Narratives for the sustainability of agri-food systems in Ecuador: Understanding their divergences, similarities, and complementarities to catalyze transformative change
Tatiana Rodriguez, Heidi Wittmer
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Dept. of Environmental Politics, Germany
Due to the expansion of large-scale and export-oriented agriculture and the depletion of ancestral knowledge, Ecuadorian agri-food systems are facing vicious cycles of environmental and social impacts that jeopardise their potential to ensure food and nutritional security for the growing population and contribute to global food production without depleting the natural and social capital. Transforming unsustainable agri-food systems requires alternative narratives to the status quo. Narratives are defined as storylines underpinned by frames to define problems, diagnose causes, and suggest solutions. In this sense, an analysis of narratives is critical to problematizing these vicious cycles within agri-food systems and identifying potential solutions. Therefore, this study aims to analyse the narratives of multiple stakeholders around the sustainability of the agri-food systems in Ecuador, to identify divergences, similarities, and complementarities among their underlying frames. The study employs the discursive agency approach (DAA), which has a particular focus on actors and their agency.
Keywords: Food security and nutrition, narratives, sustainable agri-food systems, transformative change
Contact Address: Tatiana Rodriguez, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Dept. of Environmental Politics, Genter Straße 8, 13353 Berlin, Germany, e-mail: tatiana.rodriguezufz.de