Jaye de la Cruz and Antonio Castellanos Navarrete (KTI)
Using the example of oil palm expansion in Chiapas, Mexico, Antonio Castellanos Navarrete (KTI) discusses how environmental discourses on oil palm that were initially framed in relation to large-scale plantations are now unwittingly used against smallholders in Chiapas. Jaye de la Cruz (KTI), drawing from field data from banana-producing areas in the Philippines, contests dominant assertions that the spread of a destructive soil-borne banana disease is attributable to small farmers, and suggests that the structural arrangements under contract farming need to be revisited. In both cases, smallholders’ narratives are rewritten for them. Both researchers reflect on the agendas and interests that frame the dominant narratives, and discuss the implications of their findings on existing debates on agrarian change.