Agricultural intensification by smallholders in the Western Brazilian Amazon: From deforestation to sustainable land use

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Washington, DC: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)


This report presents trade-offs among a "critical triangle" of development objectives- environmental sustainability, economic growth, and poverty alleviation- associated with different uses of the forest in two settlement projects in the western Brazilian Amazon. It finds that settlers continue to deforest, primarily for pasture, despite strengthening legal prohibitions, improved market links to the broader economy, and rising regional incomes and welfare. A supplement to approaches that look at deforestation from a macroeconomic viewpoint, this report focuses on smallholders decision making - important because Brazilian migration policies designed to alleviate poverty have made this group a pivotal force in both deforestation and economic growth in the Amazon.


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Economic growth, Deforestation, Land use management, Pasture management, Poverty, Sustainability, Agricultural intensification, Brazil, Amazon, Ecosystem Farm/Enterprise Scale Field Scale


Research Report No. 130