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Smallholder Livelihood Adaptation in the Context of Neoliberal Policy Reforms: A Case of Maize Farmers in Southern Veracruz, Mexico

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  • Sytske F. Groenewald
  • Marrit M. Van Den Berg

Abstract

Governments around the world have embraced trade liberalisation as a means of enhancing efficiency to realise economic growth and alleviate poverty. Likewise, the Mexican government implemented neoliberal policy reforms, the NAFTA in particular, to stimulate sustainable development. Using the Mexican maize sector as illustration, this article describes the adaptation process of smallholders to market changes shaped by these reforms. Going beyond the aggregated level, we have investigated smallholders' livelihood strategies. Contrary to what economic models estimated, our data suggests that farmers intensified the cultivation of maize rather than switch to sectors in which Mexico has a comparative advantage.

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  • Sytske F. Groenewald & Marrit M. Van Den Berg, 2012. "Smallholder Livelihood Adaptation in the Context of Neoliberal Policy Reforms: A Case of Maize Farmers in Southern Veracruz, Mexico," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(3), pages 429-444, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:48:y:2012:i:3:p:429-444
    DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2011.615923
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Frank Ellis, 2000. "The Determinants of Rural Livelihood Diversification in Developing Countries," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 289-302.
    2. Ellis, Frank, 2000. "Rural Livelihoods and Diversity in Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296966.
    3. Antonio YUNEZ NAUDE & J. Edward TAYLOR, 2006. "The Effects Of Nafta And Domestic Reforms In The Agriculture Of Mexico: Predictions And Facts," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 23, pages 161-186.
    4. Jansen, Hans G. P. & Pender, John L. & Damon, Amy & Schipper, Rob, 2006. "Rural development policies and sustainable land use in the hillside areas of Honduras: a quantitative livelihoods approach," Research reports 147, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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