Biofuels as the Latest Stage of the Green Revolution. Global Trends and Local Implications: The Example of Argentina

By Juan José Borrell.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The legacy of the Green Revolution mechanization has structured local and regional dynamics of raw material exports. The change seen in land use that biofuels production implies it is not an oddity, but a trend of the global agribusiness dynamics. In this sense, use of land and use of production is determined by the reliance on productive processes at a large scale. Within this context, the technological change implied in the production of energy from food staples is propelled by global dynamics sustained both by the high profits from commodities commercialization and by the legitimization discourses of a coming “oil supply crunch”. The Argentinean agribusiness, along with local branches of global corporations, is increasingly devoted to biofuels production; both for the crushing of soybeans to produce oil for exportation, and the use soy oil to produce biodiesel. All in all, biofuels production implies the strengthening of agro-industrial complex, what deepens a set of social and environmental side effects. In Argentina, such effects have been overlooked by the agribusiness discourse, which was presented as an opportunity for the country’s sustainable development. In fact, the corporative narratives have included a set of global and humanitarian concerns (such as climate change, energy insecurity, and food insecurity) under the broad concept of “sustainability”, thus legitimating the use of GMOs within the productive system. The article aims to give a description of current global trends, while focusing on the implications of the rapid process of expansion in Argentina.

Keywords: Biofuels, Green Revolution, Food Security, GMOs, Argentina

Global Studies Journal, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp.251-264. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 891.116KB).

Prof. Juan José Borrell

Postgraduate Professor and Researcher, Grupo Interdisciplinario en Seguridad Alimentaria, Centro de Estudios Interdisciplinarios, Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Rosario, Argentina

He holds a Master degree in Strategy and Geopolitics (ESG-IESE), and his doctoral research topic is about the geopolitical implications of the global competition for natural resources and the food supply system. He works as professor at Universidad Nacional de Rosario (UNR), Argentina, and at Universidad Tecnológica Nacional (UTN). Member of the GISA (Grupo Interdisciplinario en Seguridad Alimentaria) UNR, he participated as adviser in the official delegation of Argentina at the food security world summit of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2011.

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