes and reappears with different forms. Three groups of family producers with different material, social and cultural backgrounds were identified. From farmer, peasant or laborers’ traditions they pursue either typical or new strategies in a territory where inequality and deterioration of natural and social resources are deepening. The conflicts lead to the emergence of new producers and/or the progressive transformation of some traditional producers, diversifying the social field of local production.