Small farmers sink or swim in globalization's tsunami

Author Yue Dou (left) interviews a soybean farmer in Heilongjiang, China, about how he makes planting decisions. Credit: Sue Nichols, Michigan State University

Whether small-time farmers across the world get swept away by globalization or ride a wave of new opportunities depends largely on how much control they can get, according to a new study that takes a new, big-picture look.

From soybean farmers in China to those who grow vanilla in Madagascar, trendy açaí in the Amazon or rubber in Myanmar, their place in new, fast-paced markets that can be both regional and global isn’t fully understood until examined in context with its partners and competitors near and far. Scientists at Michigan State University (MSU) and across the world take a new look in “Understanding How Smallholders Integrated into Pericoupled and Telecoupled Systems” in this week’s journal…

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