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This paper discusses the new articulation forms which were established between the agricultural and urban sectors due to the consolidation of the Brazilian agroindustrial complex in the end of the 1970’s. The following topics are highlighted in this discussion: a) the growing dependence that agriculture sector has on the urban sector as a consumer of goods and services; b) the transformation of a substantial part of agricultural output in raw material for urban industries; c) the oligopolistic and oligopsonic features of these commercial relationships; d) the integration of capitals and formation of great economic conglomerates; c) the ongoing globalization process. In such scenery, different social actors are identified as well as their differential capacity to influence the decision-making process inside the chains and in the ambit of the State. It also outlines the actors’ organizational capacity which is represented by collective actions, managerial efficiency, administrative professionalization, "systemic knowledge" and technological domain. The central question of this paper refers to the role that the agricultural cooperatives and other associativist forms can play as negotiation means inside and outside the productive chains, elevating farmers’ bargaining and claiming power. To answer this question several researches undertaken over the last two decades were examined. The most recent studies detect an effort to modernize cooperative management by turning them into more competitive organizations. However, this effort is sometimes interrupted by the process of manager’s succession. Interference of local political interests identified in the studies carried out in the 1980’s was also detected in the most recent researches and it is considered as one of the factors that limit the administrative dynamism of cooperatives. Although farmer associations are seen as an alternative means for family producers to adapt to the ongoing economic and social changes, the examined studies showed that as the business of those associations grow, managerial problems simultaneously rise.


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