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Market Provisioning and the Conservation of Crop Biodiversity: An Analysis of Peasant Livelihoods and Maize Diversity in the Guatemalan Highlands


  • Isakson, S. Ryan


Summary This paper queries the common assumption that market linkages contribute to the loss of agricultural biodiversity, thereby threatening long-term food security. Drawing upon empirical data collected from two villages in the Guatemalan highlands, it documents how various types of market engagements are related to the on-farm conservation of maize diversity. While some market activities are associated with lower measures of diversity, most forms of market provisioning--including the allocation of resources to market production--are not. The quantity of land controlled by farmers is positively correlated with maize diversity and is an important determinant of their participation in the market economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Isakson, S. Ryan, 2011. "Market Provisioning and the Conservation of Crop Biodiversity: An Analysis of Peasant Livelihoods and Maize Diversity in the Guatemalan Highlands," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 1444-1459, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:39:y:2011:i:8:p:1444-1459

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Goldin, Liliana R, 1992. "Work and Ideology in the Maya Highlands of Guatemala: Economic Beliefs in the Context of Occupational Change," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 103-123, October.
    2. Sarah Gammage, 2010. "Time Pressed and Time Poor: Unpaid Household Work in Guatemala," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 79-112.
    3. Arslan, Aslihan & Taylor, J.Edward, 2009. "Farmers' Subjective Valuation of Subsistence Crops: The Case of Traditional Maize in Mexico," American Journal of Agricultural Economics Appendices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(4), November.
    4. 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 201-225, October.
    5. 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.
    6. Bellon, Mauricio R., 2004. "Conceptualizing Interventions to Support On-Farm Genetic Resource Conservation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 159-172, January.
    7. de Janvry, Alain & Fafchamps, Marcel & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 1991. "Peasant Household Behaviour with Missing Markets: Some Paradoxes Explained," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(409), pages 1400-1417, November.
    8. Melinda Smale & Leslie Lipper & Phoebe Koundouri, "undated". "Scope, Limitations and Future Directions," DEOS Working Papers 0601, Athens University of Economics and Business.
    9. James Boyce, 1996. "Ecological Distribution, Agricultural Trade Liberalization, and In Situ Genetic Diversity," Published Studies ps14, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    10. Reardon, Thomas & Berdegue, Julio & Escobar, German, 2001. "Rural Nonfarm Employment and Incomes in Latin America: Overview and Policy Implications," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 395-409, March.
    11. Bebbington, Anthony, 1999. "Capitals and Capabilities: A Framework for Analyzing Peasant Viability, Rural Livelihoods and Poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(12), pages 2021-2044, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kirsten Appendini & Ma. Guadalupe Quijada, 2016. "Consumption strategies in Mexican rural households: pursuing food security with quality," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 33(2), pages 439-454, June.
    2. Pallante, Giacomo & Drucker, Adam G. & Sthapit, Sajal, 2016. "Assessing the potential for niche market development to contribute to farmers' livelihoods and agrobiodiversity conservation: Insights from the finger millet case study in Nepal," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 92-105.
    3. Bellon, Mauricio R. & Gotor, Elisabetta & Caracciolo, Francesco, 2015. "Assessing the Effectiveness of Projects Supporting On-Farm Conservation of Native Crops: Evidence From the High Andes of South America," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 162-176.
    4. Bhattarai, Basundhara & Beilin, Ruth & Ford, Rebecca, 2015. "Gender, Agrobiodiversity, and Climate Change: A Study of Adaptation Practices in the Nepal Himalayas," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 122-132.


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