Heterogeneity of peasant land use decision as an effect of differences financial and personal capitals in the area of Biosphere Reserve Podocarpus - El Cóndor , Ecuador
von Byron Vinicio Maza Rojas
Datum der mündl. Prüfung:2010-11-18
Betreuer:Prof. Dr. Rainer Marggraf
Gutachter:Prof. Dr. Rainer Marggraf
Gutachter:Prof. Dr. Meike Wollni
EnglischEnvironmental protection and poverty reduction are central issues in United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Both aspects have special importance in the Andes biodiversity hot spot where high rates of deforestation overlap with high levels of poverty. Peasant households use forest land as cheap means of production to increase their agricultural area in order to maintain or increase their income. Respect to the issues mentioned above, following research questions are relevant: i) What are the opportunity costs of the farming households to conserve the native Andes forest?, a production function approach was used to calculate the profitability and determinants of agricultural production. ii) Is current agricultural production working efficiently?, a stochastic frontier analysis was used to calculate technical efficiency and its determinants in the cattle production. Futhermore, iii) What is the best conservation instrument in order to achieve cost-efficiency and poverty alleviation?, different conservation instruments fostering a forest conversion ban, including payments for ecosystem services schemes, on cost-efficiency and poverty alleviation were also tested. In order to apply economic models, a socioeconomic sample of 130 households was collected during the farming season 2008 in the area of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Podocarpus - El Condor , south Ecuador. The most profitable land use found is extensive pasture-based cattle production (net profit 159 USD/ha/yr in average) with huge heterogeneity among households. Factors influencing the gross margin and consequently profitability in cattle production are land size, labor, input expenses, ethnicity, altitude and access to technical assistance and formal credits. The production frontier models revealed that size of pasture, labor and costs of production monotonically have increased cattle production in the sampled farms. Also, the technical inefficiency model shows that the location of the farms (lowland), ethnicity (Mestizo ethnic) and accessibility of technical assistance increased the technical efficiency of cattle farms in the study area. The average technical efficiency of about 70% was obtained from the analysis which implies a technical inefficiency level of about 30%. Of course such inefficiency could be reduced or minimized by providing technical assistance. The design of payment and contract attributes has a pronounced impact on the effectiveness as well as on the distributional impact of PES-type conservation instruments. Voluntary conservation payment instruments tend to be more cost-efficient than mandatory ones, if competitively low payments are offered. Such low offers are incompatible with poverty alleviation goals. Pronounced pro poor distributional impacts are possible, however, but the PES contracts will rather need higher payments per unit area (up to 300 USD/ha/yr) and need to be offered exclusively to the poorest households.
Keywords: Production function; technical efficiency; distributional impacts; payments for ecosystem services; Biosphere Reserve Podocarpus - El Cóndor; Ecuador; profitability; smallhorder