The intensification of traditional agriculture among Yucatec Maya Farmers: Facing up to the dilemma of livelihood sustainability uri icon

abstract

  • This article discusses the change among Yucatec Maya farmers from traditional shifting milpa agriculture to intensive horticultural production for the Mexican market. The process of agricultural intensification among this group of peasant farmers has involved movement toward an increasingly sedentary form of production which has heightened reliance on the use of chemicals with negative consequences for the environment. The research, which focuses on the pressure on producers to abandon more sustainable forms of cultural controls against crop loss in favor of modern chemical controls, raises the issue of the transferability of sustainable traditional technology to small commercial farmers in the tropics. More specifically, the article draws attention to the sometimes overlooked issue of economic, as well as environmental, sustainability in discussions on agricultural development and resource management.

publication date

  • 1993
  • 1993