VASCI student Becca Yen presented at the Undergraduate Research Conference

Becca Yen and research poster

Title: Neoliberal Globalization and the Transformation of Agriculture: Case Studies from Developing Nations

Abstract: Since the 1980s, international organizations such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued loans tied to structural adjustment program (SAPs), which required developing countries adopt economic policies aimed at reducing trade barriers and opening labor markets. These policies often included reduced public spending, privatization of services, dismantling state enterprises, and lowering import tariffs. While industrialized countries benefited greatly from open markets, developing nations became overrun by large corporations and small farmers were unable to compete in global markets. Today, many developing nations have been transformed into major exporters of agricultural products, largely to the benefit of developed nations. Under this façade of “development” and “efficiency,” the very nature of agriculture has transformed from an industry that serves communities to one that provides profits to corporations and foreign entities. Today, many of the global poor are left unable to sustain themselves at the most basic level: farming for food.