Calamidades – Perdas de Culturas
Book: Pobreza e fome, uma história contemporânea. Temas, metodologias e estudos de caso
The loss of crops has been feared by populations and governments for thousands of years. While divine grace and punishment explained success and failure in agriculture for many centuries, today scientists suggest that the climate and plant pests and diseases – with increasing frequency – are the main reasons behind major losses, always described as calamities. Calamity, crop losses, hunger, poverty, perception, risk, fear and vulnerability are correlated terms that allow us to understand calamity episodes as processes rather than isolated events, as well as to understand the consequences of these so-called natural disasters in their relationship with society and its inequalities, with politics and power, and with the production of knowledge. This chapter discusses the concept of calamity when applied to crop losses, using agricultural pests as an example of potential calamity triggers.