Human Ecology

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 523–550 | Cite as

Migration and Agricultural Change: The Case of Smallholder Agriculture in Highland Ecuador

  • Brad D. Jokisch
Article

Abstract

A large and growing number of agricultural households in less developed countries are also engaged in international migration. Thousands of farmers from the highland provinces of Cañar and Azuay, Ecuador, have immigrated to metropolitan New York, where they work in menial jobs and remit, as a group, millions of dollars annually. This paper examines the effects of international migration on agricultural production and land-use in two regions of Cañar Province. An agricultural survey was administered in two communities to determine land-use and agricultural production of migrant and nonmigrant households. Contrary to most reports on the subject, migration has neither led to agricultural abandonment nor have remittances been dedicated to agricultural improvements. Semisubsistence agriculture remains an important riskaverse economic and cultural activity, but cultivation is a poor investment. A large investment in housing and land has converted much of the region into a peri-urban landscape of cultivated real estate.

migration agriculture ecuador land-use 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Bebbington, A. (1993a). Modernization from below: An alternative indigenous development? Economic Geography 69: 274–292.Google Scholar
  2. Bebbington, A. (1993b). Sustainable livelihood development in the Andes: Local institutions and regional resource use in Ecuador. Development Policy Review 11: 5–30.Google Scholar
  3. Black, R. (1993). Migration, return, and agricultural development in the Serra do Alvao, Northern Portugal. Economic Development and Cultural Change 41: 563–585.Google Scholar
  4. Blaikie, P., and Brookfield, H. (1987). Land Degradation and Society, Methuen, London.Google Scholar
  5. Borrero, A. L. (1992). Las Migraciones y Recursos Humanos: Situacion Reciente y Tendencias. In Borrero, A. L. (ed.), Cuenca y su futuro, Corporación de Estudios para el Desarrollo, and Universidad de Azuay, Cuenca, Ecuador, pp. 93–172.Google Scholar
  6. Borrero, A. L. (1995). Mujer y migración: Alcances de un Fen´omeno Nacional y Regional, Abya-Yala, Quito, Ecuador.Google Scholar
  7. Brush, S. (1977). Mountain, Field, and Family, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  8. Castles, S., and Miller, M. (1998). The Age of Migration: International Population Movements in the Modern World, 2nd edn. Macmillan, Houndsmill, UK.Google Scholar
  9. Central Bank of Ecuador (2002). Las Remesas de ecuatorianos en el exterior (Preliminary report), Quito, Ecuador.Google Scholar
  10. Chaney, E. (1988). Migration, Smallholder Agriculture, and Food Consumption in Jamaica and Saint Lucia, Hemispheric Migration Project, Center for Immigration Policy and Refugee Assistance, Georgetown University, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  11. Chapman, M., and Prothero, M. (1985). Circulation in Population Movement: Substance and Concepts From the Melanesian Case, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London.Google Scholar
  12. Chiriboga, M. V. (1988). La Reforma Agraria Ecuatoriana y los Cambios en la Distribución de la Propiedad Rural Agricola 1974-1984. In Gondard, P. (ed.) Transformaciones Agrarias en el Ecuador, Centro Ecuatoriano de Investigación Geográfica, Quito, Ecuador, pp. 39–57.Google Scholar
  13. Collins, J. (1987). Labor scarcity and ecological change. In Little, P., and Horowitz, M. (ed.), Lands at Risk in the Third World, Westview Press, Boulder, CO, pp. 19–37.Google Scholar
  14. Collins, J. (1988). Unseasonal Migrations: The Effects of Rural Labor Scarcity in Peru, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.Google Scholar
  15. Colloredo-Mansfeld, R. (1998). The handicraft archipelago: Consumption, migration, and the social organization of a transnational Andean ethnic group. Research in Economic Anthropology 19: 31–67.Google Scholar
  16. Conway, D., and Cohen, J. (1998). Consequences of migration and remittances for Mexican transnational communities. Economic Geography 74: 26–44.Google Scholar
  17. Crissman, C. (1996). Pesticides: Human health costs in Ecuador. Upward Fieldnotes 5: 14.Google Scholar
  18. Deere, C.D., and Leon de Leal, M. (1982). Women in Andean Agriculture, International Labour Office, Geneva.Google Scholar
  19. de Janvry, A. (1981). The Agrarian Question and Reformism in Latin America, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.Google Scholar
  20. de Janvry, A., Graham, A., Sadoulet, E., Espinel, R., Spurrier, W., Nilssen, H.-P., and Welsch, F. (1994). The Political Feasibility of Adjustment in Ecuador and Venezuela, Development Centre of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris, France.Google Scholar
  21. Durand, J., and Massey, D. (1992). Mexican migration to the United States: A critical review. Latin American Research Review 27: 3–42.Google Scholar
  22. Durand, J., Parrado, E., and Massey, D. (1996). Migradollars and development: A reconsideration of the Mexican case. International Migration Review 30: 423–444.Google Scholar
  23. Ferrán, F., and Pessar, P. (1990). Dominican Agriculture and the Effect of International Migration, Working Paper #29, Commission for the Study of International Migration and Cooperative Economic Development.Google Scholar
  24. Findley, S. (1987). An interactive contextual model of migration in Ilocos Norte, the Philippines. Demography 24: 163–189.Google Scholar
  25. Fletcher, P. (1997). Building from migration: Imported design and everyday use of migrant houses in Mexico. In Orlove, B. (ed.), The Allure of the Foreign: Imported Goods in Postcolonial Latin America, Ann Arbor, The University of Michigan Press, pp. 185–201.Google Scholar
  26. Flora, C. B. (1985).Women and agriculture. Agriculture and Human Values 2: 5–14.Google Scholar
  27. Garcia-Barrios, R., and Garcia-Barrios, L. (1990). Environmental and technological degradation in peasant agriculture:Aconsequence of development in Mexico. World Development 18(11): 1569–1585.Google Scholar
  28. Georges, E. (1990). The Making of a Transnational Community: Migration, Development, and Cultural Change in the Dominican Republic, Columbia University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  29. Gould, W. T. S. (1995). Migration and recent economic and environmental change in East Africa. In Baker J., and Akin Aina, T. (eds.), The Migration Experience in Africa, Uppsala, Sweden, Nordiska Afrikinstitutet, pp. 122–145.Google Scholar
  30. Grossman, L. (1993). The political ecology of banana exports and local food production in St. Vincent, Eastern Caribbean. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 83: 347–367.Google Scholar
  31. Hamilton, S. (1998). The Two-Headed Household: Gender and Rural Development in the Ecuadorian Andes, University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA.Google Scholar
  32. Harden, C. (1993). Land use, soil erosion, and reservoir sedimentation in an Andean drainage basin in Ecuador. Mountain Research and Development 13(2): 177–184.Google Scholar
  33. Harden, C. (1996). Relationships between land abandonment and land degradation: A case from the Ecuadorian Andes. Mountain Research and Development 16(3): 274–280.Google Scholar
  34. Hyden, G., Turner, B. L., II, and Kates, R. (1993). Beyond intensification. In Turner, B. L., II, Hyden, G., and Kates, R. (eds.) Population Growth and Agricultural Change in Africa, University of Florida Press, Gainesville, pp. 320–360.Google Scholar
  35. Jokisch, B. (1997). From circulation to international migration: The case of South-Central Ecuador. In Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers Yearbook, Vol. 23, University of Texas Press, Austin, pp. 63–76.Google Scholar
  36. Jokisch, B. (2001). Desde Nueva York a Madrid: tendencias en la migración ecuatoriana. Ecuador Debate 54: 59–83.Google Scholar
  37. Jokisch, B., and Pribilsky, J. (2002). The panic to leave: Economic crisis and the “new emigration” from Ecuador. International Migration 40(4): 75–101.Google Scholar
  38. Kyle, D. (1996). The Transnational Peasant: The Social Construction of International Economic Migration and Transcommunities from the Ecuadorean Andes, PhD Dissertation, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.Google Scholar
  39. Kyle, D. (2000). TransnationalPeasants: Migrations, Networks, and Ethnicity inAndeanEcuador, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.Google Scholar
  40. Lawson, V. (1998). Hierarchical households and gendered migration in Latin America: Feminist extensions to migration research. Progress in Human Geography 22(1): 39–53.Google Scholar
  41. Leinbach, T., and Watkins, J. (1998). Remittances and circulation behavior in the livelihood process: Transmigrant families in South Sumatra, Indonesia. Economic Geography 74: 45–63.Google Scholar
  42. Martin, P. (1991). The Unfinished Story: Turkish labour migration to Western Europe, International Labour Organisation, Geneva.Google Scholar
  43. Massey, D., Alarcón, R., Durand, J., and González, H. (1987). Return to Aztlan: The Social Process of International Migration from Western Mexico, University of California Press, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  44. Mazambani, D. (1991). Labor Migration Impacts on Communal Land Agriculture: Case Studies From Manicaland Province, Zimbabwe, PhD Dissertation, Clark University, Worcester, MA.Google Scholar
  45. Mines, R., and de Janvry, A. (1982). Migration to the United States and Mexican rural development: A case study. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 64: 444–454.Google Scholar
  46. Mitchell, W. (1991). Peasants on the Edge, University of Texas, Austin.Google Scholar
  47. Momsen, J. (1986). Migration and rural development in the Caribbean. Tijdschrift Voor Economische en Sociale Geografie 77: 50–58.Google Scholar
  48. Oberai, A. S., and Bilsborrow, R. (1984). Theoretical perspectives on migration. In Migration Surveys in Low Income Countries: Guidelines for Survey and Questionnaire Design, International Labour Organisation, Croom Helm, London, pp. 14–30.Google Scholar
  49. Painter, M. (1984). Changing relations of production and rural underdevelopment. Journal of Anthropological Studies 40: 271–292.Google Scholar
  50. Painter, M. (1986). The value of peasant labour power in a prolonged transition to capitalism. The Journal of Peasant Studies 13: 221–239.Google Scholar
  51. Painter, M. (1991). Upland-Lowland Production Linkages and Land Degradation in Bolivia, Working Paper No. 81, Institute for Development Anthropology, Binghamton, New York.Google Scholar
  52. Perez-Crespo, C. (1991a). Migration and the Breakdown of a Peasant Economy in Central Bolivia, Institute for Development Anthropology, Binghamton, New York.Google Scholar
  53. Perez-Crespo, C. (1991b). Why do People Migrate? Internal Migration and the Pattern of Capital Accumulation in Bolivia, Working Paper No. 74, Institute for Development Anthropology, Binghamton, New York.Google Scholar
  54. Pessar, P. (1991). Caribbean emigration and development. In Papademetrious, D. Martin, G., and Philip, L. (eds.), The Unsettled Relationship: Labor Migration and Economic Development, Greenwood Press, New York, pp. 201–210.Google Scholar
  55. Preston, D. (1974). Emigration and Change: Experience in Southern Ecuador, Working Paper 52, School of Geography, University of Leeds, Leeds, England.Google Scholar
  56. Preston, D., and Taveras, G. (1980). Changes in land tenure and land distribution as a result of rural emigration in Highland Ecuador. Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie 71: 98–107.Google Scholar
  57. PRONAREG-ORSTOM (Programa Nacional de Regionalización Agraria Office de la Recherche Scientifique et Technique Outre-Mer). (1978). Diagnóstico Socio-Económico del Medio Rural Ecuatoriano: Documentos 1-9, Quito, Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganaderia ORSTOM.Google Scholar
  58. Reichart, J. (1981). The migrant syndrome: Seasonal U.S. wage labor and rural development in Central Mexico. Human Organization 40: 56–67.Google Scholar
  59. Rhoades, R. (1978). Intra-European return migration and rural development: Lessons from the Spanish case. Human Organization 37: 136–147.Google Scholar
  60. Steinmann, S. (1993). Effects of international migration on women's work in agriculture: The case of the Todgha Oasis, Southern Morocco. Revue de Geographie du Maroc 15: 105–124.Google Scholar
  61. Taylor, J. E., and Wyatt, T. J. (1996). The shadow value of migrant remittances, income and inequality in a household-farm economy. The Journal of Development Studies 32: 899–912.Google Scholar
  62. Tiffen, M., Mortimore, M., and Gichuki, F. (1994). More People, Less Erosion, Wiley, NewYork.Google Scholar
  63. Trigueros, P., and Rodriguez, J. (1988). Migración y vida familiar en Michoacan: un estudio de caso. In López C.G. (ed.), Migración en el occidente de Mexico, El Colegio de Michoacan, Michoacan, Maxico pp. 201–221.Google Scholar
  64. Turner, B. L., II, (1989). The specialist-synthesis approach to the revival of geography: The case of cultural ecology. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 79(1): 88–100.Google Scholar
  65. Wunder, S. (1996). Deforestation and the uses of wood in the Ecuadorian Andes. Mountain Research and Development 16(4): 367–382.Google Scholar
  66. Zamosc, L. (1994). Agrarian protest and the indian movement in the Ecuadorean Highlands. Latin American Research Review 3: 37–68.Google Scholar
  67. Zimmerer, K. (1991). Labor shortages and crop diversity in the Southern Peruvian Sierra. Geographical Review 8: 414–432.Google Scholar
  68. Zimmerer, K. (1993). Soil erosion and labor shortages in the Andes with special reference to Bolivia, 1953-1991: Implications for “conservation-with-development.” World Development 21: 1659–1675.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brad D. Jokisch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyOhio UniversityAthens

Personalised recommendations