Blesh, J., and H. Wittman (2015) "“Brasilience:” assessing resilience in land reform settlements in the Brazilian Cerrado." Human ecology 43(4): 531-546.
This study assessed the socioecological resilience
of family farms in three land reform settlements in
Mato Grosso, Brazil, located in the ecologically threatened
Cerrado biome. Using focus groups, a household
survey, and analysis of soil samples we characterized
farming systems and quantified indicators of resilience,
which we contextualized with a qualitative analysis of
distributions of power and access to rights and resources.
In Mato Grosso, where diversified agriculture
is a marginal presence in an industrialized agricultural
landscape, none of the communities were achieving
participant-defined threshold levels of any measured indicator
of resilience. However, farmers who were members
of a marketing cooperative selling produce through
a federal public procurement program had significantly
greater agrobiodiversity, plant-available soil phosphorus,
household food self-sufficiency, and access to stable
markets. Our pilot study suggests that the convergence
of grassroots mobilization and political-institutional
change is a central leverage point for developing more
resilient food systems.