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Image of Mateo Mier y Teran

Mateo Mier y Teran

DPhil Student

Thesis: The political ecology of soybean farming in Mato Grosso, Brazil.

The popular image of a convoy of tractors advancing over thousands of hectares of soybean in a ‘V’ formation has been used to symbolize both the advancement of modern technology and the devastation of the Amazon, a bane on indigenous and small farmers’ livelihoods. The complexity behind that image is rarely depicted. Instead simplistic and monolithic notions of what in Brazil is commonly called agronegocio (agri-business), and linear interpretations of the expansion of soybean are offered.

This research argues for a more nuanced understanding of the diverse processes and dynamics between soybean farming systems and its actors’ interactions as part of a fast-change agro-ecological- industrial complex. Furthermore, this research will explore the interaction between soybean farming systems and the socio-economic and environmental impacts of these in a particular contexts and place.