(Article of book - 2001)

Document title

Paysans du sertão (mutations des agricultures familiales dans le Nordeste du Brésil)

Authors(s) and Affiliation(s)

Caron Patrick (Compilateur) ; Sabourin Eric (Compilateur) ;


The Brazilian Nordeste has a reputation as a problem region. The agriculture is mainly family-based and involves the vast majority of the rural population. The agricultural sector is generally considered unproductive, unadapted to the actual context of economic liberalization, unable to innovate, and retrograde. For most extension workers and policymakers, it needs to be organized and integrated into the market, and the transfer of modern technologies could effectively be the best way of implementing a selective development model. Family-based agriculture in its current form is doomed. The studies show that the realities of family-based agriculture are in fact diverse. Joint research was conducted from 1987 to 1997 by the Family-Based Agriculture Development Support Project in the semi-arid zone of the Nordeste Region by cooperation between EMBRAPA and CIRAD, with support from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and regional stakeholders. The results showed that contrary to prevailing opinion, family-based agriculture is undergoing drastic technical, economic and social changes. They also confirmed how developmental catchwords reflect an inadequate and ideological representation of a poorly known reality. The book first presents the historical and geographic background in relation to the regional and national context of Brazilian agriculture. Thematic syntheses are then presented in the second part. They relate to the change in local organization of the agricultural production process, the wide variety of farms and how they are changing, the collective decision-making process and farmers' organizations, and the changes in technical production systems, agricultural product processing and marketing. The authors analyse the role and the functions of development-oriented research by looking at the results and the methods developed. The research project trajectory is discussed in the last part by highlighting the questions and issues that prompted researchers to test new approaches. Several examples of research and action operations are used to illustrate this discussion, viz. the implementation of a local credit system and support of municipal planning of rural development.

Dans le Nordeste brésilien, l'agriculture familiale occupe la majorité de la population rurale. Discrédité dans les discours dominants, cette agriculture aux formes plurielles connaît cependant de profondes mutations techniques, économiques et sociales. Après un rappel concernant l'agriculture du Nordeste brésilien, l'ouvrage propose des synthèses thématiques sur : l'évolution des formes de structuration de l'espace local, les exploitations agricoles, l'action collective et l'organisation des producteurs, les systèmes techniques de production et les formes de valorisation économique des produits.



Published at : Repères - CIRAD / ISSN 1251-7224

Editor : Cirad, Montpellier ; Embrapa, Montpellier - FRANCE (2001)

Millesime : 2001  [243 pages]

Bibliographic references : 10 p.

Collation : Illustration ;




Laboratoire INTERGEO - Paris

INIST-CNRS, Cote INIST : L 30110

Tous droits réservés © Prodig - Bibliographie Géographique Internationale (BGI), 2002.
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