Land Use Intensification and Disintensification in the Upper Cañete Valley, Peru

Abstract

Farmers in the Upper Cañete valley have both disintensified and intensified land use. The direction of land use change depends on the production zone in which it takes place. Although land in the distant rainfed agropastoral zone is disintensified through land abandonment and an increase of the fallow period, land in the nearby irrigated agropastoral zone is intensified through more frequent cropping, and the use of high-yielding potato varieties, fertilizers, and pesticides. Simultaneous intensification and disintensification contradicts Boserup's theory of agricultural intensification, which predicts unilinear change for all land use systems within a village territory. Population has decreased in the Upper Cañte valley, but this factor alone cannot explain the dynamics of land use. Land use change is also driven by differences and complementarity between production zones, their distance from the villages, and social, economic, and technological change.

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Wiegers, E.S., Hijmans, R.J., Hervé, D. et al. Land Use Intensification and Disintensification in the Upper Cañete Valley, Peru. Human Ecology 27, 319–339 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1018729428781

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  • production zones
  • land use change
  • population
  • ecology