Technical Change in Agriculture and Deforestation in Tropical Asia: An Analytical Framework
Deforestation is considered a major environmental issue in tropical Asian developing countries that have been undergoing major demographic and structural changes. A major contributing factor to deforestation is conversion of land for alternative, primarily agricultural, uses. There have been conflicting views about the impact on deforestation of productivity enhancing technical changes in agriculture such as the Green Revolution in cereal grains. This paper presents an analytical framework for analysing this issue in an economy-wide (general equilibrium) setting, and emphasises the need to consider differences within various agricultural sectors. The analysis suggests, for example, that the rate of deforestation was probably reduced by the Green Revolution (that reined in real food prices), and emphasises the time and location specificity of any conclusions about factors causing deforestation.
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