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Ecological Distribution, Agricultural Trade Liberalization, and In Situ Genetic Diversity

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  • James Boyce

Abstract

Genetic diversity in crop plants is crucial for long-term world food security. This diversity is sustained in the field primarily by poor farmers in developing countries, who receive no compensation for providing this external benefit to humankind. When agricultural imports displace local production in centers of genetic diversity, this threatens both rural livelihoods and the continued provision of this external benefit. The North American Free Trade Agreement’s impact on Mexican maize farming illustrates the problem. The prospects for remedial policies are shaped by the distribution of the costs and benefits of action and inaction.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:uma:perips:ps14
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    Cited by:

    1. James Boyce, 2004. "A Future for Small Farms? Biodiversity and Sustainable Agriculture," Working Papers wp86, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    2. Tim Wise & Eliza Waters, 2001. "Community Control in a Global Economy: Lessons from Mexico's Economic Integration Process," International Trade 0106002, EconWPA.
    3. Peter Walkenhorst, 2004. "Domestic And International Environmental Impacts Of Agricultural Trade Liberalisation," International Trade 0401010, EconWPA.
    4. Boyce, James K. & Klemer, Andrew R. & Templet, Paul H. & Willis, Cleve E., 1999. "Power distribution, the environment, and public health: A state-level analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 127-140, April.
    5. James Boyce, 2007. "Is Inequality Bad for the Environment?," Working Papers wp135, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    6. Brush, Stephen B., 1998. "Bio-cooperation and the benefits of crop genetic resources: the case of Mexican maize," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 755-766, May.
    7. Tim Wise & Eliza Waters, "undated". "01-03 "Community Control in a Global Economy: Lessons from Mexico's Economic Integration Process"," GDAE Working Papers 01-03, GDAE, Tufts University.
    8. Theodore Panayotou, 2000. "Economic Growth and the Environment," CID Working Papers 56A, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    9. Muradian, Roldan & Martinez-Alier, Joan, 2001. "Trade and the environment: from a 'Southern' perspective," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 281-297, February.
    10. Stephen B. Brush, 2002. "The Lighthouse and the Potato: Internalizing the Value of Crop Genetic Diversity," Working Papers wp37, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    11. 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.

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