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Rural territorial dynamics in northeast Brazil: the Jiquiriçá Valley in Bahia

Rural territorial dynamics in northeast Brazil: the Jiquiriçá Valley in Bahia

Quan, Julian Francis ORCID: 0000-0003-2388-5684 (2014) Rural territorial dynamics in northeast Brazil: the Jiquiriçá Valley in Bahia. PhD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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This research undertook a case study in Northeast Brazil to address three inter-related research questions: (i) what factors explain the performance of rural areas combining growth, poverty reduction and social inclusion? (ii) Have coalitions of social actors contributed to progressive outcomes by influencing institutional change? (iii) What are the implications for policy? The investigation contributed to a Latin American research programme on Rural Territorial Dynamics, which undertook 20 studies of rural areas displaying broadly successful outcomes, according to census and household survey data.

The Jiquiriçá valley is an agricultural region characterised by family farming, and forms one of 26 clusters of municipalities in Bahia designated as Territórios de Identidade under policies promoting participation in development planning. The study applied geographical and social science concepts of territoriality, social networks, coalitions, and institutional change, to a combined qualitative and quantitative analysis of data gathered from key informants, farming communities, urban traders, and secondary sources. It identified distinct development trajectories in different parts of the valley, explained by geographical variations in natural resources, agrarian structure, agricultural markets and the impacts of public policies. Inclusive prosperity in the valley’s Atlantic Forest region is explained by its concentration of small family farmers, good links with diversified markets, and a rural union movement active within a broader social coalition. This coalition has achieved significant innovation in certain municipalities and led development of a government-assisted territorial forum, although not including private sector actors or more conservative municipalities. Nevertheless, government policies have failed to invest in inclusive economic development,and have overlooked the valley’s socio-spatial diversity. Positive development outcomes in the valley mainly result from growth of agricultural markets and public financial transfers. The conclusion considers broader lessons for rural and territorial development policy and practice, with reference to findings of other investigations in Brazil and Latin America.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:
Uncontrolled Keywords: rural territorial development; Bahia; North East Brazil; agricultural markets; social movements; social networks; rural development policy;
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Science > Natural Resources Institute
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2020 10:13

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