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A Regional Analysis of Maize Biological Diversity in Southeastern Guanajuato, Mexico


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  • Gomez, Jose Alfonso Aguirre
  • Bellon, Mauricio R.
  • Smale, Melinda


Four environments with contrasting potential for agricultural productivity and infrastructure development were identified in Guanajuato State, Mexico, to test hypotheses about the relationship of maize biological diversity to the region's potential for agricultural productivity and infrastructure development. Samples of all types of maize grown by a random sample of farmers were collected from each environment. The maize samples were classified by race, racial mixture, or type of 'creolized' or improved variety. Landraces were the dominant maize class in all four environments; the use of improved varieties was negligible. Several diversity indices were calculated, and no statistically significant differences were apparent between the environments with the most contrasting agroecological and infrastructural conditions. Statistical differences in diversity are apparent when the development of infrastructure interacts with agroecological factors in an environment. Qualitative data suggest that the richness of maize populations may be associated with maize yield potential in a geographical area, whereas the evenness of maize populations may be associated with the presence of infrastructure. These findings suggest further hypotheses about regional patterns of maize diversity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in its series Economics Working Papers with number 7671.

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Date of creation: 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ags:cimmew:7671

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Keywords: Crop Production/Industries;


References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Brush, Stephen B. & Taylor, J. Edward & Bellon, Mauricio R., 1992. "Technology adoption and biological diversity in Andean potato agriculture," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 365-387, October.
  2. Smale, Melinda & Bellon, Mauricio R. & Aguirre, Alfonso, 1998. "Variety Characteristics And The Land Allocation Decisions Of Farmers In A Center Of Maize Diversity," 1998 Annual meeting, August 2-5, Salt Lake City, UT 20831, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
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Cited by:
  1. Smale, Melinda & Meng, Erika C.H. & Brennan, John P. & Hu, Ruifa, 2000. "Using Ecological Indices and Economics to Explain Diversity in a Wheat Crop: Examples from Australia and China," 2000 Conference (44th), January 23-25, 2000, Sydney, Australia 123732, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  2. Smale, Melinda & Meng, Erika C.H. & Brennan, John P. & Hu, Ruifa, 1999. "Using Economics to Explain Spatial Diversity in a Wheat Crop: Examples from Australia and China," Economics Working Papers 7697, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.
  3. Samuel Benin & Berhanu Gebremedhin & Melinda Smale & John Pender & Simeon Ehui, 2003. "Determinants of Cereal Diversity in Communities and on Household Farms of the Northern Ethiopian Highlands," Working Papers 03-14, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
  4. Jin, Songqing & Meng, Erika C.H. & Hu, Ruifa & Rozelle, Scott & Huang, Jikun, 2008. "Contribution of Wheat Diversity to Total Factor Productivity in China," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 33(3), December.
  5. Meng, Erika C.H. & Smale, Melinda & Ruifa, Hu & Brennan, John P. & Godden, David P., 1999. "Measurement of Crop Genetic Diversity in Economic Analysis," 1999 Conference (43th), January 20-22, 1999, Christchurch, New Zealand 124089, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  6. S. Ryan Isakson, 2007. "Uprooting Diversity? Peasant Farmers’ Market Engagements and the on-Farm Conservation of Crop Genetic Resources in the Guatemalan Highlands," Working Papers wp122, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  7. Van Dusen, M. Eric, 2000. "In Situ Conservation Of Crop Genetic Resources In The Mexican Milpa System," Dissertations 11941, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  8. Smale, Melinda & Bellon, Mauricio R. & Gomez, Jose Alfonso Aguirre, 1999. "The Private and Public Characteristics of Maize Land Races and the Area Allocation Decisions of Farmers in a Center of Crop Diversity," Economics Working Papers 7669, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.
  9. Benin, Samuel & Smale, Melinda & Gebremedhin, Berhanu & Pender, John L. & Ehui, Simeon K., 2003. "The Determinants Of Cereal Crop Diversity On Farms In The Ethiopian Highlands," 2003 Annual Meeting, August 16-22, 2003, Durban, South Africa 25833, International Association of Agricultural Economists.


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