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Are Poor Farmers To Blame For Environmental Degradation? Results From The Peruvian Altiplano

  • Swinton, Scott M.
  • Quiroz, Roberto

Links between poverty and natural resource degradation are examined in the context of soil erosion, fertility loss and overgrazing in the Peruvian Altiplano. Multiple regression analysis of 1999 farm survey data examines 1) what agricultural practices affect natural resource degradation, and then 2) what factors affect farmers' choices of those agricultural practices. Soil erosion and fertility loss appear reduced by increased fallow in crop rotations. Overgrazing and range species loss are affected by changes in herd size and rotational grazing. The effect of investment poverty on natural resource outcomes is not clear. However, social and human capital variables both tend to favor the choice of more sustainable agricultural practices. Natural resource conservation policies that build on traditional social institutions may offer promise in areas with strong social fabric where farmers tend not to invest financially in natural resource conservation.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/11627
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Paper provided by Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics in its series Staff Papers with number 11627.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ags:midasp:11627
Contact details of provider: Postal: Justin S. Morrill Hall of Agriculture, 446 West Circle Dr., Rm 202, East Lansing, MI 48824-1039
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Web page: http://www.aec.msu.edu/agecon/
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  1. Lau, Lawrence J., 1986. "Functional forms in econometric model building," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1515-1566 Elsevier.
  2. Templeton, Scott R. & Scherr, Sara J., 1999. "Effects of Demographic and Related Microeconomic Change on Land Quality in Hills and Mountains of Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 903-918, June.
  3. Clay, Daniel & Reardon, Thomas & Kangasniemi, Jaakko, 1998. "Sustainable Intensification in the Highland Tropics: Rwandan Farmers' Investments in Land Conservation and Soil Fertility," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(2), pages 351-77, January.
  4. Lutz, Ernst & Pagiola, Stefano & Reiche, Carlos, 1994. "The Costs and Benefits of Soil Conservation: The Farmers' Viewpoint," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 9(2), pages 273-95, July.
  5. Reardon, Thomas & Vosti, Stephen A., 1995. "Links between rural poverty and the environment in developing countries: Asset categories and investment poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(9), pages 1495-1506, September.
  6. Mink, S.D., 1993. "Poverty, Population, and the Environment," World Bank - Discussion Papers 189, World Bank.
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