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Reading: Creating a Social Wasteland? Non-Traditional Agricultural Exports and Rural Poverty in Ecuador

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Creating a Social Wasteland? Non-Traditional Agricultural Exports and Rural Poverty in Ecuador

Author:

Tanya Korovkin

University of Waterloo, CA
About Tanya
Tanya Korovkin is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of  Waterloo, Canada, and a Fellow at the Centre for Research on Latin American and  Caribbean Studies (CERLAC) at York University. She has written extensively on agrarian and indigenous politics, based on fieldwork in Peru, Chile, and Ecuador.  Her recent publications include ‘In Search of Dialogue? Oil Companies and Indigenous Peoples of the Ecuadorean Amazon’, Canadian Journal of Development Studies, 2002, Vol. 23, no.633-663; and ‘Cut Flower Exports, Female Labor, and  Community Participation in Highland Ecuador’, Latin American Perspectives,  2003, Vol. 131, no. 4: 18-42. She is also compiler and co-author of Efectos Sociales de la Globalización: Petróleo, Banano y Flores in Ecuador, Quito, Abya Yala  and CEDIME: 2004.
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Abstract

Neoliberal economic policies in Latin America  have resulted in the rapid growth of nontraditional agricultural exports (NTAE). This  growth is often seen as contributing to the alleviation of rural poverty. The paper examines this  view with the focus on Ecuador, using the World  Bank’s definition poverty as a reference. It is  argued that the flower export expansion has created employment opportunities but did not allow  the rural poor to raise themselves above the poverty line. Moreover, flower employment has undermined the pre-existing social networks and community organizations, increasing the levels of insecurity among rural families and undermining  their ability to influence the processes of decision  making.  

Resumen: Creando un páramo social? Exportaciones agrícolas no-tradicionales y pobreza rural en Ecuador

Las políticas económicas neo-liberales en América Latina han resultado en el rápido crecimiento  de las exportaciones agrícolas no tradicionales  (EANT), lo que es considerado a menudo como  un alivio de la pobreza rural. En este artículo se  estudia esta visión para el caso de Ecuador, utilizando como referencia la definición de pobreza  del Banco Mundial. Aunque se dice que la expansión en la exportación de flores ha creado oportunidades de empleo, no ha logrado que los pobres  rurales crucen la línea de la pobreza. Además, el empleo en este sector ha socavado las redes sociales y organizaciones comunitarias anteriores,  elevando los niveles de inseguridad entre las  familias rurales y minando su capacidad de intervención en el proceso de toma de decisiones. 

DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/erlacs.9662
How to Cite: Korovkin, T. (2005). Creating a Social Wasteland? Non-Traditional Agricultural Exports and Rural Poverty in Ecuador. ERLACS, (79), 47–67. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/erlacs.9662
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Published on 15 Oct 2005.
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