Agroforestry adoption in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, Campeche, Mexico

  • D. Evan Mercer
  • Jeremy Haggar
  • Ann Snook
  • Mauricio Sosa
Article
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Abstract

Since farmers engage in a complex, dynamic process of learning-by-doing, evaluating economic incentives, and assessing risks in deciding whether to adopt agroforestry systems, a multi-pronged research approach is required for a complete analysis of adoption potential and to develop effective technological and institutional interventions. A case study is presented for using multiple approaches to analyse the potential for reforestation and improving livelihoods of small farmers through the adoption of agroforestry systems in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve in Campeche, Mexico. Specifically, the results from a participatory research project are combined with revealed preference analysis of a household survey to analyse past adoption decisions and preferences, identify limitations, test and evaluate alternatives, and evaluate methods for risk reduction. The participatory research trials suggest that continuous intercropping and line cleaning are equally effective for tree growth, while continuous cropping during the first years offers the additional advantage of early returns to investments through crop production. Farmer participation in the research process, planning of production systems, and annual evaluations, assisted farmers and researchers in identifying limitations, testing and evaluating alternatives, and improving the viability and sustainability of systems. The revealed preference analysis provides insights as to which households are most likely to initially adopt agroforestry systems developed through the participatory research trials. In general, households that originated from the Yucatan Peninsula with more education, more experience both in age of the head of household and technical and project experience, higher incomes, and those that had cleared more forestland were more likely to have experimented with agroforestry systems in the past.

Keywords

Participatory research revealed preference analysis risk intercropping 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Evan Mercer
    • 1
  • Jeremy Haggar
    • 2
  • Ann Snook
    • 3
  • Mauricio Sosa
    • 4
  1. 1.Southern Research StationUSDA Forest ServiceResearch Triangle ParkUSA
  2. 2.Centro Agronómico Tropical De Investigación y Enseñanza CATIE, MIP/AFManaguaNicaragua
  3. 3.Consultant in Agroforestry and Natural ResourcesQuintana RooMexico
  4. 4.Emiliano Zapata No. 33 San Miguel Tocuela, Mpio. de Texcoco Estado de MexicoMexico

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