Indigenous Smallholder Struggles in Peru: Nutrition Security, Agrobiodiversity, and Food Sovereignty amid Transforming Global Systems and Climate Change

Abstract / Resumen / Resumo

Nutrition, food systems, and the biodiversity of food and agriculture (agrobiodiversity) are rapidly changing among indigenous smallholders in the Andean countries, across Latin America, and globally. Urgent calls for food sovereignty recognize global transformations of nutrition, food systems, agriculture, and climate change amid geographically uneven development. Collaborating with a praxis-oriented institution in Peru we conducted mixed-method research on landscape and livelihood transformations among indigenous smallholders in the Huánuco region. Our approach utilizes a place- and region-based research approach that integrates a relational framework of emergent agrobiodiversity interactions with a model of coupling/de-coupling in production-consumption linkages. Conceptual insights and empirical results demonstrate varied but widespread food and nutritional insecurity, moderate agrobiodiversity, and innovative agrobiodiverse maize fields and home gardens. Part-time farming and predominant purchased food are dual pillars amid precarious livelihoods and land use that condition food sovereignty prospects. Cultural affect strongly influences emergent agrobiodiversity utilized in food consumption through relations of gender and intersectional social factors. Global transformations fuel the substantial albeit partial decline of agrobiodiversity. Emergent agrobiodiversity in food-growing spaces can enhance nutritional security and food sovereignty, lessen vulnerability, and strengthen agroecological adaptive capacity and resilience.