The differential role of environmental policy and individual value changes in the adoption of conservation practices by large-scale soybean landowners in Mato Grosso, Brazil

Authors: Martin Delaroche*, Indiana University
Topics: Agricultural Geography, Environmental Perception, Latin America
Keywords: adoption, brazil, soybean, forest, deforestation, practices, values, perceptions, compliance, agri-environment schemes
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Grand Ballroom B, Astor, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Understanding how farmers respond to environmental regulation in practice is becoming a major priority for ensuring compliance. Many farmer studies around the world examine the effect of policy changes on the adoption of conservation practices by choosing a particular practice as the dependent variable. In this paper, I suggest a broader analytical approach by relating environmental perceptions and values of large-scale soybean farmers in Mato Grosso, Brazil, to both the compliance with forest cover requirements and the adoption of a certain set of good agricultural practices. Based on more than 100 semi-structured interviews with large-scale farmers, 9 months of fieldwork, and property-analysis using 30 years of satellite imagery (1984-2015), I disentangle to what extent policy changes and farmer’s environmental values, respectively, explain adoption of forest conservation, direct seeding, and other practices. I argue that an institutional analysis framework such as the IAD-SES framework, building on both the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) and the Socio-Ecological Systems (SES) developed by Elinor Ostrom and her colleagues, allows for greater explanatory power by including a set of contextual variables, such as soil quality, overlooked by other studies

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