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FEAST Seminar: Soybeans, Poverty and Inequality in the Brazilian Amazon

16 March 2011

Time: 12:30 - 1:30pm
Venue: FB 4.26 (Francis Bancroft Building, Level 4, Mile End Campus)

Speaker: Dr Diana Weinhold, Department of International Development, London School of Economics

Abstract: 
The recent growth of soybean cultivation in the Brazilian Amazon has been unprecedented, even as the debate continues over its economic and environmental consequences. Based on contemporary datasets as well as our own field studies, this paper examines the social and economic costs and benefits of increases in soybean production for local populations. After presenting some background information on the rise of soybean cultivation in Brazil we examine the relationship between increases in soybean production and local economic indicators. We find that increased soy production both reduces poverty indicators and raises median rural incomes. However, we also note that this increase is associated with increased measures of inequality, and we consider the wider political and social consequences of this connection in our qualitative fieldwork. The mixed-method approach helps shed light not only on economic effects of soy cultivation but also on the more complex social and political context that is, arguably, even more policy-relevant.

All are welcome. Sandwich lunch will be provided.

 

This seminar is part of the 'Financial, Economic and Accounting Studies (FEAST)' lunch-time seminar series. For further information, please see http://www.busman.qmul.ac.uk/newsandevents/seminars/44689.html or contact Dr Sushanta Mallick s.k.mallick@qmul.ac.uk .

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