Options to support sustainable trajectories in a rural landscape: Drivers, rural processes, and local perceptions in a colombian coffee‐growing region

Diego Valbuena*, Julien G. Chenet, Daniel Gaitán‐cremaschi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Trajectories of many rural landscapes in Latin America remain unsustainable. Options to support sustainable rural trajectories should be comprehensive and rooted in the interests of rural actors. We selected a municipality in a coffee‐growing region in Colombia with an increasing urban– rural nexus to describe interactions between rural processes and their drivers while identifying and contextualising the perceptions of local actors on major constraints and opportunities for more inclusive and sustainable rural trajectories. We described these interactions by combining secondary data on main drivers, agricultural census data, and interviews with different local actors. Changes in population structure, volatility in coffee prices, in‐/out‐migration, deagrarianisation, and rurbanisation, among others, are reconfiguring the rural trajectories of the study area. Despite not being a major coffee region, farmers in the study area have developed different strategies, including intensification, diversification, replacement or abandonment of coffee production, and commercialisation. The perceptions of local actors and the multiplicity of agricultural households, food/land use systems, rural processes, and drivers described in this study suggest that more sustainable rural transitions need to be supported by inclusive, integrated, and transformative landscape planning approaches that align with local priorities. However, this transformation needs to be accompanied by changes at a systemic level that address the fundamental bottlenecks to real sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13026
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume13
Issue number23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Family farming
  • Integrated landscape management
  • Land use planning
  • Latin America
  • Urban–rural nexus

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