Agricultural productivity beyond the yield per hectare: analysis of Ecuadorian rice and hard corn crops

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Andrea Gabriela Bonilla Bolaños
David Alejandro Singaña Tapia


Agricultural productivity, contract farming, regression analysis, biodiversity, PSAR, Green Revolution


This article deals with the indirect effects of looking for increasing agricultural productivity by using high-yielding varieties (HYVs) in association with chemical fertilizers and agro-chemicals – according to the Green Revolution dynamics. The so-called Plan Semillas de Alto Rendimiento (PSAR) Ecuadorian public program, which target the hard corn and rice crops, is selected as the case study. Using information provided by the Encuesta de Superficie y Producción Agropecuaria Continua (ESPAC) covering the 2014 and 2016 periods, and econometric tools, this study provides empirical evidence for extending the debate on the consequences of the Ecuadorian agricultural program beyond the traditional productivity measure, namely, tons produced per hectare. On the one hand, the focus is on the productivity-exclusion paradox which emerges when considering the PSAR as part of a process of indirect land concentration (Yumbla and Herrera, 2013). On the other hand, the emphasis is on the productivity-diversity paradox which origins when considering to PSAR as a potential risk to biodiversity and, therefore, to food sovereignty (Sarandón, 2002). The results suggest not only that the use of HYVs, chemical fertilizers and agro-chemicals does not guarantee the increase in agricultural productivity but also that factors such as: biodiversity, land concentration, associativity and role of women are affected by the search for greater agricultural productivity.
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