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The Politics of Agribusiness and the Business of Sustainability

Antonio A. R. Ioris ()
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Antonio A. R. Ioris: School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University, Glamorgan Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff CF10 3WA, UK

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 5, 1-21

Abstract: The sustainability and the prospects of contemporary agribusiness are discussed taking into account trends, controversies, ideologies, practices and pending demands. The growing hegemony of agribusiness in the world today is analyzed making use of a conceptual framework of agro-neoliberalism that embraces three main areas of interaction, namely, renewed public–private alliances, novel techno-economic strategies that intensify socio-ecological exploitation and the containment of critical reactions. The critical importance of export-led agribusiness for the Brazilian economy provides a paradigmatic opportunity to apply this conceptual framework and investigate the foundations and geographical specificities of agro-neoliberalism. The article also discusses recent politico-economic adjustments and early signs of the exhaustion of Brazilian agro-neoliberalism, despite its undisputed hegemony. Neoliberal agricultural policies in Brazil have enabled the mobilization of agricultural resources, not for the purpose of domestic food security, but primarily for capital accumulation and the reinforcement of long-term social and economic trends that, ultimately, undermine prospects for sustained agricultural growth and broader sustainable development.

Keywords: agro-neoliberalism; neoliberalism; sustainable development; agri-food; agricultural frontiers; Mato Grosso; Brazil; agro-industry; agroecology; political-economy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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