In Latin America — the region with the biggest tropical forest on the planet and the largest potential for agricultural expansion — food security and food sovereignty are two competing approaches to food policies. Drawing on decolonial approaches to political geography, this paper provides a comparative analysis of food policies in the four countries (Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and Bolivia) that make up the Andean Community of Nations (CAN), a supranational organisation that has enacted a regional food policy aimed at reconciling neoliberal and social orientations of its country-members. The paper contributes to the literature that highlights the multi-scalar nature of food security and food sovereignty by exploring the contentious building of food institutions from the grassroots to national and supranational scales in the Andean region. It also contributes to the critiques that highlight the limits to decolonization by explaining how–apart from hydrocarbon and mining dependence–food policies also express the permanence of coloniality in plurinational states. The paper argues that Andean supranational policies are apparent efforts to balance and harmonize the different interests at stake when actually reinforce a neocolonial sovereign state power that deepens the scalar tensions by intensifying the extractive transnational agriculture over pro-indigenous agriculture.
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I would like to thank three anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments and suggestions on earlier versions of this paper. I also thank Mistra Geopolitics for funding the research for this paper.
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