Aile Çiftçiliğinde Beka Stratejileri: Nazilli'de İncir Üreticiliği Örneği
Sevgili Canpolat, Ebru
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This work studies the survival of family farming and evaluates, based on empirical data, the theoretical claims and explanations arguing that agricultural adaptation policies implemented since the 2000s, the disappearance of protectionism in agricultural community markets, and the effects of globalization all make it difficult for small producers to maintain their existence. The main argument of the work is that the neoliberal capitalist markets do not lead to a unilinear or one-way transformation of the peasant family farms and their survival cannot be explained on the basis of a single causal factor. This claim rest on the fact that the nature of social structures is not fixed but contingent, relational, polycentric and multi-causal. The empirical data of this work have been compiled through conducting a field work in 2018 in Işıklar Village of Aydın/Nazilli Province in western Anatolia. Işıklar represents a case of a rural community of small-scale family farmers who are specialized in labor-intensive dried figs production mainly for export markets. This rural community enjoys however a level of material prosperity which calls into question the relevance of the claims regarding ruralization of poverty and depeasantization. As such the village provides an interesting site for making detailed and causal analysis of how small peasant family farms respond to and challenge the impact of several factors which are considered to be threatening their existence. This study treats neoliberal capitalist market conditions, patterns of social and cultural change that occur under the effect of modernization, and laws and regulations concerning access to land and farming as the three main sources of pressure surrounding the community of the farmers. These factors are challenged, however, by the households by means of organizing and mobilizing their internal material and social resources and cultural norms. Research findings indicate that neoliberal agricultural policies, though important, are only secondary factors exercising pressure on farmers whereas the greater part of the pressure comes from the general process of modernization regarding the rising levels of consumption, changing living standards and arrangements, and the legal and social rules regulating access to land. However, their effect is not a uniform leading to a deepening poverty and depeasantization but a growing reliance on the income from off-farm sources.