Special Issue 1, December 2009
Article Number: 06
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Irrigated agricultural production and adaptation to climate change in the Argentinean Pampas: An analysis from a socio-theoretical perspective
C. Riera and S.G. Pereira
Pages 35-39

Abstract—In the temperate agriculture of Argentina there has been a profound restructuring in the activity as a result of globalization processes. The use of land brought along an expansion of agriculture and the ending of the livestock production, which had to be relocated in marginal areas of the country. These changes have been accompanied with climate variations associated with Climate Change and the incorporation of new capital intensive technologies. Our study in the Río Segundo department, situated in the border of the pampas region in the province of Córdoba, is an area characterized by water shortage. Here, the above mentioned changes came along with the adoption of sprinkler irrigation with groundwater for specialized production of extensive crops (soya). In the present work we analyze from a socio-cultural perspective, whether the adoption of irrigation is an adaptation strategy to the dynamics of climate, or to social and economic logics resulting from the installation of a new model of agriculture, for a particular group of farmers. To fulfill this purpose we gathered primary information obtained in semi-structured interviews performed during field works. Our results show that irrigation systems have been incorporated as a way to cope with the historical natural restrictions of the area for crop production. However, its adoption is more an economic strategy to improve the position of farmers in the social space, rather than a way of adapting to local variations in climate related to Climate Change that, on the contrary, has revealed a tendency to humidity increase, as far as farmer‟s perception is concerned and recent studies have shown.

Keywords—adaptation, Argentinean Pampas, irrigated agriculture, social theory.