Caracterización de unidades de producción familiar agropecuarias mesoamericanas

Translated title of the contribution: Characterization of mesoamerican smallholder farming systems

Cristian A. Reyna-Ramírez, Mariela H. Fuentes-Ponce*, Walter A.H. Rossing, Santiago López-Ridaura

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Farming policies tend to be homogeneous for an entire sector and encourage the implementation of technological innovations without considering the particular characteristics of smallholder farm systems (SFS). The objective of this study was to characterize the SFSs in the Oaxacan Mixteca, Mexico, and the highlands of Guatemala based on typologies, to know their diversity and to have elements to provide guidelines to generate development alternatives. The typology was constructed with information obtained from workshops, surveys and multivariate methods (PCA, cluster analysis and K-means). The variables that determined the diversity of the SFSs were investment capacity, remittances, type of work and livestock activities. The types of SFS identified in the Oaxacan Mixteca were: 1) farming, 2) dependent on external agricultural labours and low monetary income, 3) dependent on government programs, 4) with high non-agricultural income, and 5) medium external income. In the highlands of Guatemala: 1) semi-commercial farming, 2) commercial agriculture, 3) small subsistence, 4) small diversified income, and 5) semi-commercial agriculture. In the Oaxacan Mixteca region, the SFSs are self-consumption systems, dependent on external income (remittances and government programs), in which the potential for development lies in policies, according to the diversity of types and more efficient production systems. In Guatemala, the characteristics of the SFSs comply with global market chains, which regulate production and commercialization conditions, in which the potential for change lies in generating fairer market conditions and more efficient production systems linked to local non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The information obtained based on the typologies is useful for generating specific policies and programs of differentiated support, according to the types of systems and their context.

Translated title of the contributionCharacterization of mesoamerican smallholder farming systems
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)259-277
Number of pages19
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2020


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