Why do farmers abandon jatropha cultivation? The case of Chiapas, Mexico

Iria Soto, Carol Ellison, Marc Kenis, Brenda Diaz, Bart Muys, Erik Mathijs
2018 Energy for Sustainable Development  
The biofuel crop Jatropha curcas has been promoted in developing countries as a means of improving the livelihoods of rural populations. In Mexico, despite the initially assumed economic, environmental, and social benefits of the crop, many farmers have abandoned jatropha cultivation. Here, we analyse the factors that influence farmers' decision to abandon jatropha cultivation by using a generalized linear modelling approach in combination with qualitative research methods. The deterioration in
more » ... perception of jatropha profitability, the non-payment of expected subsidies and the wealth position of the household played a major role in determining abandonment. The perception of pest and disease damage, although stated by farmers as the second most frequent reason to disadopt, was not correlated with this decision in the generalized linear model. This research might help energy policy makers in identifying key elements to prevent failure of promotion programmes. The result of this study also may be useful for an international audience to reflect on the appropriateness of promoting a new crop at the farmer level before realistically evaluating the economic viability of its cultivation.
doi:10.1016/j.esd.2017.10.004 fatcat:ocftcxx2uvaxvf5kxqe56nfaqq