Agriculture in South and Central America

  • Karl H. Schwerin
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4425-0_8414

Conquest of South and Central America by the Spanish and Portuguese in the sixteenth century was rapidly followed by the introduction of Old World crops. These included both those familiar to European farmers, such as wheat, barley, oats, and many temperate vegetables and fruits catering to European food tastes, as well as tropical crops from Africa and Asia, such as bananas and plantains, sugar cane, and rice. At the same time many American crops were carried to the Old World – the most important being maize, potatoes, manioc, beans, and squash.

From the time of conquest to the present, agriculture in this region has been dichotomized between small‐scale subsistence farming and large‐scale monocrop operations producing for profit. Their development is summarized here.

Some native agricultural methods continued, such as swidden agriculture in temperate and tropical forested regions, field cultivation with the foot plow in the Andes, and intensive chinampaagriculture in central...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access

References

  1. Barkin, David; Rosemary L. Batt, and Billie R. DeWalt. Food Crops vs. Feed Crops: Global Substitution of Grains in Production. Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Riener Publishers, 1990.Google Scholar
  2. Cardoso, Eliana and Ann Helwege. Latin America's Economy: Diversity, Trends and Conflicts. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1992.Google Scholar
  3. Crespi, Muriel K. The Patrons and Peons of Pesillo. A Traditional Hacienda System. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Illinois, 1968.Google Scholar
  4. Denevan, William M. Latin America. Ed. Gary A. Klee. World Systems of Traditional Resource Management. New York: Halsted Press, 1980. 217–44.Google Scholar
  5. González, Alfonso. Latin America: Recent Trends in Population, Agriculture and Food Supply. Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies 10.20 (1985): 3–13.Google Scholar
  6. Lambert, Jacques. The Latifundio. Ed. Jacques Lambert. Latin America. Social Structures and Political Institutions. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967. 59–105.Google Scholar
  7. Llambi, Luis and Andrew L. Cousins. Petty‐Capitalist Production in Agriculture. Latin American Perspectives 16.3 (1989): 86–120.Google Scholar
  8. McDonald, James H. Privatizing the Private Family Farmer: NAFTA and the Transformation of the Mexican Dairy Sector. Human Organization 56.3 (1997): 321–32.Google Scholar
  9. Mintz, Sidney W. The Plantation as a Socio‐Cultural Type. Plantation Systems of the New World. Ed. Vera Rubin. Washington, DC: Pan American Union. 42–53.Google Scholar
  10. Rubin, Vera; Julian Steward, et al. Plantation Systems of the New World. Washington, DC: Pan American Union, 1959.Google Scholar
  11. Teubal, Miguel. Internationalization of Capital and Agroindustrial Complexes: Their Impact on Latin American Agriculture. Latin American Perspectives 14.3 (1987): 316–64.Google Scholar
  12. Wolf, Eric R. Peasants. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice‐Hall, 1966.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karl H. Schwerin

There are no affiliations available