First Advisor

Leopoldo Rodriguez

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in International & Global Studies: Latin America and University Honors


International and Global Studies


Economic development -- Northwest Argentina, Agriculture -- Social aspects -- Northwest Argentina, Agriculture -- Economic aspects -- Northwest Argentina




Worldwide, agriculture has seen a transition from small scale subsistence farming to large scale commercial operations, often associated with green revolution technologies and support by government policies and western models of economic development. Argentina with its history as a salient agricultural exporter serves as a valuable example of the agricultural transition from subsistence to commercial production. In the small town of San Pedro de Cololao, Tucuman, we studied the agricultural transitions that are taking place and analyzed the role that socioeconomic, cultural and political factors play in the shift.

Through the case studies of agricultural practices in San Pedro de Cololao this report will give greater insight into how agriculture in rural communities is responding to economic development. This paper finds that two types of agricultural transitions from subsistence to commercialized production are occurring in NW Argentina and evaluates how they follow trends in development theory to greater conceptualize the patterns that led to these transitions and the potential social, economic and environmental implications they present.

The agriculture changes taking place in San Pedro can be viewed as a representation of two paradigm shifts in the rural development discourse, the "small-farm-first narrative" and the shift towards internal resources and markets. Three agricultural models are present in San Pedro, 1) subsistence, 2) agroecological, and 3) small scale commercialized production of vegetables. Subsistence agriculture is slowly being abandoned in a transition to agroecological, and small scale production of vegetables for commercialization. The transition to agroecology can be identified with both the small-farm-first approach as well the shift towards internal resources and markets. The transition to the small scale commercialization of vegetables while associated with the small-farm first approach, applies some industrial agriculture technologies.


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