Food Production Systems in the Amazon

  • Rodrigo Sierra
Living reference work entry

Later version available View entry history


The following discussion focuses on productive systems found in riverine and interfluvial forest environments, which cover approximately 75 % of the Amazon Basin (i.e., not in wetland, savanna, or shrub environments, such as Cuyabeno, Beni, or Cerrado, respectively). The Amazon has 12 major river basins covering approximately 7.8 million square kilometers, most of which (~65 %) are in Brazil. Other countries sharing the Amazon are Peru (~10 %), Colombia, Bolivia, and Venezuela (~6 % each), Guyana (~3 %), Surinam (~2 %), Ecuador (~3 %), and French Guyana (~1 %) (RAISG, 2012).

The conventional definition of food production systems revolves around the growing of food plants (Piperno & Pearsall, 1998). This definition, however, is insufficient to describe the main sources of food in the Amazon. Amazonian food production systems, like the Amazon itself, are very diverse. These include activities involved in the growing of food plants, the production of plant foods from foraging for wild...


Indigenous Group Food Production System Agricultural Plot Average Farm Size Year Before Present 
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  1. 1.Independent ConsultantCedar ParkUSA