Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 534707
Title Re-embedding food practices: agro-biodiversity preservation, heritage policies and the Andean potato
Author(s) Arce, A.M.G.; Ange, O.; Fisher, E.
Source In: XXVI European Society for Rural Sociology Congress, Book of Abstracts ESRS - p. 390 - 390.
Department(s) Sociology of Development and Change
Publication type Abstract in scientific journal or proceedings
Publication year 2015
Abstract Biodiversity preservation is a major challenge facing humanity. Heritage policies are niche activities, which at face value contribute to a transition toward more just and sustainable food practices through improving livelihoods while protecting ecosystems. Worldwide, protection of landscapes or species draws a permanent link between ecological and symbolic values and cultural communities in charge of their preservation. This presentation focuses on the heritagization of potatoes, a crop for improving life conditions for peasant societies in the Andes. Heritage policies foster agricultural assets' commoditisation, calling for the assignation of monetary value to particular species. Thus heritagization fosters commodity ‘pathway diversions’, following Kopytoff's expression. Pathway diversion means (a) that an object is removed from its commodity pathway for its protection and preservation, contributing to the singularization of the object. Diversion also occurs (b) when a previously removed object is commoditized through reentry into the commodity pathway after having gained value through its absence. The focus of this paper is to identify the pathway diversions of potatoes species generated by heritage policies; and how these diversions articulate with pre-existing local pathways and values. We focus on an FAO initiative for preserving agricultural systems and landscapes shaped by farmers and herders. Comparing the biographies of tubers, depending on their integration into safeguarding policies, this work evaluates production and/or destruction of economic, ecological and symbolic values in the process of heritagization. Attention is paid to clashes between regimes of value at particular stages of potatoes' social life to underline challenges regarding the articulation between local perspectives on biodiversity and ideologies promoted by external institution.
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