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Agricultura, sociedad y desarrollo

versión impresa ISSN 1870-5472

agric. soc. desarro vol.15 no.4 Texcoco oct./dic. 2018


Book review

Beatriz Cavallotti Vasquez, Benito Ramírez Valverde, Alfredo Cesín Vargas, y Javier Ramírez Juarez (coordinadores). 2017. Globalización, seguridad alimentaria y ganadería familiar. México: Universidad Autónoma Chapingo- Colegio de postgraduados: Juan Pablos Editor. 344 p.

Mónica Agudelo-López1 

1 Universidad Autónoma Chapingo, Centro de Investigaciones Económicas, Sociales y Tecnológicas de la Agroindustria y la Agricultura Mundial (CIESTAAM), Km 38.5 Carretera México-Texcoco. 56230, Chapingo, Estado de México. (

Cavallotti Vasquez, Beatriz; Ramírez Valverde, Benito; Cesïn Vargas, Alfredo; Ramírez Juarez, Javier. 2017. Globalización, seguridad alimentaria y ganadería familiar. México: Universidad Autónoma Chapingo, Colegio de postgraduados, Juan Pablos Editor, 344p.

Aquestion that is often made in academia is: How can family production systems contribute to food security, in an increasingly more globalized world dominated by the logics of capital? Globalization, Food Security and Family Livestock Production are three large areas of study, doubtless connected.

The book, published by the Juan Pablos publishing house, in joint publication with the Universidad Autónoma de Chapingo and Colegio de Postgraduados, is divided into 19 chapters, presented by 61 researchers from various institutions, national and international. The chapters were peer-reviewed with the double-blind method.

In the first two chapters, critical themes are addressed related to state policies directed at strengthening a few enterprises, in detriment of the majority of small-scale production units; these policies have favored the intensive production of foods, influencing the breakdown of structures in the farmland, food security, and the social loss of natural resources, which are exhausted in favor of the increase of private capitals.

The other chapters, more specific insofar as they respond to case studies or particular themes, present very rich evidences concerning the importance of family livestock production in food security; in the lower pressure they exert on natural resources because they are sustained on principles of productive diversity; and in their contribution to the decrease of rural poverty.

These chapters offer information related to family dairy farming, sheep breeding, rural agroindustry and artisanal cheese-making, quality seals as a way to validate local products. In addition, themes related to animal welfare, livestock biotechnology, learning modes in research and rural extension work are addressed.

When advancing in reading the chapters, it is important to highlight some opinions about which the different authors agree. The first, "local knowledge" or "knowhow" as an important collective resource for the structuring and reproduction of peasant livelihoods; for the conservation of local products, productive diversity, and for food security; as well as for the production of local identities, which are strengthened through collective action and are a form of resistance to the economic crisis imposed by market conditions, represented by increasingly more aggressive and discriminatory neoliberalism. Second, the importance of the knowledge about peasant reproduction patterns and the socioeconomic characteristics of the population, in order to understand the way in which activities are distributed in the family nucleus; in the identification of problems related to the ageing of the rural population, and the low level of schooling; and in the productive persistence, despite the negative conditions of the market and the environment. Third, the role of family livestock production as a strategy for rural poverty mitigation, and the role of conservation of native species in maintaining diversity, food security, and decreasing poverty.

The book results from the effort of numerous researchers who highlight the qualities of family livestock production as an alternative to industrial food production which, paradoxically, has had the consequence of loss of food sovereignty derived from the increase in imports of foods and inputs and technologies for production, at the same time leaving a greater ecological footprint whose cost is taken on by society. Insecurity is produced when the State ceases to support local forms of production through adequate public policies and, in addition, stimulates the intensive production of different species, favoring the production of grains destined to animal diets, and in turn impacting the loss of biodiversity and therefore affecting food security, which generates a perverse cycle in which animal food production has been trapped.

Literatura citada

Beatriz Cavallotti Vasquez, Benito Ramírez Valverde, Alfredo Cesïn Vargas, y Javier Ramírez Juarez (coordinadores). 2017. Globalización, seguridad alimentaria y ganadería familiar. México: Universidad Autónoma Chapingo- Colegio de postgraduados: Juan Pablos Editor. 344 p. [ Links ]

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