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Poverty and the Deterioration of Natural Soil Capital in the Peruvian Altiplano


  • Scott Swinton


  • Roberto Quiroz


The most severe challenges to sustainable development occur where many poor people struggle to eke out a living from marginal lands. In some cases, high human populations on fragile lands have led agricultural productivity to deteriorate (García-Barrios and García-Barrios, 1990, Mink, 1993, Zimmerer, 1993), but likewise intensification in some locales has led to sustainable productivity increases (Boserup, 1965, Tiffen, et al., 1994). These mixed results beg closer inquiry, in order to understand how contrary outcomes can come about. For the context of Peru's chilly high plain surrounding Lake Titicaca, this paper examines changes in the stock of natural capital in agricultural soils, how that came about, and what policy tools might contribute to sustaining this key natural capital stock and the agricultural productivity that it enables.
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Suggested Citation

  • Scott Swinton & Roberto Quiroz, 2003. "Poverty and the Deterioration of Natural Soil Capital in the Peruvian Altiplano," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 477-490, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:endesu:v:5:y:2003:i:3:p:477-490
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1025785231559

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    Cited by:

    1. Tesfamicheal Wossen & Thomas Berger & Salvatore Di Falco, 2015. "Social capital, risk preference and adoption of improved farm land management practices in Ethiopia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 46(1), pages 81-97, January.


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