No caminho dos antigos: agricultura de corte-e-queima e intensificação agrícola em populações quilombolas do Vale do Ribeira, SP / On the old onestrack: shifting cultivation and agricultural intensification on quilombola populations at the Ribeira Valley, SP




Slash-and-burn agriculture has been practiced for thousands of years in the forests around the world, especially in the tropics, where it provides for the livelihood of countless poor rural populations. Many studies claim that slash-andburn agriculture is sustainable when performed under conditions of low human demographic density, maintaining or even increasing local biodiversity. However, it is growing in the academic literature, as well as in development debates, the concern regarding the role that this system has been playing in the deforestation of the planet´s tropical forests. This process appears to be closely linked to changes in land use patterns (agricultural intensification) and urban and rural demographic growth. In Ribeira Valley, State of São Paulo, Quilombola communities have had a significant increase of changes in their subsistence system. On the thread of these concerns, this study presents a critical review of the international and national academic literature on slash-and-burn agriculture. Thus, this review intends to draw a broad scenario of the current academic debate on this issue, as well as to identify the main alternatives strategies proposed to maintain or replace this cultivation system. Following this study aims to characterize the socioeconomic and demographic profile of nine Quilombola populations in the Ribeira Valley, and to identify the main factors responsible for the recent changes in their subsistence system. Por fim, an ethnographic analysis is done, through informations gathered in three pre-selected Quilombola communities, to characterize the agricultural activities practiced nowadays and in the recent past, besides the change process and impacts on the slash-and-burn agriculture. The results show that restrictions imposed by environmental laws, conflict over land, the construction of a major road in the region, the growing insertion into a market economy, and the intervention of governmental and nongovernmental development agencies are the main factors behind the changes observed in the subsistence system and, consequently, in the socioeconomic organization of these populations.


ecologia política populações quilombolas slash-and-burn agriculture agricultural intensification agricultura de corte-e-queima political ecology quilombola populations land use change mudanças no uso do solo sustainability sustentabilidade intensificação agrícola

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