Making Sense of Agrobiodiversity, Diet, and Intensification of Smallholder Family Farming in the Highland Andes of Ecuador

P.J. Oyarzun, R.M. Borja, S. Sherwood, V. Parra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Methods are needed for helping researchers and farmers to interactively describe and analyze local practices in search of opportunities for improving health, environment, and economy. The authors worked with smallholder family farmers in five Andean villages in Ecuador to apply participatory four-cell analysis (PFCA) in characterizing agrobiodiversity. Margelef and Shannon indices examined ecological richness and evenness, and a simplified 24-hour dietary recall characterized food consumption. Cross-analysis tested interactions among agrobiodiversity, farm size, and diet. Overall trends appeared to work against sustainable intensification, with notable heterogeneity and positive deviance found in the practices of relatively smaller enterprises, representing a potential resource for sustainable intensification. The suite of methods was determined useful for initiating researcher-farmer explorations of promising innovation pathways.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-541
JournalEcology of Food and Nutrition
Volume52
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • nutrition
  • biodiversity
  • food
  • agriculture
  • validation
  • diversity
  • stability
  • recall
  • health
  • crops

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