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Farmer preferences for milpa diversity and genetically modified maize in Mexico: a latent class approach

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  • BIROL, EKIN
  • VILLALBA, ERIC RAYN
  • SMALE, MELINDA

Abstract

"Maize, the second most globally important staple crop after wheat, originated in Mexico, where it is typically grown as part of a set of associated crops and practices called the milpa system. This ancient mode of production is practiced today in ways that vary by cultural context and agro-environment. Milpas generate private economic value, in terms of food security, diet quality and livelihoods, for the two-million farm households who manage them. Furthermore, milpas generate public economic value by conserving agrobiodiversity, especially that of maize landraces, which have the potential to contribute unique traits needed by plant breeders for future crop improvement. In this way, milpas contribute to global food security in maize. However, the sustainability of the milpa system has been threatened by off-farm employment opportunities, long-distance migration, the increasing commercialization and intensification of maize production. Most recently, the milpa system has been negatively impacted by the contamination of maize landraces by genetically modified (GM) maize, cultivation of which is currently prohibited in Mexico. Here, we employ a choice experiment to estimate Mexican farmers' valuation of three components of agrobiodiversity (crop species richness, maize variety richness and maize landraces), and examine their interest in cultivating GM maize. Choice experiment data, household level social, economic and demographic data, community level economic development data, and information on milpa production characteristics, and farmers' attitudes and perceptions with regards to GM food and crops were collected from 420 farm households across 17 communities in three states of Mexico. Using these data, we analyzed the heterogeneity of farmer preferences using a latent class model, which can be used to simultaneously identify sample segments having homogenous preferences for milpa attributes, as well as farmer characteristics affecting preferences. We furthe

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Environment and Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 14 (2009)
Issue (Month): 04 (August)
Pages: 521-540

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Handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:14:y:2009:i:04:p:521-540_00

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References

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  1. J. Edward Taylor & Antonio Yunez-Naude & George Dyer, 1999. "Agricultural Price Policy, Employment, and Migration in a Diversified Rural Economy: A Village-Town CGE Analysis from Mexico," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(3), pages 653-662.
  2. Van Dusen, M. Eric & Taylor, J. Edward, 2005. "Missing markets and crop diversity: evidence from Mexico," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(04), pages 513-531, August.
  3. Peter Boxall & Wiktor Adamowicz, 2002. "Understanding Heterogeneous Preferences in Random Utility Models: A Latent Class Approach," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 23(4), pages 421-446, December.
  4. Scarpa, Riccardo & Ruto, Eric S. K. & Kristjanson, Patti & Radeny, Maren & Drucker, Adam G. & Rege, John E. O., 2003. "Valuing indigenous cattle breeds in Kenya: an empirical comparison of stated and revealed preference value estimates," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 409-426, July.
  5. Nick Hanley & Robert Wright & Vic Adamowicz, 1998. "Using Choice Experiments to Value the Environment," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(3), pages 413-428, April.
  6. Smale, Melinda & Bellon, Mauricio R & Aguirre Gomez, Jose Alfonso, 2001. "Maize Diversity, Variety Attributes, and Farmers' Choices in Southeastern Guanajuato, Mexico," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(1), pages 201-25, October.
  7. Adamowicz W. & Louviere J. & Williams M., 1994. "Combining Revealed and Stated Preference Methods for Valuing Environmental Amenities," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 271-292, May.
  8. Othman, Jamal & Bennett, Jeff & Blamey, Russell, 2004. "Environmental values and resource management options: a choice modelling experience in Malaysia," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(06), pages 803-824, December.
  9. Wuyang Hu, 2004. "Trading off health, environmental and genetic modification attributes in food," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 31(3), pages 389-408, September.
  10. Bellon, Mauricio R., 2004. "Conceptualizing Interventions to Support On-Farm Genetic Resource Conservation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 159-172, January.
  11. Kontoleon Andreas & Yabe Mitsuyasu, 2006. "Market Segmentation Analysis of Preferences for GM Derived Animal Foods in the UK," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-38, December.
  12. Jupiter Ndjeunga & Carl H. Nelson, 2005. "Toward understanding household preference for consumption characteristics of millet varieties: a case study from western Niger," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 32(2), pages 151-165, 03.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ekin Birol & Sukanya Das, 2010. "The Value of Improved Public Services : An Application of the Choice Experiment Method to Estimate the Value of Improved Wastewater Treatment Infrastructure in India," Development Economics Working Papers 23062, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  2. Prabhakaran T. Raghu & Sukanya Das & S. Bala Ravi & E.D.Israel Oliver King, 2012. "Assessing Farmer’s Willingness to Participate in the On-farm Conservation of Minor Millet using Direct Compensation Payment," Working Papers 2012-073, Madras School of Economics,Chennai,India.
  3. Kikulwe, Enoch & Birol, Ekin & Wesseler, Justus & Falck-Zepeda, José, 2009. "A latent class approach to investigating consumer demand for genetically modified staple food in a developing country: The case of GM bananas in Uganda," IFPRI discussion papers 938, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  4. Raghu, P.T. & Das, S. & Ravi, S.B. & King, E.D.I.O, 2012. "Use of Contingent Valuation to Assess Farmer Preference for On-farm Conservation of Minor Millets: Case from South India," MPRA Paper 43348, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Birol, Ekin & Asare-Marfo, Dorene & Karandikar,Bhushana & Roy, Devesh, 2011. "A latent class approach to investigating farmer demand for biofortified staple food crops in developing countries: The case of high-iron pearl millet in Maharashtra, India," HarvestPlus Working Papers 7, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. James, Philip A.S. & Smart, James C. R. & Smith, Julian & Bulling, M. T. & Beed, Fen D. & Luwandagga, David, 2011. "The effect of participation in the Ugandan National Agricultural Advisory Services on willingness to pay for extension services," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 6(1), March.
  7. Jaeck, Melanie & Lifran, Robert, 2009. "Preferences, Norms and Constraints in farmers' agro-ecological choices. Case study using a choice experiments survey in the Rhone River Delta, France," 2009 Conference (53rd), February 11-13, 2009, Cairns, Australia 47948, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  8. Kikulwe, Enoch M. & Birol, Ekin & Wesseler, Justus & Falck-Zepeda, José Benjamin, 2013. "Benefits, costs, and consumer perceptions of the potential introduction of a fungus-resistant banana in Uganda and policy implications," IFPRI book chapters, in: Falck-Zepeda, José Benjamin & Gruère, Guillaume P. & Sithole-Niang, Idah (ed.), Genetically modified crops in Africa: Economic and policy lessons from countries south of the Sahara, chapter 4, pages 99-141 International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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