Introduction: Reclaiming the Cerrado – A Territorial Account of a Disputed Frontier

Volume 54 Number 1
Published: February 2, 2023

As global agri-food systems come under increasing stress, debates on their future have become highly polarised, exposing fundamental differences in understandings and priorities: industrial production versus traditional rights; short-term yields versus longer-term sustainability; cheap versus healthy food. Brazil is at the core of these debates, with the Cerrado being centre stage since the soybean-powered Green Revolution. Accompanied by deforestation, soil degradation, and depletion of water resources, Brazil’s agricultural production frontier has now moved northwards into the Matopiba region. This issue of the IDS Bulletin explores the ongoing territorial transformation, considering the violent logics of extraction in frontier zones, the grabbing of nature, and the dynamics of resistance in local and international spheres. Exposing both the material and discursive appropriation experienced by the Cerrado, this issue profiles it as a key site of multi-scalar injustices against people and nature that need to be addressed by efforts to secure more just and sustainable agri-food systems.

Read the Portuguese version of this introduction.

Para ler a introdução em português, ver ‘Introdução: Lutando pelo Cerrado – um olhar territorial sobre uma fronteira disputada’.

From Issue: Vol. 54 No. 1 (2023) | Frontier Territories: Countering the Green Revolution Legacy in the Brazilian Cerrado