Planting hybrids, keeping landraces: Agricultural modernization and tradition among small-scale maize farmers in Chiapas, Mexico

Mauricio R. Bellon, Jon Hellin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper examines how agricultural modernization and tradition interact among small-scale commercially-oriented maize farmers by studying shifts in area and number of farmers planting hybrids and landraces. Results show substantial yield increases but reductions in production and area planted, associated with widespread hybrid adoption and landrace abandonment. Agricultural government programs have played an important role fostering commercialization and hybrid adoption. Cultural preferences, and possibly an anti-poverty program coupled with women's empowerment, have fostered landrace retention. Hybrids and landraces have overlapping functions in farmers' livelihoods influenced by interdependent production and consumption decisions, cultural preferences, and imperfect markets even under agricultural modernization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1434-1443
Number of pages10
JournalWorld Development
Volume39
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Government programs
  • Latin America
  • Mexico
  • NAFTA
  • Oportunidades

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics

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