Different farming styles behind the homogenous soy production in southern Brazil

Bert Vander Vennet, Sergio Schneider, Joost Dessein

    Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


    Soy is often perceived as a typical example of a homogenous capitalist agricultural model that is responsible for ecological damage and social conflicts. But this monolithic perception of soy production can be challenged: more than 30 percent of the soy producers in Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil) are family farmers. In this contribution, we study soy production, the soy producers and their institutional environment from an
    actor-oriented perspective. We have uncovered different farming styles behind soy production: the colonial farmer, the niche farmer and the entrepreneurial farmer. The farming styles differ from each other not only in the farming system, but also in attitudes (for example, towards the forest). We found that the institutional environment and the technology are mainly focused on the entrepreneurial farmer. However, also,
    non-governmental organizations (NGOs) neglect the existence of small-scale soy producers. These results have several repercussions for further analysis of this problematic crop and how it can shift towards a more sustainable agricultural production model as small-scale farmers might produce soy more sustainably.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalThe Journal of Peasant Studies
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)396–418
    Number of pages23
    Publication statusPublished - Apr-2016


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