Campesinos and the Hidden History of Biodiversity


In an era of economic globalization, small farms have emerged as potent symbols of social justice and environmental sustainability. But the contemporary importance of campesinos, or small-scale cultivators, in Latin America is not only symbolic; they are responsible for substantial portion of the production of crops such as maize, beans, and yucca, and are more biologically diverse than large-scale farms. This article looks at the history of agrodiversity in Latin America using the example of three crop types—maize, potatoes, and coffee—where small-scale cultivators and local landraces have played a considerable role.