Economic production in a small dairy goat operation: toward an alternative design for rural development
Although during the last six decades rural development in Latin America has been dominated by the paradigm of modernization, which has been considered as the only route to development, there can be observed in certain operations, especially those involving family farms, emergent strategies of which intensification of family work and non-commodification are the most important. Within this framework economic agriculture is conceived to be an alternative method of production in which the internal logic of the practices implemented by the producers permits understanding of the way producers adapt successfully to an ever more competitive market. These analyses are necessary when planning policies oriented toward the small producers sector. The objective of this article is to present the case of Don Francisco, a small dairy goat farmer from the irrigation district of Santiago del Estero Province, Argentina, who has developed an operation that is a good example of farming economically. Although this case can not be extrapolated to other rural settings, the study of its strategies enables a start to focusing attention on local processes to generate an alternative model of rural development other than that imposed by modernization.