The Transformation of Mexican Agriculture: International Structure and the Politics of Rural Change

The Transformation of Mexican Agriculture: International Structure and the Politics of Rural Change

Copyright Date: 1986
Pages: 338
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  • Book Info
    The Transformation of Mexican Agriculture: International Structure and the Politics of Rural Change
    Book Description:

    In spite of the most thorough agrarian reform in nonsocialist Latin America, Mexico cannot feed its population. Steven Sanderson attributes the problems of Mexican agriculture to an internationalization of the food system promoted by the Mexican state, the trade system, and agribusiness.

    Originally published in 1986.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5781-4
    Subjects: Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. List of Tables
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xvii-xx)
  6. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xxi-2)
  7. Introduction
    (pp. 3-13)

    In a smallempaque(packing shed) in the winter vegetable zone of Guasave, Sinaloa, the manager oversees the labor force (all women from local public sector farms calledejidos) as they sort and separate export-quality winter vegetables from culls for local processing and sale. In order to find out if the size and ripeness classifications match those of the U.S. marketing order for tomatoes, I ask the manager about the grading scheme. She replies that the sizes are only three: “small,mediano, ylarge.” The international flavor of theempaqueis further reinforced by the appearance of the label Jesús...

  8. CHAPTER ONE The Transformation of Mexican Agriculture and the New International Division of Labor
    (pp. 14-63)

    In the mid-1980s, the production, exchange, distribution, and consumption of many commodities are undergoing profound structural change. World markets frame many goods and labor processes. Those markets govern not only world prices but “worldwide sourcing” for manufactures, “global strategies” of integrated international enterprises, and ultimately the “internationalization” of national economies in new ways. As this “new” world economy challenges U.S. hegemony in trade, the “globalization” of production will figure large on the international political agenda. From OECD economic summits to more prosaic bilateral trade negotiations between the United States and Mexico, trade policy makers worry over the international realignment of...

  9. CHAPTER TWO The Politics of Produce: Mexico, the United States and the Internationalization of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
    (pp. 64-118)

    The most obvious and painful agricultural trade relationship between the United States and Mexico has focused for some years on the increasing fresh produce trade between the two countries. In the past two decades Mexico has built on its longstanding tradition of fresh fruit and vegetable production for export and challenged U.S. producers in their home market. While that challenge has been concentrated principally in the winter vegetable trade, there are increasing signs of a tense symbiosis across a variety of crops in which Mexico plays the part of a spillover producer for the U.S. market and whipping boy for...

  10. CHAPTER THREE From Cimarron to Feedlot: The Emergence of the Binational Frontier Beef Industry
    (pp. 119-181)

    The modern international system for raising, slaughtering, processing, and marketing beef cattle in many respects embodies the general argument made throughout this study. The market for cattle and meat products is global.¹ The forces and relations of production in cattle and meat products have been transformed and “globalized” by international improvements in refrigerated shipping, communications, industrial organization, and technology. Since World War II, in particular, Latin American cattle industries have been inserted into that global framework, not only in sales and procurement (i.e., trade), but in technology, stock lines, and methods of processing cattle products.

    Given the long history of...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR Not By Bread Alone: The Future of the Mexican Basic Grains Complex
    (pp. 182-229)

    The basic grains complex is the front line of battle against Mexican food production shortages. Of all the commodity and agribusiness groups we have mentioned until now, basic grains, especially maize and wheat, are most amenable to broad national production and consumption by the poorest groups in Mexican society. To a great extent, maize cultivation is the wellspring of peasant life, and wheat plays a regional role of traditional importance as well as acting as the harbinger of the “modern” basic grain sector in an urbanized society.

    Yet, in painful paradox, these two basic human foodstuffs have suffered over the...

  12. CHAPTER FIVE Markets, Politics, and the Public Economy: The Allocation of Resources in Mexican Agriculture
    (pp. 230-272)

    At the end of 1984, the Mexican agricultural system finds itself unable to provide its population with sufficient food, adequately distributed. At the same time, Mexico has appeared in the past decade as one of the most important agricultural exporters in the world, a crucial provider of certain foodstuffs to U.S., European, and Asian markets. That fundamental contradiction in Mexico is hardly unique in the Third World. It is increasingly the condition of national agricultural systems that are “opened” to the international system through transnational agribusiness investment, trade, and national strategies of development. In such societies, economic theory suggests that...

  13. Conclusion
    (pp. 273-284)

    The new administration of Miguel de la Madrid has swept away the euphoric faith in the SAM, if not the conviction that Mexico should attain some sort of meaningful “food security” in the 1980s. To a great extent the SAM was doomed by the international crisis following the fall of oil prices and the disastrous economic policies of the López Portillo administration. In a political system so characterized by bureaucratic positioning and internal power struggles, the SAM, as a littleappreciated newcomer to the administrative hierarchy of the Mexican state, had little chance to survive the greatest fiscal and payments crisis...

  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 285-308)
  15. Index
    (pp. 309-324)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 325-325)