By Filippo Barbera, Professor of Economic Sociology at University of Turin and member of Forum on Inequality and Diversity
In 53 countries of the world, mountainous areas cover more than 50% of national surface, in another 46, they cover between 25% and 50%. And in many other countries they play key roles, like serving as water reserves. In agriculture, modernisation has whittled away at the scale of assets held by individual farmers or local communities, such as land, labour and local knowledge. The voices of marginal mountain farmers have not been able to find space in this process. However, by combining traditional methods with modern tools and techniques, technology that is place-based and socially embedded can help meet mountain farmers’ needs and make governance more inclusive of mountain areas.
The process of modernisation in agriculture has led to an organisational dominance of the institutional and technological environment, and governance decisions have shifted from farm to industries that produce technological inputs. Consequently, farms have had to reorganise in ways more suitable for development models based on economies of scale. At best, these models serve the needs of lowland agribusiness.Continue reading