• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Front Cover
 Summary
 Table of Contents
 Introduction
 The problem in perspective
 Needs addressed by this projec...
 Conceptual framework
 Comparative design
 Data collection
 Interdisciplinary research...
 Significance
 Reference
 Investigators and fiscal struc...














Title: Cattle ranching, land use and deforestation in Brazil, Peru and Ecuador
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 Material Information
Title: Cattle ranching, land use and deforestation in Brazil, Peru and Ecuador
Series Title: Cattle ranching, land use and deforestation in Brazil, Peru and Ecuador
Physical Description: 17 leaves : ill. and maps ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Wood, Charles H
University of Florida -- Center for Latin American Studies
Publisher: Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1998
 Subjects
Subject: Ranching -- Amazon River Region   ( lcsh )
Land use -- Amazon River Region   ( lcsh )
Deforestation -- Amazon River Region   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Brazil
Peru
Ecuador
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: principal investigator: Charles H. Wood.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 14-15).
General Note: Cover title.
General Note: Dates: Begin May 1, 1999, End Date April 30, 2003."
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: Pages may be missing.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00083005
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 213386667

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Summary
        Page 1
    Table of Contents
        Page 2
    Introduction
        Page 3
    The problem in perspective
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Needs addressed by this project
        Page 7
    Conceptual framework
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
    Comparative design
        Page 11
    Data collection
        Page 12
    Interdisciplinary research team
        Page 12
    Significance
        Page 13
    Reference
        Page 14
    Investigators and fiscal structure
        Page 15
Full Text


4 i





Cover Page

Cattle Ranching, Land Use and Deforestation
in Brazil, Peru and Ecuador


Participating Countries Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Canada, US

Principal Investigator Charles H. Wood, Director
Center for Latin American Studies
319 Grinter Hall
PO Box 115530
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-5530

Office telephone: (352) 392-0375
Office FAX: (352) 392-7682
Home telephone: (352) 373-2165

Email: cwood@latam.ufl.edu


Co-Principal Investigators Jean Francois Tourrand
EMBRAPA, Brazil

Milthon Mufioz Berrocal
UNAS, Peru

Jorge Grijalva Olmedo
INIAP, Ecuador

Ronei Sant'Ana de Menezes
PESACRE, Brazil

Oliver Coomes,
McGill, Canada

Lead Institution University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida

Cost Total Direct $ 718,880
Total Indirect $ 71,888
Total Costs $ 790,768

Dates Begin May 1, 1999
End Date April 30,2003











Cattle Ranching, Land Use and Deforestation
in Brazil, Peru and Ecuador

Executive Summary

The rapid expansion of cattle ranching, and the extensive use of unsustainable
pasture management practices are major determinants of deforestation and environmental
degradation in rural South America. The objective of this four-year study is to create an
interdisciplinary network of researchers to carry out a comparative study of ranching
activities in Brazil, Peru and Ecuador. In-depth interviews with key informants will be
used to analyze the land use and pasture management decisions made by small, medium
and large establishments, and to identify the marketing chains that link the production of
cattle to consumption of beef in each context. The project will develop a multi-leveled
research design to analyze the interplay of micro/local, meso/regional and macro/national
scale factors that influence the decision to invest in cattle ranching, and that determine the
choice of pasture management technologies. The comparative design will show how
differences in national policies, and how variations in socioeconomic, political, cultural and
environmental contexts lead to different land use outcomes. The project will promote the
establishment of a network of researchers from four different countries, and will provide
research and training experience to enhance the skills and capabilities of the individuals and
institutions involved. The comprehensive analysis of the overall architecture of the cattle
sector will add to the scholarly understanding of the factors that drive environmentally
significant land use decisions, and will generate the information required to formulate
viable policies to encourage alternative forms of land use, and to promote sustainable
pasture management. Because two of the main sites in this study coincide with the eco-
climatic transects targeted for analysis by the Large Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere
It.1 Experiment in Amazonia (LBA), the findings of this study will directly complement other
major research initiatives in the region.

Participating Countries Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Canada, US

Principal Investigator Co-Principal Investigators

Charles H. Wood, Director Jean Francois Tourrand
Center for Latin American Studies EMBRAPA, Brazil
319 Grinter Hall
PO Box 115530 Milthon Mufioz Berrocal
University of Florida UNAS, Peru
Gainesville, FL 32611-5530
Jorge Grijalva Olmedo
Office telephone: (352) 392-0375 INIAP, Ecuador
Office FAX: (352) 392-7682
Home telephone: (352) 373-2165 Ronei Sant'Ana de Menezes
PESACRE, Brazil

Oliver Coomes,
Email: cwood@latam.ufl.edu McGill, Canada

Lead Institution Center for Latin American Studies
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-5530










Table of Contents


I. Introduction 3

A. Statement of the Problem 3
B. Objectives 4

II. The Problem in Perspective 4

A. The Cattle Frontier in the Brazilian Amazon 4
B. Cattle Ranching and Deforestation 5
C. Environmental Consequences of Cattle Ranching 5
1. Deforestation
2. Methane Production
D. Sustainable Pasture Management 6

III. Needs Addressed by this Project 7

A. Limitations of Current Explanations 7
B. The Case for a Comprehensive Approach 8

IV Conceptual Framework 8

A. Land Use and Pasture Management Decisions 9
B. Elements of a Multi-Leveled Approach 9
C. Critical Links in the Marketing Chain 10

V. Comparative Design 11

VI. Data Collection 12

VII. Interdisciplinary Research Team 12

VIII. Significance 13

IX. References 14

X. Fiscal Structure 15

XI. Annual Plan and Timetable 16

XII. Budget Sheets 17











Cattle Ranching, Land Use and Deforestation
in Brazil, Peru and Ecuador

I. Introduction

A. Statement of the Problem

A critical dimension of global environmental change is the high rate of deforestation
taking place as landholders convert primary and secondary growth into pastures for raising
cattle. In the Brazilian Amazon, the expansion of cattle ranching is occurring at such a
rapid pace that concerned analysts have coined the term "pecuarizacdo" (cattlelization) to
depict the extraordinary increase in the cattle herd among landholders of all sizes. Whereas
ranching was mainly the domain of large and medium-sized establishments during the
initial stages of frontier settlement in the 1970s, today small farmers are increasingly
involved in the production or fattening of commercial livestock, often to the exclusion of
other land use options. The problem is greatly compounded by the fact that a high
proportion of the pastures being created are based on unsustainable management practices.'
The result is pasture degradation, which compels ranchers to clear additional forests to
maintain their herd.

The expansion of cattle ranching based on unsustainable pasture management is
also underway in Peru and Ecuador, although the trend in both places appears to be quite
different compared to that observed in Brazil. Among other things, the process is
occurring at a slower pace in Peru and Ecuador, and is happening in response to different
social and economic incentives, and as a consequence of different national-level
development policies.

The marked differences between the three countries present a unique opportunity to
carry out a comparative analysis. By analyzing the presence of an attribute in one context
and its absence in another, and by documenting the way different socioeconomic and policy
environments produce different outcomes, it is possible to generate a comprehensive
understanding of the various factors that lead to the expansion of cattle ranching. More
specifically, the id aiso compare and contrast small, medium and large establishments in
Brazil, Peru, andrazi, and also in three regions within the Brazilian Amazon that display
marked difference title production and marketing. Using an interdisciplinary team of
researchers drawn from Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Canada and the US, the project will focus
on the micro, meso and macro-level forces that influence the decision to invest in cattle
ranching, and that influence the choice of pasture management practices.

A thorough understanding of land use decisions is critically important because of
the environmental consequences of converting forest to pastures. It is widely recognized
that deforestation is associated with reduced biodiversity, changes in hydrology, increased
soil erosion, and alterations in microclimates. Moreover, the burning of biomass releases
large quantities of carbon into the atmosphere in the form of C02, while cattle themselves
are an additional source of methane gas, which is produced in the bovine intestinal tract.

An analysis of the expansion of cattle ranching is thus an effective way to
simultaneously address a wide range of priority environmental issues. The proposed multi-
leveled, interdisciplinary and comparative approach will not only add to the scholarly
understanding of the factors that drives environmentally significant land use decisions, but
will also generate the kind of information required toformulate viable policy
recommendations to encourage alternative forms of land use, and to promote sustainable ,
pasture management.,












B. Objectives

1. Create an interdisciplinary network of researchers from Brazil, Peru, Ecuador,
Canada and the United States.

2. Develop a multi-leveled research design, and a method of data collection to
analyze the micro, meso and macro scale factors that influence the decision to
invest in cattle ranching, and that determine the choice of pasture management
technologies.

3. Apply the multi-leveled approach to a comparative study of small, medium and
large establishments in Brazil, Peru and Ecuador.

4. Publish research findings that advance a scholarly understanding of
environmentally significant land use decisionmaking among rural
establishments in different socioeconomic, political and environmental contexts.

5. Use the research findings to formulate realistic policy interventions that
encourage alternative forms of land use, and that promote the recuperation and
the sustainable management of pastures.

6. Advance the technical skills and research infrastructure of participating
individuals and institutions.

II. Elements of the Problem in Perspective

A. The Cattle Frontier in the Brazilian Amazon

Data from the agricultural censuses in Brazil provide valuable estimates of the
increase in the herd size in the Amazon region. The data presented in Table 1 indicate that
the size of the number of cattle grew from 15.3 million head in 1980 to over 27.0 million in
1990 (Censos Agropecudrios 1980, 1985; Produg.o da Pecuaria Municipal, 1990). While
the overall growth was on the order of 77 percent, the percent increase was much higher in
some states, such as Rond6nia, Pard and Tocantins. Further breakdowns by the size of
establishment (not shown) indicate that the increase was not restricted to large cattle
ranches, but was especially high among small producers. Between 1980 and 1986, for
example, the proportion of herds 10 or less in size grew by 72 percent. Those in the 10 to
20 range grew by 77 percent


Table 1 Cattle Herd by State in the Legal Amazon, 1980-1990
1980 1985 1990 90/80

Rondonia 251,419 770,531 1,718,697 6.84
Acre 292,190 334,336 400,085 1.37
Amazonas 355,748 425,053 637,299 1.79
Roraima 313,881 306,015 376,682 1.20
Pard 2,729,796 3,478,875 6,182,092 2.26
Amapi 46,079 46,986 69,619 1.51
Tocantins (1) 1,573,714 4,198,616 5,045,160 3.21
Maranhao (2) 6,295,479 2,972,845 3,791,439 0.60
Mato Grosso 3,442,158 6,547,056 8,814,846 2.56
Total 15,300,464 19,080,313 27,035,919 1.77











B. Cattle Ranching and Deforestation


The landholder's decision to raise cattle is necessarily a decision to create pastures,
which can be formed in a number of ways. In some cases, especially when commodity
prices fall, farmers opt to remove fruit or coffee trees which no longer produce sufficient
return. Alternatively, pastures can be created from stands of secondary growth, which are
often the result of pastures that were created earlier but later abandoned. In newly settled
areas of the Brazilian Amazon, landholders typical cut and burn primary forest lands which
are initially devoted to the production of annual crops, such as rice and beans, then turned
into pasture. In some cases the intermediate step is eliminated, and pastures are formed
directly from the clearing of primary forest.

Because cattle ranching is a highly Map 1. Percent Deforested
land-extensive activity, the expansion of Y U9..W....2
the cattle herd is close correlated with the
amount of land that is deforested, as
illustrated by Maps 1 and 2. The first
depicts the percent of each municipio in
the Legal Amazon that has been
deforested. Ignoring the areas of
savanna, which were never forested to
begin with, Map 1 clearly shows the ..
crescent shape of deforestation associated .
with the northward expansion of the
agricultural frontier. The spatial pattern of
deforestation closely matches the pattern MI. eanIt
shown in Map 2, which presents the
density of cattle in each municipio in
1990. The strength of the relationship '
can be estimated by regressing the density
variable on the percent deforested across
158 municipios in the frontier zone. The
results indicated a high correlation ~
between the two variables (R-square = '
.54), and that a one percent increase in "
the density of cattle was associated with
.75 increase in the number of kilometers
deforested.

Whether small or large establishments are primarily responsible for deforestation in
the Amazon is a much debated question. While the small farmer is frequently blamed for
deforestation (e.g., Myers 1993), the significant role of large-scale cattle ranches in the
Brazilian Amazon is the key difference between deforestation processes in Brazil relative to
Peru and Ecuador. Estimates range from a high of 70 percent being caused by large-scale
ranchers, to under 21 percent (Faminow 1997:5).

C. Environmental Consequences of Cattle Ranching

1. Deforestation.

The burning of Amazonian forests contributes significantly to the increase in
atmospheric carbon dioxide. Fearnside (1997:321) estimates that the 1990 rate of forest lost
in the Brazilian Amazon was responsible for releasing approximately 262 X 106 metric tons
of carbon in the form of C02. If world deforestation trends continue, as much carbon










dioxide and other trace gases will be put into the atmosphere in the next 75 years as has
been put into the atmosphere since 1700 (Crutzen and Andreae 1990). Local effects
include increases in the fraction of precipitation as surface run-off, soil erosion, and an
eventual local decline in precipitation. The increase in the proportion of precipitation
running off the land in the form of ground water can alter the flooding pattern of the
Amazon river and its tributaries, and potentially change the hydrology of the entire Amazon
watershed. More intense surface runoff and soil erosion, and their effects on the
sedimentation processes of the rivers, lead some analysts to predict higher and more
sudden floods, lower water levels during the dry season, greater turbidity and increased
bottom freight, and partial silting of the river beds in unpredictable places (Sioli 1985).
Irreversible changes associated with deforestation include the loss of biodiversity from
habitat destruction and fragmentation (Ehrlich and Wilson 1991, Wilson and Peter 1988).
Habitat destruction dramatically reduces the biological diversity of the plant and animal
species, and siltation caused by land erosion can threaten downstream fisheries.

2. Methane Production.

Methane is an important atmospheric constituent and a potent greenhouse gas.
Because a methane molecule is able to trap twenty-five times as much heat from the sun as
a molecular of CO2, some analysts believe that methane may become the primary global
warming gas in the next fifty years, accounting for 18 percent of the global warming trend
(Pearse 1990:38). Cattle ranching contributes to the production of methane in different
ways. The burning of forests to create pastures emits methane as well as C02. Cattle
themselves lose around 6 percent of their ingested energy as eructed methane (Johnson and
Johnson 1995:2483). Although methane is also emitted from peat bogs, rice paddies, and
landfills, the increase in the cattle and termite population and the burning of forests
presumably account for much of the increase in methane over the past several decades.
Recognizing that the relative contribution of methane from different sources is open to
question, one report concluded that the world's 1.3 billion cattle emit approximately 60
million tons of the total, or 12 percent of all of the methane released into the atmosphere
(World Resources Institute 1990:346).

D. Sustainable Pasture Management

Once the decision has been made to adopt cattle ranching on whatever scale, the
issue of maintaining pastures soon becomes evident. In the past, it has been assumed that
cattle ranching in the Amazon is "unsustainable" because pastures rapidly degrade. But
pasture grasses are akin to crop production in that the operation is only "sustainable" with
sufficient inputs and resiliency. Technologies for upgrading pastures have been pretty well
honed, including periodic fertilization with phosphorus; replacement of early generation
pasture grasses with more productive species, particularly brachiardo; and fencing and
rotation of pastures. Much of this technology has been developed by private entrepreneurs
as well as the national agricultural research program in Brazil (EMBRAPA). The
"package" of technologies deployed depend on a constellation of factors, including the
resources of the farmer or rancher. A small farmer might limit maintaining pasture to
periodic weeding and burning, whereas a larger rancher might invest in mechanical disking
of pasture and the application of purchased fertilizer. Despite the existence of these
technologies, only a small proportion of cattle ranchers actually make use of them.
Although reliable data on this topic are unavailable, one study suggests that at least 50
percent of the pastures that have been planted are in some advanced stage of degradation
(Serrio and Toledo 1992:258).










III. Needs Addressed by this Project


A. Limitations of Current Explanations

A survey of the published literature on the expansion of cattle ranching highlights
the fundamental limitations in existing explanations of the phenomenon. For example, in
the case of the Brazilian Amazon, a prominent explanation points to the credit policies and
fiscal incentives central to the development policies adopted by the federal government,
mainly in the 1970s and 1980s (Hecht 1985; 1992). But the argument that the growth of
the cattle herd can be attributed largely, if not exclusively to fiscal incentives is undermined.
by the fact that many producers that engaged in cattle ranching did not receive fiscal.
incentives (Fearnside 1989), and the fact that cattle ranching has continued to increase even
though the incentives have been withdrawn (Faminow 1998; Smith et al. 1995:161-2).

In contrast to supply driven accounts of the growth in the cattle herd, based on
fiscal incentives and related subsidies, other studies find the explanation in the increase in
the local and regional demand for beef caused by the growth in the urban population. The
fundamental cause of the expansion of cattle ranching, according to Faminow (1997) is the
explosive increase in the effective demand for food products in a region where
transportation costs serve to insulate local markets from outside competitors. Without
diminishing its potential merits, the study offers no insight into the structural relationships
that connect rural producers to urban consumers.

Other studies explain the expansion of cattle ranching by listing the inherent'
advantages of cattle to smallholders. Cattle are desired because they a highly liquid asset,
that can be easily walked long distances to market when roads are in poor condition. Sales
can be delayed without major loses, and the marginal cost of establishing pasture after
cropping is low for smallholders. iMoreover, ranching is relatively low-risk compared to
crop farming, and is an activity that provides milk for family consumption (Smith et al.
1995:162-3). These observations serve as a potent reminder of the positive role that cattle
ranching can play among smallholders in the region. Yet the argument is incomplete
inasmuch as it fails to explain variations in the degree to which smallholders invest in cattle.

Cultural arguments have also been advanced by noting that an appreciation of beef
and a predilection for cattle grazing are rooted in Iberian culture, and that ranching is
regarded as a more prestigious activity than growing crops (Smith et al. 1995:164).
Cultural explanations have also been put forth to account for the strong preference for cattle
ranching among migrants who come from different parts of Brazil. By extension, it is
possible that observed differences between Brazil, Peru and Ecuador in the pace of cattle
expansion may be due to cultural differences, although the nature and the magnitude of
such effects has, to our knowledge, never been systematically documented.

Similar limitations apply to explanations for the fact that most ranchers do not
practice sustainable forms of pasture management. Despite a growing literature on the
technical requirements of pasture maintenance and recuperation (e.g., Serrao and Toledo
1992)., much less is known about what motivates a rancher or farmer to employ these
methods. Parts of the puzzle have emerged, but more information is needed to help guide
policy for regional development and conservation. For example, the spurt of pasture
recuperation in some areas of the Brazilian Amazon in the early 1990s appears to have been
largely fueled by the sale of timber on ranches. In southern Para, some ranchers are
financing pasture recuperation by planting a lucrative crop of soybean in plowed old
pasture; soybean has the additional advantage of enriching the soil with nitrogen. In Acre,
some ranchers are helping underwrite the cost of pasture rehabilitation by planting a rice or
maize crop as a transitional phase to new pasture. Not all areas, however, are witnessing a











push towards pasture improvement. In the Santar6m area, for example, many farmers and
ranchers have apparently allowed upland pastures to become weed infested because cattle
are fattened for markets on the lush floodplain of the Amazon at low water. A clearer
picture of the patterns of intensification of ranching operations can only be gleaned by site
visits in a variety of habitats and states of the Amazon.

B. The Case for a Comprehensive Approach

The explanations reviewed above offer a useful inventory of variables that may, to
one degree or another promote investment in unsustainable cattle ranching. Valuable as the
list may be, it does not provide a comprehensive understanding of the system of-
relationships that are the root causes of the phenomenon. The existing literature on cattle
tends to be fragmented, focusing on one or another aspect of the problem, or on a single
level of analysis, thereby failing to provide the kind of comprehensive understanding
required for effective policy formulation. The fragmented nature of the literature is further
evident in the polarization between site-specific studies on the one had, and those that
generalize to the region as a whole on the other. Few adopt an approach that provides the
data required to analyze the similarities and differences that evident in different geographic
locations, and among producers of different size.

These observations point to the need for a research strategy based on a thoroughly
interdisciplinary approach that is explicitly designed to document the relative importance of
forces that operate at different scales, and that is capable of drawing insights from a
comparative analysis of different regions and countries. Put another way, there is a need to
formulate a conceptual framework that produces an understanding of the overall
architecture of the system that motivates landholders to make the investment decisions that
they do.

IV. Conceptual Framework

Key elements of the proposed conceptual framework are visually depicted in Figure
1. At the center of the diagram are boxes labeled "Critical Decision 1," which refers to the
choice of investing in cattle or not, and "Critical Decision 2," which refers to the choice of
sustainable or unsustainable pasture management practices. Both decisions are embedded
in rounded boxes that refer to drivers that operate at the Micro, Meso and Macro Scale.
The sections that follow will define the meaning of these terms, will make explicit the
assumptions involved in the approach, and will describe the associated methods of data
collection and analysis.


Figure 1











A. Land Use and Pasture Management Decisions


Fundamental to the design of the project is the assumption that, within the limits of
the information at their disposal, landholders make rational choices when they allocate the
resources at their disposal in the production of a livelihood,-br in the pursuit of profit;
Following Moran at al. (1998:4), we "adopt a conception of human choice that views
fallible humans as seeking goals perceived to be of net positive benefit to themselves, and
potentially others, but limited in their success by the information they possess, the,
incentives they face, the time horizon they use, and their culturally constrained learning and
choice-making process." This conception is consistent with the literature in the bounded
rationality and anthropological tradition.

According to this approach, when the landholder considers how to invest his
resources, he will assess the costs and the benefits of various alternatives, taking into
account his objectives (e.g., whether it is to reduce risk, or to make a profit), as well as the
Island, labor and capital at his disposal. Additional elements that enter into the decision
include a host of factors that make up the profile of opportunities and constraints, and
incentives and disincentives that are presented by the local context. The latter are
determined by such variables as the cost of inputs and transportation, the relative prices of
different commodities, access to bank credit, and so on. The research objective is to
document the elements that enter into the micro-scale decision process that determine the
observed land use and pasture management outcomes.

B. Elements of a Multi-Leveled Approach

From the standpoint of the farmer/rancher, the profile of opportunities and
constraints that comprise the local decision context are taken more or less. Yet key
elements of the local context are themselves the outcome of processes that operate at higher
levels of social and spatial organization. 'For example, one may find that the cost of
transportation is a critical feature of the local context, and that transportation costs that
figure prominently in the farmer's decision to raise cattle. Transportation costs, in turn, are
determined by the interplay of a variety of factors that operate one step, or several steps
removed from the rural producer. This second level (meso/regional scale) is comprised of
other stakeholders, such as truck owners and drivers, who make decisions within their
own incentive structure. The latter, in turn, are the net result of factors removed still
further from the rural producers, such as the cost of petrol, bank credit policies, and state-
financed road construction budgets and priorities (macro/national scale).

The three-tiered distinction renders salient the fundamental idea that an occurrence
witnessed in a particular site -- for example, a small farmer's decision to become a rancher
is understood to be the net result of multiple forces, many of which operate indirectly and
within arenas that are far afield from the observation itself., As one moves upward in
Figure 1, through the micro, meso and macro scales, the analytical trajectory progressively
encompasses successively higher levels of social organization.(comprised of different
actors and institutions within each arena),larger scales of geographic coverage, and longer
temporal horizons with respect to the processes at work.

Whereas conventional approaches typically restrict the field of inquiry to a given
level, attention here focuses on the configuration of nested tiers that operate across spatial,
temporal and organizational scales to produce the observed effects. The framework shares
assumptions with "hierarchy theory" in ecology, which is based on the idea that
phenomena occurring at any one level are affected by mechanisms occurring at the same
level, by the level immediately above, and by the level immediately below the events under










study (Allen and Starr 1982; Gibson, Ostrom and Ahn 1998; Moran, Ostrom and Randolph
1998).

In the proposed framework, the lowest level in the hierarchy (micro/local scale) is
said to be "nested" within the next level (meso/regional scale) which, in turn, is nested
within macro/national scale. By nested we mean that the decisions and processes that take
place at a higher level produce the context within which decisions take place at a lower
level. By context we mean the profile of opportunities and constraints, and incentives and
disincentives that influence the decision that are made. For example, the fiscal incentives
and road building projects carried out by state and national governments (macro), produce
the context that determines to some degree the decisions and processes at lower levels,
namely the land use decisions made at the farm site (micro). Human choices are thus
treated as interdependent within and across tiers that operate at different levels of spatial,
temporal and organizational scale (Moran, Ostrom and Randolph 1998:3-4).

The framework does not preclude reversed causality, from lower to higher levels.
Over time, for example, the collective consequences of decisions made by small farmers
can affect national policy. It is immediately apparent, however, that the strength of such
feedbacks are likely to be weaker in strength and slower in coming compared to the
stronger and more rapid influences that upper levels in the hierarchy exert on lower ones.

The research objective is thus to comprehend, not only the micro decision processes
made by farmer/ranchers, but also the decision processes made by stakeholders at
successively more distant levels of social organization, at the meso and macro scales.
When this is accomplished, the result is an understanding of the factors that operate within,
and interact across, the various levels. Taken together, these factors comprise a system of
variables and relationships implicated directly or indirectly in the resource allocation
decisions made by landholders in rural areas.


C. Critical Links in the Marketing Chain

Further analysis of cattle ranching will focus on the stages that link the birth of a
calf, to the final consumption of beef. Critical links in the marketing chain are defined by<
specific activities, such as purchasing, transport, fattening, slaughter and butchering. Each
activity along the way involves a set of more or less distinct social actors whose decisions -
- like those made by ranchers -- are conditioned by micro, meso and macro level factors, as
shown in Figure 2.



Macro/National Scale
Figure 2 uMesoRkeional Scale ..C




IBirth of calf 1 k 1 => Link 2 -- --> Link(n Beef

Production Marketing Chain Consumption










V. Comparative Design


The principal axes of the comparative design are shown in Table 2. The analysis
will focus on the similarities and differences between establishment of different size.* For
convenience, we can summarize the distinctions by referring to small, medium and large
scale establishment. By large ranches we mean landholdings that are 1000 ha or more in
size, and that have a salaried manager on the premises. Large enterprises are generally
devoted exclusively to the commercial production of cattle, although they do not comprise a
homogeneous set. Many are land extensive, low productivity operations that invest
minimally in pasture maintenance. Others are highly productive enterprises that make use
of the latest veterinary and land management technologies. At the other end of the
continuum are small farmer/ranchers, 50 to 100 ha in size, characterized by highly
diversified production systems that include annual food crops as well as fruit and coffee
trees, and other perennial cultivation. Cattle play a dual role as a commercial investment,
and as a source of domestic consumption of beef and milk. Establishments in the
intermediate group, 100 to 1000 ha in size, display the characteristics of both large and
small producers, in varying degrees in different parts of the region.


Table 2 Place
Size of Brazil
Establishment East Center West Peru Ecuador
Small
Medium
Large


The principal spatial comparison is between the three countries. In Peru, the focus
will be on the Alto Huallaga and Pachitea regions. In Ecuador, the focus will be on the
Valle de Quijos. Compared to Brazil, where the terrain is low lying, relatively flat and
comparatively dryer, the study sites in both Peru and Ecuador are in higher elevations
(Selva Alta), on sloped terrain (subject to erosion), and in areas characterized by high
average rainfall (3,000 to 3,500 mm per year). The Selva Alta areas are connected to the
metropolitan areas of Lima and Quito by all-weather roads. Despite these similarities, the
presence of cattle ranching in the Valle de Quijos in Ecuador is considerably older
compared to the Alto Huallaga and Pachitea regions of Peru, where the expansion of cattle
ranching has taken place only the last five to ten years.

In Brazil, the analysis will be carried out in the Eastern, Central and Western
regions, each of which displays more or less distinct characteristics. The Eastern Amazon
region encompasses the southern part of the state of Para, the northern portion of
Tocantins, and the western half of the state of Maranhio. The area was the target of much
of the intense in-migration of people during the 1970s who settled in planned and
unplanned colonization sites. The Central region comprises the territory traversed by the
Transamazon Highway, and includes older riverine communities located in vdrzea areas
subject to annual flooding. The Western region is an area characterized by the presence of
rubber tappers who came into the state of Acre early in the century during the days of the
rubber boom, as well as more recent migrants, mainly from southern Brazil.

Themulti-leveled comparative design willshow how.variations in the-
socioeconomic, political and environmental contexts lead to different land use and pasture
management outcomes: An understanding of these patterns will provide the basis for










identifying nodal points in the architecture of the production system where policy
interventions can be effective.

VI. Data Collection

The analytical challenges presented by the multi-leveled comparative design call for
methods of data collection that are fundamentally different from conventional survey
methods. Traditional survey techniques rely on a large sample of randomly selected
respondents as a means to produce a data set capable of providing generalizable quantitative
results regarding the frequency of attributes (e.g., the percent of small, medium and large
landholders in a given area), and the strength of the relationship between measured
attributes. This project will take advantage of just these kind of data, by analyzing five
surveys on small farmer/ranchers that the investigators already have in hand.

But, valuable as such data sets may be, survey techniques are notably limited in
their ability to address the issues presented by the multi-leveled framework proposed in this
study. Because the unit of analysis in the survey approach is nearly always the individual
producer, the results offer little insight into the factors that operate at the regional and
national scales, nor can they provide identify the major links in the cattle marketing chain.
By endorsing a reductionist approach, in which the unit of analysis is the individual
landholder, the data produced by survey methods are not very useful when the objective is
to identify key relationships in the architecture of the system of production where changes
in public policy can make a difference.

The alternative approach used in this project is to carry out interviews, not with
hundreds of randomly selected respondents, but with a smaller number of systematically
chosen key informants. A key informant is an individual who, by virtue of occupying a
central position in the system, possesses knowledge and information relevant to project
goals. In a particular locality it is possible, for example, to identity a knowledgeable small
farmer who, properly interviewed, can provide critically important information on the
decision processes used by small farmers. The data from one key informant can then be
assessed and corroborated by interviews with additional small farmers. The size of the
sample for a given type of respondents is reached when inconsistencies in the answers are
resolved, and when additional information becomes redundant to the point that nothing new
is gained by adding one more to the sample.

The design of the sample is therefore dictated by the conceptual framework itself,
which identifies the loci of data collection, beginning most obviously with interviews with
small, medium and large landholders. Moving from there to address the stakeholders that
comprise the various links in the marketing chain generates a list of key informants that
includes buyers, truckers, merchants, bankers, and slaughter houses. The progression
continues to the macro scale, to include national-level policy makers in various sectors,
such as transportation and rural development agencies. The approach calls for an
interdiscplinary team capable of integrating the insights from different specializations.


VII. Interdisciplinary Scientific Team

The research group represents a wide range of both the social sciences (6 sociology/
anthropologists; 3 economists; and 2 geographers) and the technical sciences (6 in animal
production; 6 in farming systems). The group is divided in two entities, each containing
approximately 12 people. The Research Group (RG) consists of individuals who will
participate in all aspects of the project, including data collection in the field. The
Organizing Committee (OC) is comprised of specialists who will play a major role in the


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identifying nodal points in the architecture of the production system where policy
interventions can be effective.

VI. Data Collection

The analytical challenges presented by the multi-leveled comparative design call for
methods of data collection that are fundamentally different from conventional survey
methods. Traditional survey techniques rely on a large sample of randomly selected
respondents as a means to produce a data set capable of providing generalizable quantitative
results regarding the frequency of attributes (e.g., the percent of small, medium and large
landholders in a given area), and the strength of the relationship between measured
attributes. This project will take advantage of just these kind of data, by analyzing five
surveys on small farmer/ranchers that the investigators already have in hand.

But, valuable as such data sets may be, survey techniques are notably limited in
their ability to address the issues presented by the multi-leveled framework proposed in this
study. Because the unit of analysis in the survey approach is nearly always the individual
producer, the results offer little insight into the factors that operate at the regional and
national scales, nor can they provide identify the major links in the cattle marketing chain.
By endorsing a reductionist approach, in which the unit of analysis is the individual
landholder, the data produced by survey methods are not very useful when the objective is
to identify key relationships in the architecture of the system of production where changes
in public policy can make a difference.

The alternative approach used in this project is to carry out interviews, not with
hundreds of randomly selected respondents, but with a smaller number of systematically
chosen key informants. A key informant is an individual who, by virtue of occupying a
central position in the system, possesses knowledge and information relevant to project
goals. In a particular locality it is possible, for example, to identity a knowledgeable small
farmer who, properly interviewed, can provide critically important information on the
decision processes used by small farmers. The data from one key informant can then be
assessed and corroborated by interviews with additional small farmers. The size of the
sample for a given type of respondents is reached when inconsistencies in the answers are
resolved, and when additional information becomes redundant to the point that nothing new
is gained by adding one more to the sample.

The design of the sample is therefore dictated by the conceptual framework itself,
which identifies the loci of data collection, beginning most obviously with interviews with
small, medium and large landholders. Moving from there to address the stakeholders that
comprise the various links in the marketing chain generates a list of key informants that
includes buyers, truckers, merchants, bankers, and slaughter houses. The progression
continues to the macro scale, to include national-level policy makers in various sectors,
such as transportation and rural development agencies. The approach calls for an
interdiscplinary team capable of integrating the insights from different specializations.


VII. Interdisciplinary Scientific Team

The research group represents a wide range of both the social sciences (6 sociology/
anthropologists; 3 economists; and 2 geographers) and the technical sciences (6 in animal
production; 6 in farming systems). The group is divided in two entities, each containing
approximately 12 people. The Research Group (RG) consists of individuals who will
participate in all aspects of the project, including data collection in the field. The
Organizing Committee (OC) is comprised of specialists who will play a major role in the


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training workshops, the coordination of the seminars, the analysis of results, and the
supervision of students enrolled in graduate programs.

Eight to ten members of the RG are enrolled, or will enter graduate study programs
during their involvement in this project. During the year, when they are not in engaged in
field work, they will devote a portion of their time to the analysis and interpretation of the
data that was collected, as well as other tasks, such as the review of the literature and the
analysis of secondary data sources. The project will provide support at the level of $750
per month for these activities, with additional support for post-doctoral awards to those
with Ph.D. in hand. The project budget is thus designed to integrate a wide range of
individuals in the study, and to enhance their training by providing research experience and
the financial support to achieve their educational goals.

Name Discipline Institution/Country
Charles H. Wood* Soc/Demography PhD UF, USA
Claudenor Pinho de Si** Economy MSc EMBRAPA, Brazil
Francisco Cartaxo Nobre** Anthropology MSc PESACRE, Brazil
Franco Valencia Chamba* Economy MSc+ UNAS, Peru
Jailton Carneiro** Animal Production PhD EMBRAPA, Brazil
Jair Carvalho dos Santos* Economy MSc+ EMBRAPA, Brazil
Jean Frangois Tourrand* Farming System PhD UFPA/EMBRAPA, Brz
Jonas Bastos da Veiga** Animal Production PhD EMBRAPA, Brazil
Jorge Grijalva Olmedo* Farming System MSc+ INIAP, Ecuador
Jorge Rios Alvarado* Farming System MSc+ UNAS, Peru
Jos6 Ferreira Teixeira Neto* Animal Production BS EMBRAPA, Brazil
Laura Angelica Ferreira** Farming System MSc+ UFPA, Brazil
Marianne Schmink** Anthropology PhD UF, USA
Miguel Simdo Neto** Animal Production PhD EMBRAPA, Brazil
Milthon Mufioz Berrocal** Animal Production PhD UNAS, Peru
Nigel Smith** Geography PhD UF, USA
Oliver Coomes** Anthropology PhD McGill, Canada
Peter Cronkleton** Anthropology PhD PESACRE/UF, Brazil
Rene Poccard Chapuis* Geography MSc+ EMBRAPA/UFPA, Brz
Roberto Porro* Anthropology MSc+ UF/UFPA, USA
Ronei Sant'Ana de Menezes* Farming System MSc PESACRE, Brazil
Rosinaldo da Costa Machado* Farming System MSc+ UFPA, Brazil
Teodolfo Valencia Chamba* Animal Production MSc+ UNAS, Peru
* Member of RG, ** Member of OC, + Ph.D. in progress

VIII. Significance

The proposed study represents a unique effort designed to address a fundamental
cause of environmental degradation in rural areas of Brazil, Peru and Ecuador. The rapid
expansion of unsustainable cattle ranching is one of the major drivers of deforestation in the
region, yet a full understanding of the factors that lead rural producers to invest in cattle is
lacking. The interdisciplinary, comparative, and multi-leveled approach represents a
significant methodological advance that can be applied in other contexts. The data produce
by this approach will contribute to a scholarly understanding of the factors that produce the
observed outcomes. Moreover, by analyzing the interplay of forces at various levels of
social organization, the findings will provide the basis for developing realistic policy
formulations designed to promote other forms of land use, and more sustainable forms of
pasture management The project will provide the incentive to establish a network of
researchers from four different countries. The experience of carrying out the study, and the


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training supported by the project, will enhance the skills and capabilities of the individuals
and institutions involved. Finally, it should be noted that two of the main research sites in
this project coincide with eco-climatic transects targeted for analysis by the Large Scale
Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA).

the results of this project will be relevant to other major research initiatives, such


IX. References


Allen, Timothy F. H. and T. B. Starr. 1982. Hierarchy: Perspectivesfor Ecological
Complexity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Crutzen, P.J., and M.O. Andreae. 1990. "Biomass burning in the tropics: impacts on
atmospheric chemistry and biogeochemical cycles." Science 250 : 1669-1678.

Ehrlich, P.R. and E.O. Wilson 1991. "Biodiversity studies: science and policy."
Science 253:758-762.

Faminow, M.D. 1997. "Livestock Deforestation Links." Unpublished paper presented
at the conference on Livestock and the Environment, Wagening, June 16-20.

Faminow, M.D. 1998. Cattle, Deforestation and Development in the Amazon: An
Economic, Agronomic and Environmental Perspective. CAB International.

Feamside, Philip M. 1997. "Greenhouse Gases from Deforestation in Brazilian
Amazonia: Net Committed Emissions." Climate Change 35(3):321-360.

Fearnside, Philip M. 1989. "Deforestation and Agricultural Development in Brazilian
Amazonia. Interciencia 14(6, Nov/Dec.): 19-27.

Gibson, Clark, Elinor Osrom and Toh-Kyeong Ahn. 1998. "Scaling Issues in the Social
Sciences: A Report for the International Human Dimensions Program."
Bloomington, Indiana: University of Indiana Workshop in Political Theory and
Policy Analysis.

Hecht, S. B. 1985. "Environment, Development and Politics: Capital Accumulation and
the Livestock Sector in Eastern Amazonia." World Development 13(6):663-684.

Hecht, S. B. 1992. "Logics of Livestock and Deforestation: The Case of Amazonia." Pp.
7-24 in T. E. Downing, S. B. Hecht, H. A. Pearson and C. Garcia-Downing
(eds.), Development or Destruction: The Conversion of Tropical Forest to Pasture
in Latin America. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Houghton, R.A. 1991. "Tropical deforestation and atmospheric carbon dioxide."
Climatic Change 19: 99-118.

Houghton, R.A., and D.L. Skole. 1990. Carbon. pages 393 408. In TheEarth
Transformed by Human Action. Edited by B. L. Turner. Cambridge: Cambridge
U.P.

Johnson, K. A. and D. E. Johnson. 1995. "Methane Emissions from Cattle." Journal of
Animal Science 37(8):2483-2492.











Moran. Emilio F., Elinor Ostrom, and J.C. Randolph. 1998. "A Multilevel Approach to
Studying Global Enviromental Change in Forest Ecosystems." Indiana University,
Center for the Study of Institutions, Population and Environmental Change.

Myers, N. 1984. The Primary Source: Tropical Forests and Our Future. New York:
Norton.

Myers, Norman. 1993. "Tropical Forests: The Main Deforestation Fronts."
Environmental Conservation 20:9-16.

Pearce, Fred. 1990. "Methane: the Hidden Greenhouse Gas." New Scientist, May 6.

Salati, E., and P.B. Vose. 1984. "Amazon basin: a system in equilibrium." Science 225:
129-138.

Schmink, M. and C. H. Wood. 1992. Contested Frontiers inAmazonia. New York:
Columbia.

Serrao, E. A. and Jose J. Toledo. 1992. "Sustaining Pasture-based Production Systems
for the Humid Tropics." Pp. 257-280 in T. Downing, S. Hecht, H. Pearson and C
Garcia-Downing (eds.), Development or Destruction: The Conversion of Tropical
Forest to Pasture in Latin America. Boulder: Westview.

Shukla, J., C. Nobre, and P. Sellers. 1990. "Amazon deforestation and climate
change." Science 247: 1322-1325.

Sioli, H. 1985. "The Effects of Deforestation in Amazonia." The Geographical Journal
151(2): 197-203.

Smith, Nigel, E. A. Serrao, P. T. Alvim and I. Falesi. 1995. Amazonia:Resiliency and
Dynamism of the Land and its People. New York: United Nations Press.

World Resource Institute. 1990. World Resources 1990-91. New York: Oxford.


X. Investigators and Fiscal Structure

Following the requirements established by the IAI, the Center for Latin American
Studies at the University of Florida will serve as the Lead Institution, with Charles Wood
in the role of Principal Investigator. Co-Principal Investigators are the lead researchers in
each subcontracted institution: Jean Francois Tourrand EMBRAPA, Brazil; Milthon Muiioz
Berrocal, UNAS, Peru; Jorge Grijalva Olmedo, INIAP, Ecuador; Ronei Sant'Ana de
Menezes, PESACRE, Brazil; Oliver Coomes, McGill, Canada.

UF will subcontract McGill University in Canada, PESACRE in Rio Branco, Acre,
Brazil, and FADESP in Bel6m, Brazil. FADESP, in turn, will administer the funds
destined for UNAS in Peru, and INIAP in Ecuador. UF will receive 10 percent overhead
on UF direct costs, plus 2.5 percent of the direct costs of subcontracts. Subcontracted
institutions will receive 7.5 percent of their respective direct costs. Total overhead to IAI
does not exceed 10 percent.




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