Socio-Eco Benefits of Collective Rice Certification in the D.R.


The industrialized practices of rice production in the Dominican Republic create extensive environmental and social costs through fertilizer and pesticide run-off, soil erosion, economic vulnerability, and low labor standards. Dr. Payton and Dr. Cox will discuss the challenges and promises of a sustainable rice certification scheme in the province of Montecristi in the Dominican Republic. Dr. Payton has led this certification effort for several years, largely through his leadership of AgroFrontera, a local Dominican NGO, with assistance from Dr. Cox as an academic partner and consultant.

About the speakers

As Executive Director of AgroFrontera, Frederick Payton leads programs that enhance biodiversity conservation and improve the economic performance and social responsibility of local, national and international food systems, with particular focus on improving livelihoods of small-scale farmers and artisanal fishers. Dr. Payton has worked at the Institute of Community and Area Development and the Office of International Agriculture at the University of Georgia and was a senior scientist and interim director of the International Potato Center’s Central American and Caribbean regional office. Dr. Payton has served on the board of directors of Organic Farming Research Foundation, Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture and Georgia Organics. He holds a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Cornell University.

Michael Cox is an environmental social scientist who studies environmental policy and governance with a focus on community-based natural resource management and a socio-ecological systems research consultant with AgroFrontera. He has conducted empirical fieldwork-based analyses of irrigation systems in the Southwest United States, Peru and Kenya. His current empirical work is focused on community-based fisheries and rice farming systems in the Dominican Republic, where he collaborates with AgroFrontera, a local Dominican NGO. He is the co-founder and co-host of the In Common Podcast, which is the official podcast of the International Association for the Study of the Commons. He is finishing a book project on environmental property rights, to be published in 2023.

Seminar hosts

This seminar is co-hosted by Perspectives in Global Development and the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Seminar Series.

The Perspectives in Global Development seminars are held Wednesdays from 12:25 – 1:15 p.m. eastern time during the semester. The series will be presented in a hybrid format with some speakers on campus and others appearing via Zoom. All seminars are shown in Emerson Hall 135. Students, faculty and the general public are welcome to attend. The series is co-sponsored by the Department of Global Development, the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, and the School of Integrative Plant Science as part of courses GDEV 4961, AEM 4961, NTRES 4961, GDEV 6960, AEM 6960, and NTRES 6960. Learn more about the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Seminar Series.

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