There has been a resurgence of interest in the Agrarian question in the developing world, especially in Latin America. Colombia’s development trajectory cannot be fully understood without paying serious attention to the unresolved agrarian question.
My thesis explores the negotiations that took place between the government and the agrarian movements in the aftermath of the 2013-2014 national strikes. For the first time in decades in Colombia, the national government agreed to negotiate with the representatives of the peasant, indigenous and African-Colombian peoples, the country’s poorest and most marginalised communities. In this context, my research addresses the following questions: (1) what are the alternative narratives of food provision that emerged in the agrarian strikes and negotiations in Colombia in the period 2013-2016? (2) To what extent have new coalitions of agrarian movements emerged around alternative narratives of food provision? (3) How are alternative narratives interfacing with dominant ones, and what are the potential outcomes for agrarian policy?
In studying the emergence of two national agrarian movements, the thesis argues that the debates on food provisioning – who produces what and who consumes what, where and with what effects – have become central, and that the different actors involved in them – agrarian movements, the state, and the food industry – have different and often competing visions.
Conceptually, my work goes on to argue that the agrarian question, beyond its conventional formulation, could be reframed as a question of food. In addition to being a contribution to scholarship on the Agrarian question in Colombia, the thesis addresses key issues for sustainable rural development, agri-food systems and the future of the peace-agreement implementation.