The Effects of Household Asset Endowments on Agricultural Diversity among Frontier Colonists in the Amazon
Author: Perz, Stephen
Source: Agroforestry Systems, Volume 63, Number 3, June 2005 , pp. 263-279(17)
Abstract:This paper focuses on agricultural diversity, a key property of agroforestry systems, and examines the influences of household asset endowments. The analysis addresses a debate between `differential motivation' and ` differential capacity' arguments concerning the importance of asset inequality for agricultural diversification among rural households in developing regions. I draw on data from a survey of small farm colonists in the Brazilian Amazon to assess components and measures of agricultural diversity, and to model those diversity measures using indicators of household asset endowments. The results indicate that agricultural diversification is modest in the study site, but varies among households, as do asset endowments. Models of agricultural production and income diversity indicate that agricultural diversity primarily reflects labor endowments, though certain types of capital are also important. These findings bear implications for research on agricultural diversity in other contexts, and for policies aiming to promote `productive conservation' by compatibilizing poverty reduction, economic development and environmental sustainability.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2005-06-01