Selling maize in Mexico

The persistence of peasant farming in an era of global markets

Hallie Eakin, Hugo Perales, Kirsten Appendini, Stuart Sweeney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The last decade of the twentieth century was heralded as the 'end of agrarian reform' in Mexico and the initiation of a new era of market-led agricultural policy and practice. The impact of neoliberalism and the North American Free Trade Agreement on smallholder maize production has been widely conceived as negative, associated with ecological degradation, rural emigration and cultural erosion. Yet, some twenty years later, all evidence suggests that smallholder maize production is continuing in Mexico, albeit in evolving structures and forms. This article uses a farm-level survey implemented in three Mexican states to assess the current condition of maize farming in Mexico. The authors revisit past categorizations of Mexican farmers and apply similar approaches to explore what maize-producing households are doing with their maize, and what current patterns of production imply for future Mexican maize policy. They find evidence of greater persistence and adaptability in Mexican maize farming than is often presented. On the basis of their analysis, they advocate for a reconsideration of the underlying assumptions of public policy, highlighting the heterogeneity of the maize landscape and the unrealized and generally unrecognized potential this heterogeneity represents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-155
Number of pages23
JournalDevelopment and Change
Volume45
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2014

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selling
peasant
persistence
Mexico
maize
market
pattern of production
agricultural policy
agrarian reform
free trade
emigration
neoliberalism
evidence
erosion
farm
smallholder
twentieth century
farmer
public policy
NAFTA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development

Cite this

Selling maize in Mexico : The persistence of peasant farming in an era of global markets. / Eakin, Hallie; Perales, Hugo; Appendini, Kirsten; Sweeney, Stuart.

In: Development and Change, Vol. 45, No. 1, 01.2014, p. 133-155.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Eakin, Hallie ; Perales, Hugo ; Appendini, Kirsten ; Sweeney, Stuart. / Selling maize in Mexico : The persistence of peasant farming in an era of global markets. In: Development and Change. 2014 ; Vol. 45, No. 1. pp. 133-155.
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