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

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

Maize originated in Mexico, where it is typically grown in association with other crops in the milpa system. This ancient mode of production is practiced today in ways that vary by cultural context and agro-environment. We use a choice experiment to estimate farmers' valuation of three components of agrobiodiversity (crop species richness, maize variety richness, and maize landraces) in the milpa system, and examine their interest in cultivating genetically modified (GM) maize. We apply a latent class model to data collected from 382 farm households in the states of Jalisco, Oaxaca, and Michoacán to analyze the heterogeneity of farmer preferences. We identify the characteristics of farmers who are most likely to continue growing maize landraces, as well as those least likely to accept GM maize. Findings have implications for debates concerning the introduction of GM maize and the design of in situ conservation programs in these sites.

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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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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  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. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Bellon, Mauricio R., 2004. "Conceptualizing Interventions to Support On-Farm Genetic Resource Conservation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 159-172, January.
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