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Dynamics of land use and agricultural practices on the uplands and adjacent flood plain in the Lower Amazon

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Title:
Dynamics of land use and agricultural practices on the uplands and adjacent flood plain in the Lower Amazon
Creator:
Swales, Susan E
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English
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xi, 173 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.

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Agricultural land ( jstor )
Agriculture ( jstor )
Amplification ( jstor )
Community forestry ( jstor )
Crops ( jstor )
Farmers ( jstor )
Farms ( jstor )
Floodplains ( jstor )
Highlands ( jstor )
Land use ( jstor )
Agriculture ( fast )
Dissertations, Academic -- Geography -- UF ( lcsh )
Floodplains ( fast )
Geography thesis, Ph.D ( lcsh )
Land use ( fast )
Uplands ( fast )
Amazon River Region ( fast )
City of Gainesville ( local )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1999.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 166-172).
Additional Physical Form:
Also available online.
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Susan E. Swales.

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University of Florida
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DYNAMICS OF LAND USE AND AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES
ON THE UPLANDS AND ADJACENT FLOOD PLAIN IN
THE LOWER AMAZON














by

SUSAN E. SALES













A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 1999














ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


This research was supported by a Tinker Foundation Fellowship through the

Center for Latin American Studies, Russell Corporation Scholarship and a University of Florida College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dissertation Fellowship. Government Agencies in Brazil played a supportive role throughout the duration of the research including Museu Geoldi, EMPRAPA, EMATER, and the Municipio de Monte Alegre.

A great number of people in Brazil also encouraged and supported my research efforts: Nelsi Sadek, Adilson Serrdo, Louis Forline, Mario Ishiguro, Zenaldo Couthino, Bia and Rui Marcedo, Seta and Kishi. Also I am indebted to all of the farmers who allowed me to stay with their families and partake in their lives, and to all of the farmers who took time out of their day to answer my questions about their farming practices.

I would like to thank my committee members for their guidance, advise, and support: my chair, Dr. Nigel Smith, Dr. Cdsar Caviedes, Dr. Tim Fik, Dr. Mickie Swisher, and Dr. P. K. Nair.














TABLE OF CONTENTS

pM.e

ACKNOW LEDGM ENTS ............................................... ii

LIST OF TABLES ..................................................... vi

LIST OF FIGURES ..................................................... ix

A B STR A CT .......................................................... xi

CHAPTERS

I INTRODUCTION ................................................. I

O verview ........................................................ I
Research Objectives ............................................... 5
H ypothesis ....................................................... 6
M ethodology ..................................................... 7
Sam pling Procedures ............................................. 16
A nalysis of Surveys ............................................... 18
Presentation of Research ........................................... 19

2 PERSPECTIVES ON THE DRIVING FORCES OF
AGRICULTURAL INTENSIFICATION, LAND USE
PATTERNS, AND AGRICULTURAL DYNAMICS ................... 20

Land Use Patterns and Agricultural Intensification of Distance and
Accessibility to M arket ........................................... 20
Agricultural Intensification as a Result of Population Pressures ............. 24
Agricultural Intensification and Farmer Risk Management Strategies ........ 26 Agricultural Intensification and Government Policies .................... 31
Theoretical Implications of Agricultural Intensification on the Uplands and
Floodplains .................................................... 33





iii








3 BIOPHYSICAL AND SOCIOECONOMIC SETTING ....................... 34

A m azonia ...................................................... 34
M onte A legre, Pard ............................................... 40
History of M onte Alegre ..................................... 42
The Government and Infrastructure in Monte Alegre ............... 46
Transportation ............................................. 47
Education .............. 51
Non-governmental Organizations ............................. 52
Agricultural Program s ...................................... 54
Villages Visited on the Uplands ..................................... 57
Sector 15 ................................................. 57
Sector 13 ................................................. 58
M ulata ................................................... 58
L im do ................................................... 59
T res B ocas ................................................ 60
Terra Preta ................................................ 60
Jusaratuia ................................................. 6 1
Villages Visited on the Flood plains .................................. 61
P iapo .................................................... 62
Santa R ita ................................................ 62
C urierus .................................................. 64
P ariqo .................................................... 64
Sapucaia ................................................. 65

4 LAND USE DYNAMICS ON THE UPLANDS ........................ 67

Farmsteads in the Uplands ......................................... 67
Farmers Interactions with the Outside World ..................... 80
Strategies for Subsistence and Income Generation ................. 82
Agricultural Intensification ......................................... 85
Driving Forces Behind Land Use and Agricultural Practices ............... 86
Distance as a Factor in Land Use and Agricultural Practices ............... 91
Distance as It Relates to Land Use Patterns and Agricultural Intensification 96

5 LAND USE DYNAMICS ON THE FLOOD PLAINS .................. 100

Households on the Flood Plains .................................... 100
Fanner Interactions with the Outside World ..................... 109
Strategies for Subsistence and Income Generation ................ III
Agricultural Intensification ........................................ 114
Driving Forces Behind Land Use and Agricultural Practices .............. 116
Distance as a Factor in Land Use and Agricultural Practices .............. 120


iv








Distance as It Relates to Land Use Patterns and Agricultural
Intensification ............................................ 123

6 COMPARING THE UPLANDS TO THE FLOOD PLAINS ............. 126

Household Characteristics ........................................ 126
Distance as a Factor in Land Use and Agriculture ...................... 131
Driving Forces in Agricultural Practices and Land Use .................. 135

7 IMPLICATIONS OF THE RESEARCH FINDINGS ................... 141
Theoretical Im plications .......................................... 141
Application Im plications .......................................... 143
M ethodological Implications ....................................... 145
Recommendations for Future Research ............................... 146

APPENDICES

A SURVEYS ON AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES ................... 148

B UF INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD APPROVAL .............. 154

C STATISTICAL RESULTS FOR THE UPLANDS .................. 157

D STATISTICAL RESULTS FOR THE FLOOD PLAINS ............. 160

E STATISTICAL RESULTS FOR THE MUNICIPALITY ............. 162

LIST OF REFERENCES ............................................... 166

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............................................ 173
















v














LIST OF TABLES

Table Ra,.e

1.1 Villages on the flood plains with number of households sampled ........... 15

1.2 Villages on the Uplands with number of households sampled .............. 16

3.1 Vendors in M onte Alegre .......................................... 48

4.1 Characteristics of the households .................................... 69

4.2 Crops commonly found in Monte Alegre ........................... 74-75

4.3 Land devoted to perennial crops ..................................... 76

4.4 Fanner interactions with the marketplace .............................. 81

4.5 Crops that are grown and sold ....................................... 83

4.6 Crops grown but not sold .......................................... 84

4.7 Land use intensity and intensification ................................. 87

4.8 Farmer responses regarding problems faced by farmers ................... 88

4.9 Farmer responses to importance of factors in crop selection ............... 89

4.10 Farmers perceptions on factors that would contribute to a better
standard of living ............................................... 89

4.11 Percentages of responses to the question regarding problems faced by farmers 90 4.12 Percentages of responses regarding crop selection ....................... 90

4.13 Percentages of responses regarding standard of living .................... 90




vi








Table vage

4.14 Characteristics of households grouped by distance ...................... 93

4.15 Percentages of farmers selling crops based on distance ................... 94

4.16 Agricultural intensification indices by distance ......................... 95

5.1 Characteristics of the households ................................... 102

5.2 Number of crops grown in each household ........................... 107

5.3 Agricultural crops on the flood plains ................................ 108

5.4 Fanner interactions with the marketplace ............................. 110

5.5 Agricultural produce grown and sold by flood plain farmers .............. 114

5.6 Land use intensity and agricultural intensification ...................... 115

5.7 Responses to survey regarding problems faced by farmers ................ 117

5.8 Responses to the importance of variables in crop selection ............... 118

5.9 Farmer perceptions on factors that would contribute to a better
standard of living .............................................. 118

5.10 Responses to problems faced by farmers by category .................... 119

5.11 Response to factors in crop selection by category ...................... 119

5.12 Response to factors required to raise standard of living by category ........ 119 5.13 Flood plain household characteristic by distance ....................... 121

5.14 Crops sold by flood plain residents .................................. 122

5.15 Agricultural intensification index based on distance .................... 123

6.1 Characteristics of households in the uplands and flood plains ............. 128

6.2 Crops that are grown and sold on the uplands and flood plains, in percent ... 129



vii









Table VM,e

6.3 Characteristics of households based on distance to market ............... 132

6.4 Agricultural intensification indices .................................. 134

6.5 Upland and flood plain responses to survey regarding problems faced
by farm ers .................................................... 136

6.6 Categories of problems faced by farmers in the uplands and flood plains .... 137

6.7 Responses to the importance of factors in crop selection on uplands
and flood plains ................................................ 138

6.8 Factors in crop selection on uplands and flood plains ................... 139

6.9 Factors believed to contribute to a better standard of living ............... 140






























viii














LIST OF FIGURES

Figure Vae

1.1 Brazilian Am azon Basin ............................................ 2

1.2 The major rivers of the Amazon Basin ................................ 10

1.3 Monte Alegre and surrounding municipalities .......................... 11

1.4 Villages visited in the municipality of Monte Alegre ..................... 17

3.1 Monthly fluctuation in precipitation in Monte Alegre, PA ................. 38

3.2 Annual fluctuation in precipitation in Monte Alegre, PA .................. 38

3.3 Cross-sectional view of the Amazon Flood plain ........................ 39

3.4 Population growth in Monte Alegre from the mid- 1900s .................. 44

3.5 Fruit stands line the streets of the cidade alto in Monte Alegre, PA .......... 49

4.1 Villages visited in the uplands of Monte Alegre by distance ............... 68

4.2 Upland farmer's house with thatched roof surrounded by manioc ........... 70

4.3 Upland field intercropped with beans and maize with primary forest borders 77 4.4 Casa da. farina surrounded by a home garden .......................... 79

5.1 Villages visited on the flood plains of Monte Alegre by distance .......... 101

5.2 Typical house on stilts on the flood plains during the dry season ........... 105

5.3 Cleared field on the flood plains with native fruit tree spared from the ax .... 106 5.4 Watermelons delivered from flood plains during the peak harvest .......... 112
season in December


ix















Figure

5.5 Village on the restinga in Monte Alegre, PA during high water ...........113











































x














Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

DYNAMICS OF LAND USE AND AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES ON THE UPLANDS AND ADJACENT FLOOD PLAIN IN THE LOWER AMAZON By

Susan E. Sales

May, 1999


Chairperson: Nigel J. H. Smith Major Department: Geography

A comparison of agriculture and land use change on the flood plains and adjacent uplands in the Lower Amazon illustrates similarities and differences between these two dynamic environments. Farmers in both environments are motivated by market forces when they select crops, however, these farmers face different problems with their agricultural practices. The upland farmers face greater problems with market access and the value of their agricultural products while the flood plain farmers have greater problems with environmental constraints. Agricultural intensification is underway in both environments and is driven by market access, capital availability, and the quality of the soils available for fanning.





xi














CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION



Overview



Amazonia encompasses approximately two-thirds of South America (Figure 1. 1). The Amazon Basin is a widely misunderstood environment, believed by many to be homogenous in nature with little potential for development. It is in fact a heterogeneous region with two major environments: the uplands and the flood plains. The Amazon is estimated to hold one half of all species on the planet (Wilson, 1992). This great biodiversity which has hardly been described, is in peril of being lost due to deforestation of the uplands and degradation of the flood plain (Hecht and Cockburn, 1989; Anderson, 1990; Goulding, 1993). The Amazon is also one of the largest carbon sinks in the world and the loss of its forests may therefore contribute to global climate change (Feamside, 1985).

Alarm over deforestation in the Amazon Basin was first sounded in the 1970s as Brazil began its ambitious colonization projects. Colonization resulted from the need to effect land reform, to provide a safety valve for the drought stricken and relatively densely settled Northeast, and to place a stamp of sovereignty on the natural resources contained in the Basin (Mahar, 1979; Smith, 1982; Schmink and Wood, 1992).


1










2








VENEZUELA


COLUMBIA



CUADO



PERJ BRA ZIL





BOLIVIA








ARGENTINA




F .A














Figure 1. 1 South America








3

Colonization took three forms: spontaneous, government-directed and privately funded (Almeida, 1992). The best known and most studied government-directed colonization scheme is along the Transamazon Highway (Moran, 198 1; Smith, 1982; Smith, 198 1ib; Fearnside, 1986). Colonists migrated from the South and the Northeast regions of Brazil, and their success in the colonies depended on the wealth they brought with them, their entrepreneurial ability, and agricultural experience (Moran, 198 1; Almeida, 1992).

Knowledge about the Basin as a whole varies. We have considerable knowledge about the Amazonian upland ecosystems and agricultural practices. Colonists in upland areas practice slash and burn agriculture and commonly grow manioc, maize, beans and rice. They also incorporate perennial crops such as coffee, cacao and citrus into their farming systems. Use of the flood plains has been largely overlooked, perhaps because of the imperative to investigate the widespread deforestation connected with the upland environment. Many researchers have noted the potential of the flood plain ecosystem for agricultural production and have recommended additional research be conducted (Sternberg, 1975; Roosevelt, 1992; Goulding et al., 1996; Srivastava et al., 1996).

The Amazon River spills over its banks each year for four to six months, flooding forests and refreshing the lakes adjacent to the river. When the river retreats during the dry season, flood plain residents farm the sediment-laden soils. The agricultural season on the flood plain is short and farmers face the risk of crop loss if the river rises early. As a result, short season crops are grown on the flood plain including tomatoes, melons, beans and rice. Herds of cattle are brought from the uplands to graze on the flood plain








4

grasses during low water, and are then herded back to the uplands when the river rises. The high restingas, or natural levees, along the main channel rarely flood and are often farmed throughout the year, including perennial crops such as cocao, and citrus.

Full time residents of the flood plain practice a mixed livelihood of fishing and agriculture. Farming supplements fishermen's incomes during low water, unfortunately, some areas have been over-fished. Consequently, fishing of economically important species is prohibited in many Amazonian lakes during the breeding season in January and February. Expanding urban areas such as Bel6m, Manaus and Santar6m require greater supplies of food for their residents, adding impetus to deforestation by ranchers and small farmers on the uplands. Large ice boats ply the river system buying fish and freezing them for long distance transport to the urban centers of Bel6m and Manaus (McGrath et al., 1993). The seasonally flooded forests are being cut and devoted to pasture for cattle during the dry season.

Factors driving intensification and diversification of land use need to be identified and explained in order to provide a clearer picture of the dynamic nature of agriculture and land use in the Amazonian environment. Traditional land use patterns are changing as land holdings are divided and agriculture becomes more commercially oriented. Intensification and diversification of agriculture may be one way to slow or arrest deforestation and provide a sustainable basis to fanning. If the needs of the farmer can be met both socially (food within the house) and economically (income generation), pressure on forests should subside. Intensification includes intercropping annual crops, using additional labor and chemical inputs to increase productivity per unit area, and








5

agroforestry. By diversifying crop types through planting perennials, farmers reduce risks from environmental catastrophes such as disease, pests and drought. If a farmer produces just one crop, for instance rice, which is destroyed by pests, the farmer has lost his season's income. On the other hand, a farmer who is producing rice and oranges and papaya may still gain income from the oranges and papaya when the rice is destroyed. Diversification is protection against the loss of a single crop. Diversification also reduces economic uncertainties such as high transport cost and low market value. Agroforestry could therefore play an important role in diversification and intensification (Raintree and Warner, 1986; Smith, 1996).



Research Objectives



The objectives of the research are the following:


1 To examine selected variables that affect agriculture on the flood plains and
uplands including, economic, environmental and social forces, and to define the
role of these variables in farmers' decisions in selecting crop types and inputs into
their agroecosystems in each environment.

2. To determine if distance from the market plays a role in land use decisions and
agricultural practices.

3. To examine land use and agricultural practices on the flood plains and uplands
and to define similarities and differences between the two environments.

4. To elucidate the factors that drive agricultural intensification and the role of
agroforestry systems in intensification.








6

Hypotheses



Agricultural development and associated land use issues including the causes of agricultural intensification have been debated through the twentieth century. Boserup (1965) proposed that decreased land availability and increased labor availability are the driving mechanisms of intensification. These factors 'push' farmers into intensifying their agriculture in order to increase their productivity. Von ThOnen (1966) examined the economic character of agriculture and the relation of the distance to market in agricultural development. The market is the 'pull' factor that leads farmers to intensify their agriculture. As economic agents, farmers try to maximize their outputs in relation to their inputs, and gain the greatest benefits in the most sound economic manner.

This study combines both the 'push' and 'pull' factors into one theoretical

framework. Additionally, this study includes a third factor, the biophysical environment, which has a role in agricultural intensification. Farmers may be constrained in their ability to intensify because of the nature of their natural resource base and capital availability. Small farmers with little income and nutrient poor soils will not be able intensify their agriculture.

Intensification in the Amazon Basin may discourage farmers from continuing to clear forests for new agricultural land, thereby reducing the deforestation rate. We need to understand the push and pull factors that contribute to intensification to formulate government policies and other programs that encourage intensification rather than extensification. Therefore, the hypothesis to be tested in this study is:








7

Intensification will be a function of land use intensity, market access, labor
availability, and environmental setting.


Intensification is the dependent variable in the research and is defined as 1) chemical use, 2) inter-cropping, 3) agroforestry, 4) mechanization, and 5) land use intensity. Land use intensity is defined as the area of land under agricultural production divided by the amount of land available to an individual farmer for use that is of adequate agricultural quality for the crops selected by the farmer. Market access is defined as the 1) ability to get to market, 2) adequate return or profitability for crops, 3) time to get to market, and 4) mode and cost of transportation. Labor availability is defined as the amount of labor available to the farm family regardless of the source of labor.



Methodology



To test this hypothesis, this research compares the importance of the dependent variables in explaining agricultural intensification in two adjacent environments. It examines whether the same process of intensification and the same relationships of intensification to distance to markets, land and labor availability occur in both environments. Field work was conducted in Monte Alegre, Brazil, from 1995 through 1998 (Figures 1.2 and 1.3), and data were gathered from both upland and flood plain farmers.

Three survey instruments were developed and used in interviews with small

farmers. The first instrument was used to obtain demographic data on each household, the








8

second to obtain data on the types of crops each farmer plants, and the third instrument was designed to obtain information regarding factors influencing agricultural practices and land use. The survey instruments were pilot tested and revised in the municipality of Monte Alegre in June 1996. The instruments are included in Appendix A. The instruments were submitted to the University of Florida Institutional Review Board (UFIRB) and were approved as posing minimal risk to the human subject participants on November 21, 1996 (#96.520), and renewed in 1997 (Appendix B).

Formal interviews were conducted at the farm household with individual farmers. Informal discussions were held with groups of farmers in six communities to obtain farmers' impressions regarding the government programs available to them and the limitations they face. Additionally, observational visits were made to farmers' fields to corroborate the farmers' responses to the survey questions. The following information was included in the surveys: area in production, types of crops in each field, combinations of crops planted, farmers' perception or knowledge of soil type, agroforestry system components, tenure, title, laborers working in the fields, and market information. In addition to interviews at the household, interviews were held with farmers at meetings sponsored by the Federal extension agency EMATER (Empresa de AssiWncia Tinica e Extensdo Rural). Only the interviews regarding factors influencing agricultural practices were conducted at these meetings.

The instrument regarding factors influencing agricultural practices has three parts. The first part identifies problems faced by farmers, the second examines the factors in farmers' crop selection, and the third identifies factors that would improve their standard








9

of living. The questions in this instrument were categorized into three types of driving factors: environmental (E), social (S), and economic (C). For example, the question posed "How much of a problem is there with pests?" is categorized as an environmental factor. The question posed "How much of a problem is there with disease/illness in your family?" is categorized as a social factor. Farmers were asked to rank each problem as never a problem, sometimes a problem, usually a problem, or always a problem. For analysis, the survey information was converted from the four point scale into a three point scale of low, medium and high due to farmers' responses. Farmers did not distinguish between "usually a problem" and "always a problem". The converted categories are low is never a problem, medium is sometimes a problem, and high is usually or always a problem.

Farmers were also asked if certain factors were important in their decisions when they selected the types of crops they grew. This part of the survey included questions that were categorized into two groups, environmental (E) and economic (C). For example, the question "How important is the quality of seeds?" is an environmental factor. The question "How important is it that you use the produce in the home?" is an economic factor.

Specific questions were included in the instrument on demographics and agricultural practices to elicit information regarding the dependent and each of the independent variables (Stoddard, 1982; Bernard, 1994). These questions permit the formulation of conclusions regarding the degree to which each of the independent














10






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Mrnnazo~y of-er

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Figure1.3 Mote Alereandsurrouding m ncialte








12

variables is associated with intensification of agricultural production. An index of agricultural intensification was developed to assess the degree of intensification. A numerical value was determined from the interview data for each independent variable. Land use intensity, for example, is calculated by dividing the area in agricultural production by the area of land available for agriculture for each farmer. For other variables where the responses were 'yes' or 'no' such as employment off the farm, an additional index value was used. The intensification index is determined by adding the values of the following independent variables and dividing by the number of variables included to give a number less than one.

I Labor: The number of people working in the fields divided by the number
of people in the household provides a percent value used in the
calculation. A value of more than one indicates that hired labor is being
used.

2. Duration of Stay: The number of years a farmer has lived on the same
piece of land. These were divided into classes and assigned an index
number. The classes are: 0 5 years = 0.1
6 10 years = 0.3
11 20 years = 0.5
Over 20 years = 0.8

3. Distance to market: Distance to market is expressed in hours. These were
divided into classes and assigned an index value. The classes are:
0 2 hours = 0.8
2.1 3.9 hours = 0.5
4 hours or greater = 0. 1


4. Chemical use: The index value assigned to a positive response in the use
of chemical inputs is 0.8.

5. Sale of agricultural produce: The index value assigned to a positive
response on the sale of agricultural products is 0.5.








13

6. Percent of agricultural produce used outside the house: The percent of
produce sold is used as the value.

7. Land use intensity: Land use intensity is determined by dividing the
amount of land under cultivation by the amount of land owned by the
individual.

8. Work outside of agriculture: The index value assigned for a household
member with employment off the farm is 0.3.

9. Crop diversity: The index values are based upon the number of different
crops cultivated on the farm: 0 5 crops = 0. 1
6 10 crops = 0.3
11 15 crops = 0.4
16 20 crops = 0.5
Over 20 crops = 0.8

The resulting index value is an indicator of agricultural intensification. The index is a qualitative based on quantitative data. This generalized model is used to explore the factors believed to contribute to agricultural intensification because data regarding inputs and out puts into these agricultural systems is difficult if not impossible to obtain. Subjective index values are assigned to variables such as whether or not a farmer uses chemicals because a truly quantitative information is difficult to impossible to obtain. An accurate quantitative value for chemical use would have to based on the toxicity level of the chemical used and the quantity of each of the various constituents used. The index for crop diversity is based on the number of species present on the farm but does not account for the density of each species, nor does it account for the management needs of the various crops.

The agricultural intensification indices are first analyzed by region and then by distance from the market. Finally, a comparison of the uplands and flood plains is








14

performed to determine similarities and differences between the two regions.

In the 1995 census of Monte Alegre, the total population of the municipality is recorded as 65,802 individuals and 15,759 households: 10,618 residents are urban and the remaining 5,360 are rural. Populated rural areas are primarily used for agriculture and ranching. The uplands have 4,338 households and the flood plains 1,022. These two values are the respective population sizes for the two subregions. Many of the rural villages have central business districts and some residents engage in non-agricultural pursuits such as teaching, health care, and government employees including postal and health workers. Twenty-five percent is believed to be a reasonable percentage of households not engaged in agricultural production. Therefore, the total population sizes were reduced by 25% to reflect the non-farm households within each subregion. The resulting agricultural populations were 3,254 for the uplands and 752 for the flood plain. A total of 70 farmers were interviewed, 37 on the uplands and 33 on the flood plains. Sample sizes were selected to achieve a 95% accuracy level and a 95% confidence level for statistical analysis (Portier, 1983). In the field it was determined that some villages were not engaged in crop production (i.e., cattle only) and they were eliminated as potential respondents.

Sampling of clusters of individuals was performed to gain representative samples from the various communities based upon distance and time involved in transportation from the city of Monte Alegre (Hessler, 1992). Census data were used to determine sample size in each cluster (Table 1. 1, and 1.2). The number of households surveyed in each village is calculated by taking the approximate proportion of households in each








15

cluster to the total number of households available in the population. A map of the communities sampled is presented in Figure 1.4. Time involved in transport to the city is the best indicator of distance since the method of transport differs for individuals. Some flood plain residents travel to the city in johnny boats with ten-horsepower motors while others have large boats with fifty-horsepower motors. Some upland residents own their own vehicles while others use the local bus transport. Additionally, during the rainy season the roads become difficult to travel and time spent in transport is increased. Topographic maps produced by the Brazilian government were used to locate the villages. However, the maps contained villages that were not in the government census data, and the census data contained information for villages that did not appear on the maps.

Distance and time traveled are categorized in the following manner: close sites are within an hour of the city, medium sites are between two and three hours of the city, and far sites are more than three hours from the city. The selection of the villages was based on distance, the community and farmer's willingness to participate in the survey, and the availability of transport to the communities. Table 1. 1 Villages on the flood plains with number of households sa pled Close Medium Far


Total Households 186 43 74

Villages and number of houses Pariqo 130 Curiertis 43 Piapo 24 Sapucaia 56 Santa Rita 50

Number of households sampled 18 10 5








16

Table 1.2 Villages on the Uplands with number of households ssampIl d Close Medium Far

Total households 299 292 60

Villages and number of Terra Preta 36 Limdo 86 Sector 15 30
houses
Tres Bocas 36 Mulata 132 Sector 13 30 Jusaratuia 30

Number of households 16 11 9
sampled I I


Sampling Procedures



Selection of households to be surveyed was based on spatial features of the

village. Most villages are built in a straight line with even spacing between houses. On the flood plain, the space between houses is a few meters, while on the uplands the distance maybe a few kilometers. Due to the distance between houses on the uplands, and the practicality of surveying, the surveys were conducted in households located within five kilometers of a central point of the village. On the flood plain, a systematic sampling procedure with a randomly determined starting point was used. A number between one and five was picked before the village was entered. This number was used to determine the spacing between the houses selected; for instance, if three was picked then the third house from the center of the village was the first house to be interviewed, after that each third house was selected. If the head of the household was not home or unwilling to participate, the house directly to east was selected as a replacement (Romesburg, 1990; Hessler, 1992).










17













Umdo


Sector 15
Mulata Sector 13 C-. sapucla


Tres Boca Terro Preta
Jusaratuia


Monte Alegre
















0 10
Kilometers Seasonal flood plains


Figure 1.4 Villages visited in the municipality of Monte Alegre








18


Analysis of the Surveys



The surveys are analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. Statistical analysis of the data includes the Student's t test of significance to determine if there are differences between means in selected variables. Chi-square tests are performed to determine if the responses to ranked questions occurred significantly within groups. Chisquare indicates, for example, if the environmental factors are being considered by farmers when they select their crops. Statistical analyses are used to help formulate a general qualitative model of intensification which explores the importance of the nine independent variables selected for study in explaining intensification. It also helps to examine their relative importance across different biophysical settings.

The following formulas are used in this study:

Student's t-test: t =R- 4
s
In

Chi-square test: X2 =_":E, Oj

To obtain the Oi in the chi-square, responses were totaled into the categories of

environmental, social, and economic in the ranges of low, medium, and high. The Ej was calculated by


Ei = Total Row Total Column
Total Column








19

Significant X2 was determined by finding the degrees of freedom (R-1)(C-1) for each chi-square test, then at a = 95%, the significant X2 number was found in chi-square tables (Earickson and Harlin, 1994). For 3 x 3 tables, df = 4, so X2 at (df 4, 0.95) is 9.49; and the 2 x 2 table, X2 at (df 2, 0.95) is 5.99.

Chi-square tests were performed on the three separate questions posed in the survey and then combined for an examination of total responses:

1. What are the greatest problems faced by the farmers?
2. What factors are most important in a farmer's selection of crops?
3. What goods or services would be most desirable to raise the standard of living.


Presentation of the Research



The results of the research are presented in the following five chapters, and the concluding chapter summarizes the contribution of this work to theory and application.














CHAPTER 2
PERSPECTIVES ON THE DRIVING FORCES OF AGRICULTURAL
INTENSIFICATION, LAND USE PATTERNS, AND AGRICULTURAL DYNAMICS



This study of land use dynamics seeks to identify the driving forces behind agricultural intensification. Agricultural intensification is a result of many complex factors including distance and accessibility to market, population pressures, farmer risk management strategies, and government policies. Generally recognized constraints to intensification are lack of labor, inadequate infrastructure, low profit margins, and the biophysical setting (Eden, 1990). Land use patterns, crop selection, rates of deforestation, and the associated socioeconomic considerations of markets and food security also affect agricultural intensification and agricultural change. In order to fully explore the issue of agricultural intensification, it is necessary to review the information available on the various driving forces and theories behind land use change and agricultural dynamics.



Land Use Patterns and Agricultural Intensification of Distance and Accessibility to Market




Variables such as distance to market, labor availability, and land availability play a role in why farmers select particular crops. Von ThOnen (1966) developed a theory



20








21

regarding the zonation of agriculture and the placement of fields in relation to the home and market fieryr, 1986; Tarrant, 1974). Von Thiinen studied his farm to determine 'ideal cropping' patterns, and found that transport and market values contributed to a zonation of agricultural patterns based upon distance from the market because transportation to the market contributes to the cost of the agricultural product. Additionally, the ability of the farmer to get crops to market in saleable condition will directly effect the types of crops grown. A pull is exerted by the nearest market and 'nodes' develop in land use patterns. Farmers living the greatest distance from the market with poor transportation will develop very different agroecosystems than those who are closer to markets with frequent transportation opportunities (Von ThUnen, 1966). Extensive land use systems prevail at greater distances from the market, while more intensive systems are located closer to market. Additionally, there is a tendency of farmers located close to markets to grow more valuable and highly perishable agricultural products, such as fruits and vegetables. However, each crop has its own growth requirements, and diets are culturally dictated, both directly affect the types of crops produced in an area. Therefore, specific cropping patterns cannot be predicted; even though land use patterns based upon distance from the market can be predicted from Von Thilnen's theory.

Classic Von ThUrienian zonation of crops based upon distance to market have

been identified throughout the world. In England, highly perishable crops such as lettuce, celery, and carrots, are grown intensively on small plots within an hour of the market. Less intensive agricultural systems are located further from the market which include the








22

less perishable and bulkier products such as potatoes and turnips (Chisholm, 1970). Japanese farmers in Tome Aqu, Brazil, are located close to the urban markets of Bel~m and produce perishable vegetables, fruits and chickens. Japanese farmers located further away from Bel~m produce low bulk products that can withstand rough road transport such as black pepper, palm oil and rubber (Uhl and Subler, 1988; Subler and Uhl, 1990). In the Amazon Basin, flood plain farmers near major urban centers produce crops of high value in an intensive manner (Denevan, 1984; Padoch et al., 1985; Hiraoka, 1986; Brondizio et al., 1994; Toniolo and Uhl, 1995). The fruit of the aqai palm is a delicacy in Brazil, but is highly perishable, bulky, and must be transported to market quickly. A productive industry of aqai fruit has arisen in the Amazonian estuary close to Be1~m and Macapd. The industry thrives due to easy access to those cities and the high value of the crop (Brondizio et al., 1994). Flood plain farmers near Iquitos, Peru, produce high value fruits and vegetables for that urban market (Hiraoka, 1986). Access to the urban center directly affected the crops that farmers incorporate into their agroecosystems (Hiraoka, 1986). The market therefore appears to play a major role in the choice of crops grown on the flood plains of the Amazon Basin (Hammond et al., 1995).

Remote areas are not cut off from the national or international economy and political systems (Turner and Brush, 1987). Links with the outside world have strong influences on these farmers and impel agricultural change. The decision-making model on the frontier where land is abundant and labor scarce is much different from areas that have been inhabited for many years and therefore, population pressure does not explain destructive land use patterns on the frontier. In the land-abundant frontier, such as that









23

found in the Amazon Basin, it is more rational to continue clearing new lands than to intensify labor investments on already degraded land areas. Therefore degradation to the natural resource base is inevitable (Pinch6n, 1996).

More and better roads attract more colonists. Roads increase land values leading colonists to sell their land and move. Consequently, the presence of a larger population justifies the construction of more roads. Better transportation makes agriculture and ranching more profitable and leads colonists to clear more land. Consequently, a positive feedback process is at work where roads are tied with new arrivals which leads to greater deforestation. There is also a decline in labor input and productivity with distance since labor requirements for the same crop varies from place to place (Chisholm, 1970). The greater the amount of land cleared per farm, the lower the productivity per unit of land area per day's work. The high labor productivity of cattle is critically important to the labor-scarce, land abundant household economy in the Amazon. The market alone will not produce land saving technological innovations or intensification in these situations (Pinch6n, 1996).

Access to markets including improved roads and cheaper transportation can

therefore induce intensification. As market access improves, farmers have an incentive to increase the area under cultivation for cash production. Increases in cash availability provide a means to further intensify input uses. In West Africa, agricultural intensification and high yields are due to good road systems, extension services, and technological change (Smith et al., 1994). In Madagascar, agricultural intensification is driven by demographic growth, market incentives, and a strong social structure (Kull,








24

1998). Market-driven intensification is believed to facilitate the adoption of land saving inputs more strongly than the population-driven intensification (Binswanger, 1987).



Agricultural Intensification as a Result of Population Pressures


Population growth is one driving force behind agricultural intensification which raises agricultural production levels sufficiently to support a growing population (Boserup, 1965). Extensive land use precedes intensive land use and any change in land use may be attributable to increased population pressures with some modification to the agricultural system. Population pressure cause fallows to be shortened with a transition into a multi-cropping system (Boserup, 1965). Additionally, the output per man hour increases with little or no capital investment resulting in more intensive land use systems. A growing population can increase food supplies through intensification where output per capita is maintained but output per area is increased (Boserup, 1965).

Many studies have been conducted using the Boserupian approach to agricultural intensification (e.g., Tarrant, 1974; Raintree and Warner, 1985; lbery, 1986; Lele and Stone, 1989; Goldman, 1993). If populations move with ease, or change professions easily, the size of a farm becomes a consequence of the physical area available and the amount of area a farmer is able to keep in production. However, if populations cannot move easily, the increased population pressure creates pressure to divide holdings into smaller parcels and generates intensification (Chisholm, 1970). In New Guinea, the widest range of agricultural technology is located in the densely populated areas which








25

have the greatest variety of terrain (Brookfield, 1962). Brookfield (1962) also concluded that population density was driving intensification rather than the physical setting. In addition to population growth other factors are believed to be key variables in agricultural intensification and change including market access, technology, and farmer innovation.

Intensive and extensive farming can occur in the same farming systems among the same farmers. The Iraqw of Tanzania practiced a traditional system of terracing and intensive agriculture that closely followed Boserup's model. After European colonization the Iraqw abandoned their terraces and adopted more extensive systems even though population density remained high. This was a result of complex factors including resources becoming available outside of the Iraqw's traditional homeland and individual decisions made by farmers (Snyder, 1996). Hillside agriculture was abandoned because of the perception that the soils were of low fertility, and the Iraqw now farm primarily bottom land. However, farmers are reforesting hillsides due to government programs and the desire to use less labor on remaining hillside agriculture (Snyder, 1996).

Intensification of vegetable gardening in the Phillippines was driven by dramatic population growth and an emphasis on gardening rather than extensive agricultural systems. This intensification resulted in a two and threefold increase in labor invested per unit of land over a seventeen-year period from 1971 to 1988. Returns to gardening labor were higher in 1988 than 1971 because of increased market opportunities, improved efficiency in production, and technological change. Market demand, production subsidies, and technological changes are the central variables to intensification in this system (Eder, 199 1).









26


Agricultural Intensification and Farmer Risk Mannement Strategies


Intensification is also believed to be based on the size and composition of the

household and upon individual household behavior (Chayanov, 1966; Turner and Brush, 1987; Ali, 1998). The relation of the ratio between consumers and producers within the household will increase to meet the needs of the house, even if marginal returns decrease (Boserup, 1965; Chayanov, 1966).

Other things being equal, small farms will be more intensive. Achieving a

standard of living which the individual farmer believes is reasonable is more important than obtaining maximum income (Chisholm, 1970; Netting, 1992). Once this standard of living is attained, then leisure time becomes available. The smaller the farm the greater must be the net income per hectare to achieve the minimum lifestyle. Therefore, there is then a strong tendency for farmers with small holdings to apply more labor and inputs to each hectare than on large farms (Chisholm, 1970). Conservation practices are difficult to justify on small farms except on very productive land which is not already degraded but is threatened with a large reduction in capability. In the end, the farm family is the decision making unit, but parameters of choice may be controlled by decision of others such as the government through fixed prices (Blaikie and Brookfield, 1987).

Farmers resist changes in their systems even when they have information; they tend to rely on first hand experiences (Turner and Brush, 1987). Traditional farming systems should not be viewed as purely ecological in nature. The socioeconomic situation in which they develop is critical and traditional systems will be abandoned if the








27

socioeconomic situation in which they developed changes (Wilken, 1987). Traditional farmers act like their industrial counterparts; they identify goals, minimize costs and maximize gains (Wilken, 1987).

Profit maximization and risk aversion behavior are practiced by all farmers.

Farmers are 'economic agents' and changes in the market create changes in agricultural systems. Agricultural systems that evolve at any locale are products of the economic rent (the difference in production of the same crop on a different piece of land). Economic rent will decrease with distance to the market and transport costs (Von ThUnen, 1966; Turner and Brush, 1987). Thus creating rings of land use around the market with the least intensive land use furthest away, just as Von ThUnen suggests. Farmers are thought to be efficient in response to the markets. Farmers trade off risks versus profits and hence maximize utility, not profit, and display 'proficient' behavior (Turner and Brush, 1987). Farmers tend to put the least effort and costs into intensification and choose systems which use the least effort and least cost to meet their goals. Peasants or small traditional farmers are risk takers and profit maximizers who respond efficiently to farm and market innovations (Turner and Brush, 1987). They combine their consumption goals with their commodity goals. Fanning systems are a mix of purposes rather than the ideal consumption system or commodity production system. Intensification in turn is a response to interactions between demand and the environmental context (Turner and Brush, 1987). Over time, farmer objectives and resources change, necessitating changes to farming strategies in response to the changing socioeconomic conditions (Wilken, 1987; Arnold and Dewees, 1995).








28

Farmers have a survival algorithm, those who lack in resources suffer greater risks and are more inclined to behave in risk averse manners than wealthier farmers. Economic constraints caused by uncertainty and risk, compounded by onerous relations of production, provide the impetus for the farmer to develop a farming system that will provide both subsistence and commodity-based products (Blaikie and Brookfield, 1987). The milpa system in Mexico meets subsistence needs, generates income, and builds equity in long term security. Even if production is generally low, the system persists because it gives each household partial control over food security. Farmers have the ability to participate in new markets and improved infrastructure without sacrificing control over their own resources or threatening the stability of the family economy. Small animals are important in these systems because they convert damaged or surplus products into flexible household assets (Beckerman, 1987; Ewell and Sands, 1987). Also important in these systems is the use of trees in agroforestry systems.

Agroforestry systems must be reviewed in the overall strategy a farmer develops for food security, social security, income generation, and risk management. Agroforestry is not an efficient way to alleviate poverty because farmers need year round production, and landlessness will not allow the production of trees.

Reduction in labor input is often accomplished through production of perennial crops. Income per man hour may increase and provide a diversified agroecosystemn that affords protection from risks of disease and fluctuating market prices (Raintree and Warner, 1986; Nair, 1993; Smith, 1996). The benefits from agroforestry include decreases in soil loss and erosion, increases in biodiversity, lowered risk of losses from








29

pests and diseases, production of multiple crops that have a high market value, and increased use of local indigenous knowledge (Hecht, 1982; Nair, 1993). Strong ecological reasons for the inclusion of the perennials include soil protection and enhancement and the ability of some tree species to grow on poor soils (Alvim, 1982). Agroforestry systems may be less environmentally degrading than monocropping of annual plants and provide a pathway to sustainable agriculture (Nair, 1993; Smith, 1996).

Farmers plant trees for three main reasons: soil maintenance and fertility

management; the use of products within the house; and for economic products. Many farmers are careful to maintain the roots of trees that they cut during slash and bum activities enabling regeneration of those trees during fallow. Fruits from protected and planted trees and other forest products provide variety in the diet and vitamins, calories, and minerals that may otherwise be lacking. Tree products supplement other resources and income flows (Arnold and Dewees, 1995). With the increase in government regulation of forests, farmers take precautionary steps in protecting trees on their property because the traditional system of forest resource management breaks down (Arnold and Dewees, 1995). In Kenya, farmers increased tree planting to obtain critical goods which would otherwise be bought with scarce cash, to diversify sources of cash income, and to protect food security in face of declining yields (Arnold and Dewees, 1995). Fruits are especially important in food security for children and agroforestry systems provide the conditions to alleviate food shortages during pre-harvest periods.

Diverse home garden systems emerge as agricultural intensification and tree management increases (Arnold and Dewees, 1995). Home gardens are used heavily








30

during the harvest season for snacks and are designed for varying agricultural cycles. Work on the home garden system can be done during the period of low annual labor demand in the agricultural cycle (Arnold and Dewees, 1995).

Agroforestry systems in the Amazon have been found to be highly diverse

(Denevan, 1984; Padoch et al., 1985; Hiraoka, 1986; Subler and Uhl, 1990; Smith et al., 1995). Agroforestry systems in Tamshiyacu, Peru, have allowed farmers to increase income and to earn it from a variety of resources that are available during the different stages of the agroforestry system (Padoch et al., 1985). Intensification of perennial crops is more lucrative than cattle ranching or shifting cultivation in Eastern Pard (Toniolo and Uhl 1995). However, there are some limitations to perennially based systems including, the limited economic value of some trees, the amount of time between planting and harvest, loss of trees to drought or pests, and potential competition with other crops (Hecht, 1982; Alvim, 1982; Sheer, 1995). The best suited perennial crops for production in the Amazon include rubber (Hevea brasiliensis), cacao (Theobroma cacao), oil palm (Elaeis guineeniss), and sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum) (Alvim, 1982). Other intensive crops such as black pepper (Piper nigrum) and papaya (Carica papaya) have great potential. New or underdeveloped crops include guarana, annatto (Bixa orrellana), peach palm (Bactris gasipaes), and an array of other palms for palm heart production (Alvim, 1982).








31

Agricultural Intensification and Government Policies



Governments promote many agricultural programs. Programs and policies change over time as a result of new information and technology and changing socioeconomic systems and conditions. Some policies and programs promote intensification of agriculture while others promote extensive land use.

Deforestation in the Amazon was limited due to the small population pressure and remoteness of the region until the 1975. Between 1975 and 1987, the deforestation rate increased exponentially to a rate of 12,500,000 hectares in 1980 (Moran, 1993). The primary reason was Brazil's financial incentives for cattle pasture and the government's colonization schemes. Deforestation rates are now declining as a result of Brazil's hyperinflation in the 1980s and the revocation of subsidies for pasture.

Cattle ranching is an Iberian cultural tradition and has been transferred to the Brazilian culture at large (Moran, 1993). Subsidies have played a great role in the conversion of forest to pasture. Even more important is the role that cattle play in the regional economy. Benefits of cattle to both large and small ranchers include the usefulness of the animals as a hedge against inflation, biological flexibility, the ability of livestock to occupy large areas with little labor, and the low economic risk associated with producing animals and pasture. All these combine to produce explosive expansion of a land use that produces minimal calories, protein, and direct monetary returns but maximum environmental degradation (Hecht, 1989). Nonetheless, cattle are an important factor in farmers' strategies for self reliance. Small farmers keep cattle for a number of








32

reasons. Cattle reduce risks from agriculture and require little labor and supplement household food with milk and calves. They generate income in bad times, extend the life of a cleared area, protect savings, serve as collateral for credit, and assure occupation rights. Furthermore, cattle can transport themselves to market (Hecht, 1989).

Policies and programs on reforestation and the use of agroforestry are taking the place of extensive land use policies. In the 1970s, policies regarding agroforestry focused on environmental reclamation and protection which may not have been helpful to individual farmers (Arnold and Dewees, 1995). Agroforestry systems have been promoted through formal and informal means in the Amazon basin. Researchers have noted their importance in generating income, enriching local peoples diet, and protecting the soil. However, government programs, such as the one in the municipality of Monte Alegre, are meeting with successes and failures. Failures stem in part from the lack of an infrastructure and the low value of some perennial crops in relation to transportation costs.

Serrdo and Homma (1993) have reviewed various land use systems in the

Brazilian Amazon and have classified them as sustainable or not, based on parameters that include technology, social acceptance, environmental soundness and economic viability. They state that sustainable agriculture development in the Amazon depends upon its permanence in an area, increased land and labor productivity, all of which in turn reduce the pressure for more deforestation (Anderson, 1990; Serrdo and Hornma, 1993). They further state that more than enough land has been deforested in the Amazon to meet current population demands for at least the next decade. Additionally, only 50 percent of








33

the already deforested land and other less fragile ecosystems such as savannahs and flood plains would need to be under agricultural production to attain this goal (Serrdo and Homma, 1993). Serrdo and Homma (1993) make clear that in order for agriculture to be sustainable in the Amazon, intensification must take place.



Theoretical Implications of Agricultural Intensification on the Uplands and Flood Plains


This study compares the relationships between land, labor, and markets, in the upland and flood plain environments to determine if there are different outcomes for otherwise similar land, labor, and market combinations. This study is not intended to define or prove or disprove any claims to sustainability. However, the study may illuminate differences in intensification and the role of markets in the two regions and provide information for future development potential in each region. Land use patterns as posited by Von ThUnen are expected due to the nature and state of transportation and markets in the Amazon. Additionally, farmers using traditional agricultural practices are expected to base their decisions on a strategy that allows them to achieve their goals of subsistence production, savings, and income generation.













CHAPTER 3


BIOPHYSICAL AND SOCIOECONOMIC SETTING



Amazonia



The Amazon Basin covers approximately two-thirds of South America, with a total surface area of 7.18 million square kilometers (Caviedes and Knapp, 1995). The river itself is 6,400 kilometers long and contains more fresh water than any other river system in the world. The basin has a complex geological and geomnorphological history that has formed the two distinct environments of concern to this study: the floodplains and uplands. In the Cretaceous period, the Amazon River flowed west into the Pacific Ocean; with the rise of the Andes Mountain, the Amazon began flowing east into the Atlantic Ocean. The change in flow of the river impacted the Amazonian environment greatly and allowed the Amazon River to cut through the Brazilian and Guiana granitic shields (Smith, 198 1; Caviedes and Knapp, 1995; Goulding et al., 1996). These shields are some of the oldest existing land formations and are remnants of the earlier continent Gondwana (Caviedes and Knapp, 1995). Many soils formed from these shields are highly weathered and lack nutrients necessary for agricultural crops. However, additional sediments were laid down in the Amazon basin through the Tertiary and Quaternary periods forming some upland areas with relatively fertile soils (Caviedes and Knapp, 34








35

1995). The Amazon Basin is not characterized by a dramatic rise in elevation. Manaus, which is four thousand kilometers upstream from the Atlantic Ocean is only 150 to 180 feet above sea level (Goulding et al., 1996).

The primary source of the Amazon River is in the high Andes, but it also receives inputs from two other watersheds: one from the Brazilian Shield and the other from the Guiana Shield (Caviedes and Knapp, 1995). Furthermore, the Amazon River system contains three types of rivers: white, black and clear water. The variety of water types has profound effects on the ecosystems and diversity of life within the Basin (Sioli, 1967; Smith, 198 1; Goulding et al., 1996). White water rivers, the Amazon being the largest, are rich in sediments received from the Andes and are the most biologically productive due to their high nutrient load (Caviedes and Knapp, 1995; Smith, 1996). Black water rivers such as the Negro, receive water from areas with dense forest cover and soils lacking in organic matter. The black color of the rivers results from the leaching of tannic acid from leaves that fall from the canopy overhead. Black water rivers are the least productive of all of the Amazonian rivers due to their lack of nutrients and low pH (Caviedes and Knapp, 1995; Smith, 1996). Finally, clear water rivers drain lands on the Brazilian and Guiana shields. They are vibrant blue in color and are nutrient poor because the soils covering the shields are old and highly weathered (Caviedes and Knapp, 1995; Smith, 1996) (Figure 1.2).

The Amazon Basin lies wholly within the tropics and is close to the

equator along its stretch. This tropical environment is marked by constant temperatures








36

throughout the year, averaging between 26 and 28' C. The greatest variation in temperature exists between the daily highs and lows that fluctuate between 5 and 100 C.

Precipitation in the Basin varies between 1000 and 3000 millimeters per year. Rain forests receive the highest amount of precipitation while the savannahs the least. The rainy season varies throughout the basin with the Eastern region receiving the most evenly distributed rain fall, while the middle and lower Amazon experience distinct dry seasons from August to January (Salati, 1985; Goulding et al., 1996). Precipitation data from the research area in Monte Alegre, Pard, show a distinct dry season from August through November (Figure 3. 1). Additionally precipitation fluctuates yearly (Figure 3.2).

Most of the rivers in the Amazon Basin are seasonally inundated. During the

flood stage they overflow their banks and penetrate into the forests and streams that flank them. These flood plains are estimated to encompass 25,000 square kilometers in area, but occur primarily on the Amazon River itself (Smith, 198 1). The river floods from four to six months depending on the location in the Basin. The northern tributaries begin to rise in March or April and subside in September, while the southern tributaries rise in November and subside in April (Goulding et al., 1996).

When the Amazon river spills out of the main channel, it floods low lying areas creating the look of an ocean in some places. The flood plains can reach a width of 50 kilometers (Smith, 198 1). The main channel has natural levees known as restingas formed from sediment deposition and are the highest points on the vdrzea or flood plain. Consequently, these areas are the most densely populated on the flood plain. Behind the slope of the restingas is often a lake, or series of sales that fill during flood stage








37

(Smith, 198 1; Caviedes and Knapp, 1996). Side arms of the main channel, or parands, may stay filled with water during the year, but often dry and become clogged with aquatic vegetation. The flood plain lakes are refreshed with the Amazon's water each flood season and many lakes may be interconnected during the high water to form one large lake (Smith, 198 1) (Figure 3.3). The main river channels may also have many islands exposed during low water, creating a maze between the side and main channels (Goulding et al., 1996).

Much of the area adjacent to the Amazon's main river channel is forested and

becomes seasonally inundated, creating flooded forests which are highly diverse and are highly productive. Many trees must spend the first years of their lives totally submerged in the flood waters for periods up to six months (Goulding, et al., 1996). These trees are adapted to the seasonal flooding, but cannot tolerate permanent waterlogging and require a period of time without water. Fish depend on these flooded forests for food, shelter, and mating sites and they are essential in maintaining the Amazonian fisheries (Goulding et al., 1996).

In addition to the flooded forests, the flood plains have floating meadows made of grasses, sedges and broad-leaved plants. These meadows may be tied to the shore by roots or may be free floating. They thrive in areas of open sunlight and wind-protected parts of lakes and tributaries. Meadows serve as shelters for a great variety of invertebrates and fish fry which feed on invertebrates (Goulding, et al., 1996). These floating meadows may also be life rafts that carry the first tree seeds to newly exposed










38





300


250


200

(D 150E

100 50 0
J F M A M J J A S 0 N D J Months





Figure 3.1 Monthly fluctuation in precipitation in Monte Alegre, PA









3000 T7


2500


02000- f j

E
1500

NN
1000 500
1974 1976 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996
Years







Figure 3.2 Annual fluctuation in precipitation in Monte Alegre, PA









39















Main Channel Restinga Parani Flooded Floodplain Uplands
Forest Lake
















Low Water .......
Level
High Water Level















Figure 3.3 Cross-sectional view of the Amazon Flood plain









40

islands along the river channel. Adjoining the flood plains are the uplands, which are a mosaic of soils and ecosystems. The uplands have been called "Green Hell," and have often been represented as a vast, flat, tropical rainforest underlain by poor soils unable to support human populations (Carmargo, 1958; Meggars, 1995). The contrary is true. The uplands are a patchwork of various vegetation types reflecting varying environmental and social conditions (Moran, 1995). Research has revealed that the Basin contains some very fertile Alfisols and Mollisols with a high potential for agricultural land use (Moran, 1995). However, very little is known about the extent of these soils and it was not until Brazilian colonization began that more in depth information was obtained on the upland environment.



Monte Alegre, Pard



Both dynamic environments are present in the municipality of Monte Alegre

(Figure 1.4). The municipality lies 20 north of the equator at 540 west longitude, and is located in the Lower Amazon region. Monte Alegre contains a diverse mix of savannah and dry forests, with extensive flood plains. The municipality covers roughly 26,000 square kilometers of upland area. Of this, 40% is wooded (10,400 kin2), 40% is in pasture and agriculture (10,400 kin2) and the remaining 20% (5200 kin2) is characterized by secondary growth. The flood plains cover an additional 5,000 km2 (M. Ishiguro, pers. com.). The municipality of Monte Alegre is ideal for this study because of its diverse environment and the inclusion of extensive flood plains and upland areas.









41

The municipality was of interest to the European explorers in the mid-i 1800's,

being visited by Wallace and noticed by Hartt in 1874 (Hartt, 1874; Wallace, 1889). The hills of Monte Alegre drew particular interest because the first 300 miles of ascent of the Amazon River are monotonous, with little rise in elevation and the vegetation encloses the banks of the river (Hartt, 1874). At Monte Alegre, these early explorers found greater relief and interest in the table top mountains of Piati~na and Erer6. Hartt (1874) conducted a survey of the mountains to determine their origin and deduced that the hills originated in the Tertiary period arising out of a flat Devonian bed. Hartt (1874) explored the Serra of Erer6 and his colleague Staunton visited the Serra of Piatd~na. They noted that the two mountains are composed of horizontal beds of sandstone that were probably part of a synclinal fold. Both Wallace (1889) and Hartt (1874) noted the early Amerindian rock paintings at Erer6 and Piatiina. In fact, these works led archeologist Anna Roosevelt to conduct research in the municipality in the 1990s. Roosevelt's research shows that these areas were used by paleolithic people as early as 11,000 B.P. and that people used the rock shelters provided by the serras throughout the intervening years (Roosevelt, 1996).

The soils of Monte Alegre were examined by Falesi in 1970 and his work

confirms the Devonian era as the time of origin for a large part of the upland area (Falesi, 1970). Falesi's work also identifies a Pleistocene beachhead, approximately seven kilometers wide, which lies just north of the city. Another table top mountain, the Serra Itaujuri, originated in the Cretaceous period and is characterized by coarse sandstone. Diabase dikes arise from the Jurassic period and can be found jutting out in the middle of








42

the open country. Calcareous rocks from the upper Carboniferous occur near the villas of Dois Galhos and Mulata. Finally, more recent deposits are found along the shores of the rivers Amazon and Gurubatuba (Falesi, 1970). The variety of soils in this municipality is typical of other areas in the Amazon Basin. The heterogenous soils and the geomorphology are exploited for agriculture by the farmers in the area. History of Monte Alegre


Before European conquest Monte Alegre was inhabited by the Gurubatuba Indians who used both the flood plains and upland areas for subsistence. In 1639, Pedro Teixeira visited the area but was forced to leave by the Gurubatubas (Friaes, 1996). In 1681, Jesuit missionaries established a church and convent in the city, then known as Gurubatuba. This church remained the largest in the area through the mid- 1700's when the city became known by its current name Monte Alegre (Friaes, 1996; Denevan, 1997). The Gurubatubas were enslaved by the Portuguese and were used in the construction of the city of Bel~m and the fort at Macapd. Presumably many of these people never returned to Monte Alegre. During the mid-1700's Portuguese settlers began moving to the area (Friaes, 1996). In 1802, Count Marcos de Noronha Brito provided financial incentives to the settlers to plant cacao in the region. In addition to the cacao, extraction and exportation of wood from the uplands down the Amazon River to the Atlantic were the mainstays of the area (Friaes, 1996). By the mid-1800's crop production and cattle ranching had become the primary economic activities in the municipality (Wallace, 1889). Exports from Monte Alegre to Bel6m at this time








43

included:farinha or manioc flour, rice, corn, beans, cacao, brown sugar, cattle, butter, pirarucu and manatee meat the tongue was a delicacy at that time (Friaes, 1996). In 1860, the population of Monte Alegre reached 4,000 people and was declared a city.

The municipality continued to grow slowly through the 1900's. Brazil was

actively recruiting immigrants to fill its frontier due to fears of foreign invasions (Moran, 1981; Schmink and Wood, 1992). Some countries, such as Japan, were eager to send volunteers abroad to relieve population pressures and contribute to their economy from foreign sources. Thus in 1933, the Companhia Niponica began establishing farming communities of Japanese immigrants in the State of Pard (Pari Agriqola, 1933). Monte Alegre was one site selected for the Japanese immigrants. Other sites include Tome Aqu, Santa Maria, Assaisal, Boa Vista, Ipitinga and Aqua Branca. The Monte Alegre community was established in the village of Mulata in 1933 with 63 homes. The Companhia Niponica contributed seedlings to farmers including: 10,000 cashew (Anacardium occidentale), 6,400 cacao (Theobroma cacao), 700 coconut (Cocos nucifera), 800 andiroba (Carapa guianensis) and 1,500 of munguba (Pseudobombax munguba) (Pardi Agriqola, 1933). The company also set up an experimental station with cedar (Cedrela odorato), coffee (Coffea spp.), oranges (Citrus spp.), sapucaia (Lecythis pisonis), guarand (Paullina cupana), cacao (Theobroma cacao) and quinine (Cinchona officinalis) (Pard Agriqola, 1933). The community soon faltered because of poor transportation to markets and lack of communication with the outside world and with the Companhia Niponica (Pard Agriqola, 1933). Thirty-five Japanese families remain in









44

Monte Alegre today, none of whom live in Mulata. Some of them are descendants of the original settlers, but most have immigrated to Monte Alegre since the 1950s.

Monte Alegre municipality was targeted for federal ly-sponsored colonization in the 1960's by the Brazilian Agency for colonization and agrarian reform Inst ituto Nacional de Colon izacio Reforma Agrdria (INCRA). Fifty thousand people moved into the upland areas of the municipality over a period of forty years, most of whom come from Northeastern Brazil (Carvalho and Lins, 1992) (Figure 3.4). At last census, there were more than 65,000 people in the municipality. The majority, 60%, live in the city, while the remaining 40% live in scattered villages in the rural areas.

During the peak of Brazil's colonization efforts in the 1970s, INCRA was the

most powerful agency in the colonization plans. It was responsible for surveying the land to be colonized, building health and education facilities, distributing land, and managing


70000 60000 50000

-40000 00-30000

20000 10000

0
1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 1995
Years


Figure 3.4 Population growth in Monte Alegre from the mid-1I900s








45

all of the colony activities. By the end of the 1980's, IINCRA had lost most of its power to other agencies and was left with the responsibility of distributing land. Municipalities took over most of the other functions previously held by IINCRA (I. Moacir pers. corn.).

The city of Monte Alegre and its existing infrastructure of schools, hospitals, government, markets and agricultural cooperative made this federallIy-sponsored colonization project effective when compared with other colonization projects in the Amazon (Almeida, 1992). The costs incurred by IINCRA were less than other directed colonization efforts and private colonization schemes throughout the Amazon (Almeida, 1992). New colonists continue to arrive in Monte Alegre, while the original colonists' children have matured and are starting their own farms. To provide more land, INCRA opened a new colony, Serra Azul, in 1994. It is intended for settlement by colonists' children who are allotted 50 hectares per family (M. Ishiguro, pers. corn.).

In contrast to the uplands, the flood plains were never targeted for colonization. Approximately 30 communities are situated on the Monte Alegre flood plains, all of which are at least 100 years old. Many were originally Indian villages, such as Aldeia. Five villages are located on the seasonally flooded restinga between the Amazon River and the permanent lake, Lago Grande. Another village is seasonally inundated, but lies on a parand of the Amazon River. Population in these communities has remained constant over the past hundred years. Today however, many young people do not want to continue living on the flood plains and are moving to the city to attend school and work. The other twenty villages are located on the cusp of the great lake, Lago Grande, and the uplands. The residents of the flood plain communities are primarily fishermen and








46

engage in seasonal agriculture to supplement their incomes. During the six months of low water, the fertile soils left by the retreating river are exposed and used for cattle pasture and short season vegetables. High value crops such as tomatoes, watermelons, green beans and melons are ideal for this location.

The majority of agricultural products are taken to the city of Monte Alegre or Santar6m for sale. Residents fish throughout the waters of the municipality and many also fish in the waters of Alenquer and bbidos. Their catches are sold locally or are contracted to large boat owners for the regional and national markets. Lago Grande has been used heavily in the past ten years and fishermen complain that it has been over fished. In fact, violence over community rights and exclusion of large commercial trawlers is a problem in the area (Aradjo, 1994). Many flood plain communities are beginning to organize and file for official government recognition to their land rights (McGrath et al., 1993). Some of these same villages are beginning to exert local control over the flood plain lakes and are prohibiting commercial fishermen from entering the lakes (McGrath et al., 1993).

The Government and Infrastructure in Monte Alegre


The municipality is the main governing body with the mayor's office located in the city of Monte Alegre. Elections are held every two years and any party may put forward a candidate for election to the mayor's position or that of the city council (vereadorlcamdra). The mayor has at his disposal the federal agencies that are located in the city, such as the agricultural extension agency (EMATER) and the colonization









47

agency (INCRA). Additionally, the mayor's office oversees the infrastructure of the municipality including education, transportation and communications. The mayor also has the discretion to institute educational and agricultural programs for the municipality. Each village within the municipality also has its own leader and governing body, although this is a less formal arrangement.

The city of Monte Alegre is the major economic and social center of the

municipality and is divided into two distinct areas due to topography. The lower city (cidade baxic) sits directly on the banks of the Gurubatuba River and the upper city (cidade alto) sits on a bluff some 50 meters above the lower city. Residents of the flood plains and colonies use the city as their main market and purchasing center. Purchased manufactured products include such items as clothes, household goods, and foods such as coffee, sugar and bread.

A survey of vendors in the city revealed that agricultural products are traded in the cidade alto while the fish and general household goods are traded in the cidade baxio (Table 3. 1, Figure 3.5). Furthermore, the cidade alto is the gateway to the colonies, while the cidade baxio is the gateway to the river. Transportation


Transport into Monte Alegre from outside the municipality is primarily by boat. There are roads from the city to the colonies and there is a road that connects Monte Alegre to the municipalities of Prainha, Alenquer and 6bidos. The roads however, are









48



Table 3. 1. Vendors in Monte Alegre


Merchandise Cidade Alto Cidade Baxio

Fruit Stand 12 6

Supermarket 2 4

Pharmacy 2 11

Car repair 61

General 12 16

Hardware 1

Bars 2 3

Clothing 5 15

Sewing 2 0

Butchers 4 2

Children's I I

Wholesalers 6 0

Food stands 21 2

Saddle shop 1 0

Drink distributor 2 5

Dentist 2 1

Funeral home 1 0

Hotels 3 3

Agriculture supply 0 2

Restaurant 2 6














49































-41










ca









50

not paved and are poorly maintained. During the rainy season they become filled with potholes and mud making travel slow. Many cars and buses become stuck in the mire making the trips to the colonies more arduous. Additionally, the bridges are not well maintained so trucks often ford the streams rather than use the shaky bridges. Transport to the colonies is regular with four transportation lines in the city. People and agricultural products are transported on buses and large Toyota pickup trucks. Many of the trucks are brightly painted and have been given fanciful names such as "Gigante do Pard" (Giant of Pard), "Cometa de Halley" (Halley's Comet), "0 Gatdo (The Big Cat), "Ar auto da estrada" (Air-auto of the Highway), Dragdo Verineiho (Red Dragon), Cowboy da Estrada (Highway Cowboy) and Travdo Azul (Blue Thunder). Boat traffic is regularly scheduled with one or two ferries departing every night for Santar~m, the main regional center. The boat trip from Santar~m to Monte Alegre takes five hours while the return takes eight hours. From Santar~m, boats, roads, and airplanes connect the region to the rest of Brazil.

The cost of overland transport in Monte Alegre in 1996 and 1997 varied between $ 1.00 and $2.00 US per trip per person depending on the distance traveled. The buses have regular schedules and will pick up riders anywhere along their routes. For example, scheduled transportation to Sector 15 is on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Close communities such as Pariqo and Nazar6 enjoy daily service. In addition, the truck drivers will stop at individual houses to deliver and pick up items such as car batteries that need recharging. Bus owners state that the cost of transport is high due to the poor condition of the roads and the continual maintenance needed on the trucks. Some villages located








51

on the cusp of the flood plains and uplands have both road and boat transportation. such as Pariqo and Sdo Diogo. Other flood plain villages such as Sapucaia and Cuierus, may only be reached by boat. Transportation directly affects farmers' ability to get their agricultural produce to the market quickly, economically, and in saleable condition. Education

Each village in the municipality has a school that offers at least the first four years of education to children. These schools are funded by the municipality and the state The number of schools seems encouraging, a total of 217, but the majority of the schools have only one room with no books, chalkboard or any other teaching aids. High school is only offered in the city of Monte Alegre or other urban centers such as Santar6m or Bel6m. Twice as many girls attend high school as boys because boys generally stay at home to help their parents with the farming. Girls attend high school to earn a certificate in teaching or nursing, hoping to gain employment and aid their family's income. Two options exist for children who leave the colonies to attend high school in the city. They can live with relatives or they can find part-time employment in homes as cooks or housekeepers.

Farm families with children in high school have a reduced work force, which

affects their agricultural production. Many women leave the farm to live in the city while their children attend school, further reducing the labor available on the farm. Women and children often return to the farm on the weekends or during the peak agricultural labor seasons to aid in harvesting. The attraction of education in urban areas has induced some








52

farm families to abandon their lots on the uplands and flood plains, hoping that their children will have greater opportunities in the urban setting. Nongovernmental Organizations

There are a number of non-governmental organizations that deal with issues related to farmers, ranchers and fishermen in Monte Alegre. The upland farmers are represented by the Sindicato dos Trabalhadores Rurais. Fishermen are represented by the Colonia dos Pescadores, and ranchers are represented by the Sindicato dos Productores. The small farmers' association helps families obtain loans from banks, lobbies the government for assured prices on agricultural products, and serves as a social gathering place. The ranchers' association also lobbies the government on issues relating to cattle. The fishermen's association provides social services to its members, including a day care center and educational programs for children and mothers, and serves as the filter for government regulations regarding fishing. The small farmers and fishermen's associations are affiliated with other such associations throughout the region. The Sindicato dos Trabaihadores Rurais is also involved with the Gritou na Terra (The Earth Screamed) movement in eastern Pard. This organization is involved with the Sem Terra (People Without Land), which is lobbying the government for land reform in Brazil, guaranteed agricultural prices, government financing for agriculture, and protection of land rights.

Monte Alegre has an agricultural cooperative, Cooperativa Integral de Reforma Agrdria de Monte Alegre (CRAMA) started by the Japanese immigrants in 1965. It is used primarily by farmers in the colonies. New colonists are afforded guaranteed access








53

to the market with decent prices for their products in their first year of production. The primary cash crop of the municipality is maize; 25% of all maize produced in the state of ParA comes from Monte Alegre (Swales, 1993). The agricultural cooperative's influence has proven to be strong and was a stabilizing factor in the colonists' ability to remain on theirland. Almeida (1992) found that the Monte Alegre colonization effort was one of the most successful in all of the Amazon, one reason being the strength of the cooperative. The cooperative's emphasis on maize has influenced the crop selection of the small farmers in the colonies. Farmers state that even if they do not belong to the agricultural cooperative they grow maize because they know that there is a market for it in Monte Alegre.

In 1990, the cooperative contracted with the federal government to provide 500 tons of high quality maize for seed. However, in 199 1, elections brought in a new government which did not honor the contract causing the cooperative to sell the high quality seed corn for a fourth of its value for animal feed (Swales, 1993). The cooperative continues to operate at a reduced level and many of the farmers in colonies are not aware that it is still in business. The cooperative's main objective is the purchase and sale of maize, and secondarily beans and rice (Swales, 1993). Many of the government officials in Monte Alegre blame the downfall of the cooperative on its inability or unwillingness to keep up with the current market emphasis. The lack of diversification in the products the cooperative sells has put it in a high risk situation.

Another nongovernmental association that has a strong influence on agriculture in the municipality is the AssociaVdo Nippon Brasilero (The Japanese Brazilian








54

Association.) This association's main purpose is cultural. However, of the 34 member Japanese families that reside in Monte Alegre, at least seven of the members are trained in agronomy and economics and 27 of the members are farmers. These members aid other members with technical advice on farming and economic matters. The association also has a small nursery where members can obtain seedlings. Agricultural Proarams


Numerous programs to improve education, health care and agriculture for the

municipality's residents have been launched since 1993. The mayors involved were very interested in sustainable agricultural development through agroforestry. They also had great interest in agroforestry as a means to provide tree cover to agricultural fields and to raise the income of farmers in the colonies. The municipality's Secretary of Agriculture is directly responsible for aiding the municipality's farmers and provides technical assistance to farmers, and also serves as the liaison with the Federal agricultural extension agents at EMATER. Additionally, the Secretary is responsible for leading the municipality's agricultural programs.

There are a number of programs instituted at the municipal level. Of main interest to this study are the Programa da Vdrzea and Pro grama Agroflorestal, a project to distribute perennial crops to the colonies. Both programs were lead by the municipality with the cooperation and input of the EMATER staff.

The first project, Pro grama da Vdrzea, began in 1993 and ran for three years.

This program had a two pronged approach. The first was a demonstration project on land








55

owned by the municipality on the flood plains. Seedlings of tomatoes, melons and squash were germinated in seed beds then transplanted to the flood plain soils. The fields had been tilled and weeded. The demonstration plots were regularly irrigated with river water and production was carefully calculated. The demonstration plots were invaded by cattle and suffered great damage. The municipality concluded that the demonstration plots did not provide an adequate measure of agricultural production on the flood plains and discontinued the experimental station. The second approach to the Programa da Vdrzea was to distribute seeds to communities on the flood plains at no initial charge. The crops were limited to watermelon, squash and melon. At harvest, participants in the program were expected to give 20% of their produce to the municipality to be distributed to creches, schools and other social programs within the Monte Alegre.

Program Agroflorestal was instituted by the mayor in 1993 and provided

colonists with saplings of orange and lime. This program was instituted to encourage perennial crops on the uplands because they were believed to contribute to sustainable agricultural practices. EMATER agents were enlisted by the municipality to distribute the seedlings to the colonists. Saplings were bought in Bel6m and shipped to Monte Alegre. The saplings were transplanted to the agricultural station operated by the municipality, which is located on the periphery of the city. The Secretary of Agriculture distributed saplings to farmers in the colonies at no charge in 1995. (J. Santana, pers. com.). After two months, the municipality's extension agents found that the saplings in the colonies had all died or were not growing properly. Due to this lack of success, officials changed their philosophy on the project and began to sell the saplings. They








56

believed that if the saplings were purchased they would have more value and that the farmers would take better care of them. However, some farmers and members of the nonprofit organizations believe that the seedlings failed because the municipality was not able to properly distribute them or perhaps because they were of low quality. The Associafdo Nippon Brasilero was then asked if they would take over the distribution of the seedlings, charging US $ 1.50 per seedling. This price is out reach for most of the small farmers in the colonies. Therefore, only the larger farmers have any access to these seedlings.

The Associa!do Nippon Brasilero also has a project sponsored by IB3AMA

(Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recoursos Naturais Renovdveis) through a project titled Programa Piloto para a Prote~do das Florestas Tropicais do BrasilProjecto Demostrativo A. (Pilot Program for the Protection of the Tropical Forests of Brazil Demonstration Project A). This project has the general goal to produce saplings of agroforestry species to be distributed to the rural population within the municipality. One of the trees distributed through the program is rubber. There are currently three farmers in the municipality that have trees producing latex. Additional farmers are integrating rubber into their farming systems, but those trees are not yet producing latex. The Associa~do Nippon Brasilero is trying to recruit Brazilians to participate in the rubber project and is in the process of setting up another association especially for this project called the Hortoflorestal Educativa de Monte Alegre. The Japanese farmers have embraced rubber because of the financial incentives provided by IBAMA and because they believe that the future market for natural latex will continue to grow in the medical








57

field and in high quality tires and sports shoes. There is no history or cultural tradition within the municipality of rubber tapping, therefore, the Japanese who have rubber have hired rubber tappers from Bellterra, Henry Ford's attempt at plantation rubber in the Amazon located on the southern side of the Amazon River near Santar6m.



Villages Visited on the Uplands



Seven upland communities were visited in this study and farmers were interviewed regarding their agricultural practices, land use, decision making and demographics. Communities were selected for inclusion in the study based on their distance from the city of Monte Alegre and the farmers' willingness to participate in the study (Figure 1.4).

Sector 15

Sector 15 is located approximately 60 kilometers by road from Monte Alegre.

Bus transportation takes four to four and one half hours to Monte Alegre and is provided three days per week at a cost of US $1.50 one way. This colony has 30 households and is divided into upper and lower communities by distance about 10 kilometers apart. Neither community has electricity, televisions, radios or cars.

Sector 15 was opened for INCRA colonization in 1986. Many of the first

residents remain. Two schools provide education, one at each end of the community. The farmers in Sector 15 all believe that they have poor soils. They were particularly hurt








58

by the strong drought that occurred in 1997. Many farmers lost all of their perennials, including oranges, palms and limes.

Sector 13

Like Sector 15, Sector 13 is an INCRA colony founded eleven years ago. The

majority of farmers interviewed were natives of Monte Alegre and a number of extended families live in the colony. Sector 13 is located approximately 55 kilometers from the city and is also approximately four and one half hours by truck to Monte Alegre, and operates three days a week. The cost of transportation in 1996 was US$ 1.00 to $2.00 one way, depending on the amount of produce hauled. Farmers in Sector 13 believe that their soils are of good quality. One fanner has been planting soy beans and stated that he had as high production as farmers in southern Brazil. He was not, however, able to sell the beans in Monte Alegre. A number of residents of Sector 13 are involved in a regional land reform movement of "Gritou Terra

Mulata

Mulata was the original site of the first Japanese settlement in Monte Alegre, but no Japanese remain in the village today. Mulata is located on the main highway 30 kilometers and approximately three hours by bus from Monte Alegre. Mulata is a mix of large cattle ranches and small farms. Ranchers who also raise crops and sell most of their agricultural produce, while the small farmers use most of their produce within the household. Soils are characterized as weak and most of the farmers interviewed planned to convert all of their land to pasture. Small farmers were converting land into pasture even though they did not own cattle. They stated that they were planning for a day when








59

they would be ranchers. Many of the town's teenage children live in Monte Alegre to attend high school, reducing the work force on some farms. Limdo

Limdo is the center of Japanese residents in the municipality. It is located

approximately 44 kilometers from Monte Alegre on the main highway BR 254. This unpaved but heavily traveled road links the municipalities of Prianha, Monte Alegre, and Alenquer. The soils are suitable for growing a great variety of crops. The Japanese grow exclusively for the regional and international market and have large plantations of black pepper. Problems withfusarium fungus have plagued these farmers in the past ten years reducing pepper production and they can no longer purchase new planting stock and are relying on the existing stock. Salmonella is common in black pepper produced in Brazil. Due to unsanitary processing and the United States has banned the import of black pepper from Brazil since 1994. However, the Japanese have maintained their position in the international market through a previous certification process. They are also involved in large scale citrus production and rubber is also being planted on a large scale.

The Japanese have their own transportation, farm with machinery, and hire all of their labor. Most of the Japanese do not live on their farms, but do maintain a small house where they spend weekends in the country. The majority have propane stoves and ovens, propane lights and indoor plumbing. A number of Japanese farmers return routinely to Japan for work to raise money needed for additional investments on their farms. During their absence the hired laborers continue the agricultural production on the farms.









60

Tres Bocas

Tres Bocas is located 13 kilometers from Monte Alegre, approximately one hour and a half by bus every day at a cost of $ 1.00 each way. The road to this community is narrow and winds along the Serra Itaujuri. Bus service is provided to the city twice a week, but many residents of Tres Bocas have their own transportation. Tres Bocas is a mix of cattle ranches and small farmers. Most of the farmers in Tres Bocas believe that the soils are poor due to the long history of use. Half the farmers interviewed rent land and are indentured to one rancher in the area. These farmers produce maize sold through the cooperative and purchase their food from their patron. The other half of the farmers interviewed consume the majority of their agricultural produce within the household and have extensive home gardens surrounding the house. One farmer had a diverse home garden with 22 different types of plants. He also had a row of large mango trees that were no less than 15 feet in diameter and had been scored heavily to encourage the trees to produce fruit. The farmer reported that these trees were 80 years old.

Cattle are sent to the floodplains during the dry season, giving the ranchers the opportunity to weed the pastures that quickly become choked with palms. Capeoria, or weedy secondary growth characterizes this landscape which has been in crop and livestock production for at least one hundred years. Terra Preta

Terra Preta is located approximately six kilometers from Monte Alegre, one half hour by bus every day at a cost of $ 1.00 each way. Like Tres Bocas, this community has been inhabited for at least one hundred years. One couple interviewed were in their 70's








61

and stated that their parents farmed the land before them. Terra Preta is characterized by Capeoria and the farmers report that the land is poor.

Farmers report that birds are the main pests in the rice fields and that they lose

more rice than they harvest. Further, the government no longer guarantee prices for rice. Therefore, many of the farmers no longer plant rice. Some farmers are converting, all of their land to pasture.

Jusaratuia

Jusaratuia is located approximately five kilometers, a 20 minute bus ride from Monte Alegre. Situated on the wide band of sand described by Falesi (1970), poor soils dominate this community. The community has daily bus service at a cost of $0.60 each way, and many residents work in Monte Alegre. This community is at least one hundred years old. The older residents stated that their parents grew up in the area. Jusaratuia is known as a poor community with few opportunities and because it is located so close to the city, the majority of children attend high school and leave home at an early age.



Villages Visited on the Flood plains



Five flood plain communities were visited in this study and farmers were interviewed regarding their agricultural practices, land use, decision making and demographics (Figure 1.4).








62

Piapo

Piapo is a village of 23 households and 138 people, is approximately 70

kilometers from Monte Alegre and 30 kilometers from Santar~m. Travel time by boat is approximately seven hours to Monte Alegre and four hours to Santar~m. This village lies on the restinga between the Amazon River and Lago Grande. None of the residents of Piapo have cattle or buffalo. The village's water source is the Amazon River, there is no electricity, and no one owns a television although, some residents do own radios.

The village is located high on the restinga and endures total inundation by flood waters only once every few years. Residents of Piapo are able to plant and harvest long season crops such as manioc: and pineapple as well as perennials such as banana, guava, mango and ingd. Coffee was planted in the village five years ago, but a high flood killed all of the trees. Only one person has replanted coffee. Villagers also plant rice, beans, sugar cane, corn, squash and melons. Agricultural products are sold in Santar~m along with the fish caught by the residents. An average of 65% of all agricultural produce is sold while the rest is consumed in the house.



Santa Rita

Santa Rita is also situated on the restinga between the Amazon River and Lago Grande, and is flooded only for a few weeks ever few years. It is approximately 56 kilometers from Monte Alegre, and travel time by boat is approximately five hours to Monte Alegre and six to Santar~m, both of which serve as market centers. The village has 60 households and its main source of livelihood is fishing. A diesel generator supplies









63

electricity to Santa Rita from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. every night. The village's water source is the Amazon River.

The houses at Santa Rita are laid out in a line on a single main street, each home has a home garden that includes medicinal plants and spices on raised beds, usually an old canoe. Most residents have chickens and ducks. Santa Ritans planted cacao 15 years ago, but it was wiped out by a series of sequential floods. Consequently, few residents in Santa Rita now plant perennial crops. Santa Rita was also the location of extensive jute plantings through the 1900's until the low value of the fiber on the Brazilian market made it no longer profitable to grow. Residents are currently engaged in limited planting of annual crops of beans, com, cabbage, lettuce and collard greens. The village was a part of the Programa da Vdrzea in 1997. Forty-six of the residents farm cooperatively in this venture on three hectares of land producing lettuce, melons and green beans for the market in Monte Alegre. The program is intended to raise money during the dry season while the ban on fishing is in place. Some residents alternate crops between years to capture the greatest value for their crop from year to year.

Many of the residents complain that the cattle that graze on flood plain pastures during the low water have destroyed valuable agricultural land. Additionally, cattle and buffalo eat any crops that are not vigilantly protected. The Santa Ritan's cattle spend the wet season in the upland colonies on rented land, and they pay US $0. 10 per head per day for pasture. Cattle are brought to Santa Rita on boats in September and remain until January.









64

Curierus

Curierus is located at a lower elevation on the restinga than the other villages and is completely flooded each year. The total area that the village has available to it is limited since the restinga here is less than a 1,000 meters in width. Curierus is approximately 34 kilometers from Monte Alegre and is approximately four hours by boat. The village has 35 households. There is no electricity, but one-third of the residents have televisions and radios powered by car batteries. Farming in this village is limited to small gardens of squash, melons and beans.

There are many cattle in the western part of the village. A few households have gardens because cattle are permitted to roam freely through this area. A deep stream bed divides the eastern and western ends of the village, keeping cattle out of the eastern end. As a result, residents in the eastern part of the village maintain small plots of watermelon. Musk melons grown in Curierus are sold in Monte Alegre along with fish from the area. One household in Curierus maintains a small herd of water buffalo during the dry season in the far eastern edge of the village. This resident has been under increased pressure in the past few years to give up the buffalo because for four previous years the buffalo completely destroyed crops in the eastern part of the village. This resident now has a heavy fence around her property to eliminate the problem. Parico

Parigo is located three kilometers from Monte Alegre, a journey of 10 to 20

minutes by boat or car. The president of the community believes that the village is more than 200 years old and was established by four French men. They named their village









65

after their origin Paris which has been translated into Pariqo by the Portuguese. Although, the village is located on the uplands and is never inundated with flood waters, little of this area is cultivated due to the poor soils. The agricultural plots of Pariqo are located on the flood plains and residents travel to them every day by boat or on foot. Some residents choose to set up small temporary houses at their gardens and live there for the five to six months they farm. All of the farmers in this community consider the village their permanent home.

The majority of farmers in this community plant watermelons, or, as an

alternative, meter long green beans. There is little diversity in the crops grown here and the residents all complain bitterly about the low prices they receive for the watermelons. The watermelons are transported by commercial boat lines to Monte Alegre. The village participated in the Pro grama da Vdrzea in 1996. Sapucaia

Sapucaia is located 15 kilometers from Monte Alegre on the Gurubatuba River,

which is a permanent parand of the Amazon River. The village is only accessible by boat and depending on the power of the boat, the journey takes between 40 minutes and two hours. The village is divided into two sections by the parand. One side of the village lies on an island that is completely flooded each year, and the other side lies on the cusp of the upland and flood plain. Parts of the village located on the upland side of the village are high enough to escape seasonal flooding and residents are able to grow perennial crops such as bananas. The residents of this community are growing produce for sale and for subsistence. The Pro grama da Vdrzea in 1995 encouraged cash cropping of








66

watermelons and musk melons. Of all of the communities visited on the flood plain, the residents of Sapucaia were most involved in producing food for in-house consumption. Some farmers keep cattle in Sapucaia, but the majority are pastured on the uplands for the entire year.

The biophysical and socioeconomic setting is at the heart of the land use practices in Monte Alegre. Farmers have adapted their agricultural practices and crops to the environmental setting and socioeconomic conditions. The physical features of the land and river have a great influence over the types of crops that can be grown, while the economic conditions have influence over the types of crops that are profitably produced. Social factors such as education affect labor availability in farm families, and the programs initiated by governmental and non-governmental organizations encourage particular land use systems. The following chapters address the environmental, social and economic conditions faced by farm families in more detail.














CHAPTER 4
LAND USE DYNAMICS ON THE UPLANDS




Farmsteads in the Uplands



Seven communities were visited on the uplands for this study (Figure 4. 1).

Upland farmsteads consist of a house, home garden, fields in crops and pasture. Mean area per farm is 43.09 hectares, reflecting the size and number of farms established under the INCRA colonization plan. Most residents, 74.3 percent, have titles to their land (Table 4. 1) and receive agricultural technical assistance from the government. There is an average of five people per household. About one-third of the household members (2.4 people per household) provide labor for the farm. Although farming is by far the most important economic activity, individuals in some households (11.8%) do hold non-farm jobs. Average residence time on the farm is fairly long, 17.4 years.

No architectural plans are followed, however, the majority of the houses in the upland areas have the same basic layout. The house has one main room which serves as the primary living quarters for the family and includes a table and chairs. It is also equipped with metal hooks on the wall so the children can sling their hammocks at night. One bedroom is kept for the head of household, usually the parents, who have a mattress



67









68












sector


-- -- -- a- -1-j























Midd~le communties
11 II










0 lomete's 0 Flood plains

Figure 4.1 Villages visited in the uplands of Monte Alegre by distance








69


and chest of drawers. The third room in the house is the kitchen. The kitchen has a propane fired stove and a single open window onto the yard. This window has a shelf built into it and is used in the preparation of food, the scraps are thrown into the yard for the small farm animals, such as chickens, ducks, turkeys and the occasional pig. Poorer families cook with charcoal in an outdoor kitchen. Screens are absent from the windows but some homes have glass windows. All windows have wood shutters that are closed at dark to keep the insects out.

Table 4.1 Characteristics of the households Variable Mean
Number of people per household 5.0
Number of people working in the fields 2.4
Number of years in house 17.4
Distance to field Minutes 10.8
Distance to market Hours 2.6
Percent of households with title 74.3
Percent of households with good soils 22.2
Number of cows 21.1
Area in pasture Hectare 22.2
Percent of households with pasture 70.1



Construction materials vary according to the wealth of the individual family, those with little money have thatched roofs, but most have either tin or the more expensive tile roofs (Figure 4.2). The vast majority of houses are built from sawn timber, only a very few are made of mud and dabble. Few of the upland communities have electricity or indoor plumbing. An outhouse or "key" is located at some distance from the house. A










70


































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separate enclosed bathing area is either attached to the house or located nearby. The colonists have the more rustic houses while the wealthier farmers have some amenities such as propane lamps and TVs powered by car batteries.

Adjacent to the house is the home garden which includes small farmn animals,

herbs, perennials, ornamental and medicinal plants. The home gardens are used primarily for home consumption and as food for the small farm animals. These permanent home gardens may also serve as experimental plots as the farmer tries new plants before investing in large plantings of an unknown crop.

Fruits are especially important in tropical diets and are the main source of

vitamins and minerals. The most commonly grown fruits are the Amazonian natives murici (Brysanima crassifolia), cashew (Anacardium occidentale), and those originating in Asia such as oranges (Citrus sinensis), mangos (Man gifera indica) and bananas (Musa sp.). Some farmers plant papaya (Carica papaya), banana and citrus (Citrus sp.) in the fields with their annual crops. Although, each farm family has a unique set of perennial and annual crop combinations, over half of the farmers interviewed raised oranges, lime (Citrus aurantifolia), mango, cashew and tangerines (Citrus reticulata). Many other perennial crops are found in the home gardens (Table 4.2). A few farmers reported as many as 22 species included in their home garden but the mean was twelve. A few crop associations were common in the home gardens. Five farmers reported each of the following associations in their gardens: (1) orange, lime, mango, banana and cashew; (2) orange, lime, banana, mango, cashew, murici, tangerine and guava (Psidium guajava); (3) orange, lime, papaya, tangerine and banana. Four farmers reported associations of








72

orange, lime, mango and aqai (Euterpe oleracea). Few of the farmers interviewed in this study actively protect valuable timber species and none were planting any of these trees for future harvests, which is a common practice in other areas of the Amazon (Smith et al., 1995).

A mean of 25% of land in crop production is devoted to perennials. The

exception is the Japanese who devote more than 95% of their productive land to perennial crops (Table 4.3). Rubber is grown by a small number of Japanese who believe that the market for natural latex continues to grow due to its use in the prevention of the HIV virus, and the resurgence of natural latex in high quality sports equipment and automobile tires. Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is also a speciality crop of the Japanese farmers and is their primary cash crop. Black pepper is sold on the international market through wholesalers in Beldm. Many of the surrounding Brazilian farmers have adopted black pepper but it is a less important cash crop for them and they are limited to selling it in the region due to contamination problems from Salmonella. The Japanese have begun to incorporate rubber into their pepper plantations. They hope that they will gain additional income from latex production and extend the production of the black pepper. The Japanese report that the yields of the black pepper are reduced when interplanted and shaded by the rubber, however, the black pepper produces for an average of two years longer.

The other small farmers do not have more than six hectares devoted to perennial crops and most non-Japanese farmers keep approximately one hectare in perennial crops. These farmers practice slash and bum agriculture, burning their fields during the dry








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season from October to December. These fields are used for two to five years then abandoned to fallow, converted to pasture, or planted in perennials. Farmers follow an agricultural schedule as recommended by EMATER (Table 4.4). Most families have five hectares in production at a time. The exceptions are families that have multigenerations farming the same lot and are able to keep more land under production.

The majority of farmers have highly diverse crop assemblages. The number of crops produced varied from three to 22 (Table 4.3). A traditional intercrop of beans (Phaseoulus vulgaris), maize (Zea mays) and squash (Cucurbita sp.) is common throughout the municipality and 15 of the 37 upland farmers interviewed reported that they plant this crop combination (Figure 4.3). Another ten farmers interplant musk melons (Cucumis melo) and watermelon (Citrulus lanatus). Five farmers in this study had interplantings of musk melon, watermelon and maxixe (Cucumis anguria). Maxixe is a small green spiky squash appreciated in beef dishes. Rice (Arroz sativa), manioc (Manihot esculata), tomatoes (Lycopersicon lycopersicum) and sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum) are grown as monocultures.

The location of individual fields depends primarily on the type of soil on the

farmer's lot. Farmers classify their soils as terra fraca and terra boa, or weak land and good land. Farmers report that crops on terrafraca are stunted and yields are lower compared with those on terra boa, although few of the farmers know what the production is for any of their crops. Farmers further characterize the suitability of the soil for crops based on moisture retention in the wet and dry seasons. Those that are better in the dry season can retain moisture; those that are better in the wet season have good drainage.








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Table 4.2 Crops commonly Ed in Monte Alegre Local Name English Name Scientific Name

Abacate Avocado Persea americana

Abacaxi Pineapple Ananas cosmosus

Aqai Aqai Euterpe oleracea

Acerola Barbados cherry Malpighia glabra

Ata Soursop Annona squamosa

Banana Banana Musa sp.

Caju Cashew Anacardium occidental

c6co Coconut Cocos nucifera

Cacao Cocoa Theobroma cacao

Cupuaqu Cupuaqu Theobroma grandiflorum

Dend8 Oil Palm Elaeis guineensis

Gandu Gandu Cajanus cajun

Goiaba Guava Psidium guajava

Graviola Sweet sop Annona muricata

Ingd Inga Inga sp.

Jaca Jackfruit Artocarpus heteropkvilus

Laranja Orange Citrus sinensis

Limdo Lime Citrus aurantifolia

Manga Mango Mangifera indica

Mamdo Papaya Carica papaya

Maracuid Passionfruit Passiflora edulis

Murici Wild Cherry Brysonima crassifolia

Pimenta do Reino Black Pepper Piper nigrum

Pupunha Peach Palm Bactris gasipaes

Seringa Rubber Hevea brasiliensis







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Table 4.2 continued _________Local Name English Name Scientific Name

Carambola Star fruit Averrhoa carambola

Tangerina Tangerine Citrus reticulata

Urucum Annatto Bixa orellana

Milho Maize Zea mays

Feijdo Beans Phaseolus vulgaris

Arroz Rice Arroz sativa

Tomate Tomato Lycopersicon lvcopersicum

Macaxeria Manioc Manihot esculata

Aborbora Squash Cucurbita sp.

Cana Sugar cane Saccharum officinarum

Maxixe Maxixe Cucumis anguria

Meldo Musk Melon Cucumis melo

Cebola Onion Allium sp.

Fuma Tobacco Nicotiana tabaccum
*Source: Multilingual Dictionary of Agronomic Plants, S. Rehm, 1994








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Table 4.3 Land devoted to perennial crops Hectare Annual Perennials in Number of
Household cropped Perennial (ha) (ha) Percent crops
Sector 15 1 17.7 0.95 16.75 5.36 15
Sector 15 2 3.95 3.95 0 100 21
Sector 15 3 4.89 1 3.89 20.44 21
Sector 154 4.26 -0.5 4.76 -11.73 14
Sector 155 8.15 0.9 7.25 11.04 15
Sector 15 6 6.85 2.6 4.25 37.95 21
Sector 13 1 9.3 0.3 9 3.22 11
Sector 13 2 7.3 0.3 7 4.1 9
Sector 133 8.4 0.4 8 4.76 11
Mulata 1 5.59 1.1 4.49 19.67 16
Mulata 2 10.27 0.65 9.62 6.32 13
Mulata 3 3.23 1.25 1.98 38.69 17
Mulata 4 0.75 0.5 0.25 66.66 12
Mulata 5 1.95 0 1.95 0 8
Mulata 6 12.83 0.4 12.43 3.11 13
Mulata 7 4.48 0.98 3.5 21.87 10
Mulata 8 12.75 0.5 12.25 3.92 14
Mulata 9 1.76 0.1 1.66 5.68 7
Tres Bocas 1 3.5 1.18 2.32 33.71 21
Tres Bocas 2 0.33 0 0.33 0 3
Tres Bocas 3 5.05 1.4 3.65 27.72 15
Tres Bocas 4 13 2 11 15.38 19
Tres Bocas 5 13.65 3.35 10.3 24.54 22
Terra Pretal 4.65 0 4.65 0 15
Terra Preta2 6.15 6.15 0 100 13
Terra Preta3 3.35 0.93 2.42 27.76 14
Terra Preta4 2.82 0.4 2.42 14.18 15
Terra Preta5 1 0 1 0 1
Lin-do 1 22 22 0 100 7
Limio 2 37.1 37.1 0 100 8
Limo 3 31 30 1 96.77 3
Justauria 1 3.3 0 3.3 0 3
Justauria 2 2 0 2 0 2
Justauria 3 2 0 2 0 7
Justauria 4 2.5 0 2.5 0 2
Justauria 5 1.25 0.5 0.75 40 8
Justauria 6 20.55 1.55 19 7.54 19
Average 8.09 3.29 4.8 25.1 12.1










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4.



C4







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Most farmers have both terra fraca and terra boa but do not know if the land they clear will be good or weak until the forest has been removed and the soils exposed. Once the terra boa is found, the farmer continues to clear the land around that area in hopes of finding additional terra boa. The terra boa is cropped for three to five years In maize, rice, beans, squash and other annual crops. These soils are then planted in perennial crops or left in fallow. Farmers use the terra boa again after the field has rested or had a sufficient fallow period, from eight to twenty years. Terra fraca is usually planted in manioc and abandoned after one or two years. When it is located next to the home it is then planted with grass and used as pasture. If the poor land is located further from the home it is abandoned to fallow and not used again unless no other land is available.

Although manioc is raised on terra fraca because of its tolerance for drought, low nutrient availability, and acidic soils, it is nonetheless a critical component in the farming system. The casa dafarinha, a mud and brick oven with a griddle used to make a gritty flour from manioc (farinha), is a prominent feature of the farmstead (Figure 4.4). Making farinha takes a full day and often involves the entire family and neighbors who use this time to share news and information. The manioc is harvested, brought to the casa dafarinha, peeled then soaked in water. After soaking, the manioc is squeezed or pressed to express the excess water and cyanic acid. The manioc: is then ground. Wealthier farmers have motors to grind the manioc, but most people must grind by hand. The resulting mass is then roasted on the oven until it reaches a granular consistency, a process that usually takes four hours of constant turning and mixing. This farinha is a












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staple in the diet and is also sold. In 1997, a 60-kilogram sack of farinha sold for approximately US $7.00; a small return on a process that takes at least four hours of manufacture.

Pastures are an important component of most farmsteads. Most farmers, 70%, keep cattle and are actively trying to increase their herd size. The small farmers interviewed own a mean of 21 cows and keep a mean of 22 hectares in pasture. or about one hectare per cow. All of the pastures are planted in imported African grasses, kikuyu (Pennisetum clandestinum) and brachiardo (Brachiaria brizantha). Cattle are kept close to the home for protection and to reduce the time needed to milk the cows in the morning. Farmer Interactions with the Outside World

As with so many other characteristics of the Amazon Basin, the heterogenous nature of fanning practices and land use are demonstrated in this case study of Monte Alegre. Each farm family is unique and is guided by their perceptions and desires to meet their subsistence and income needs. Each family has a unique set of agricultural crops, a variety of intercropped production systems, and unique set of crops they are producing for sale.

Farmers are motivated by subsistence and economic needs. Their decisions

regarding the crops they produce are influenced by these needs (Table 4.4). More than 65% of households consume their produce and sell the remainder. More than 80% of farmers interviewed were actively involved in the local market. Additionally, the majority of farmers (69%) conserve their produce until the prices are sufficiently high to sell. Farmers (86%) also conserve some of their produce as seed for the following year's cropping. At the same time, 68% of farmers reported that they purchase some of their







81

seed stock from the feed and seed stores in Monte Alegre.

Some farmers (12%) work off-farm to supplement their incomes. Farmers

reported various reasons for doing so including the wish to raise capital to expand their cattle herd, the need for cash to purchase medicine for their sick children, and to work for relatives that own shops in Monte Alegre. Table 4.4 Farmer interactions with the marketplace Variable Mean
Percent of produce consumed in-house 65.7
Percent of produce sold_ 34.3
Percent of households selling produce 81.9
Percent of households using chemicals 36.1
Percent of households conserving produce 69.4
Percent of households purchasing seed 68.8
Percent of households conserving seed 86.8
Percent of households with jobs out of agriculture 11.8



The majority of upland farmers (71 %) grow and sell maize as their primary cash crop (Table 4.5). In addition to maize, other annual crops are produced widely for sale including rice (58%), beans (69%) and manioc (25%). Ninety percent of all of the small farmers' income is generated by these four crops.

Fruits and other perishable agricultural crops are not being produced widely for the market but are instead used by the household (Table 4.6). Sixty four percent of the farmers are growing lime but do not sell it, and over half of the farmers are growing cashew and tangerines, but do not sell the produce.







82

Strateizies for Subsistence and Income Generation

Annual crops such as rice, beans and manioc form the staples of the Amazonian diet. They are grown by the majority of farmers for consumption within the household and for the market. However, subsistence production remains the primary concern for many of the farmers on the uplands. They must assure enough labor is devoted to producing crops for home consumption before they devote labor to income generation.

The primary market for the municipality is located in Monte Alegre however, farmers are not assured of prices at the market until they arrive. Farmers produce crops that they know that they can sell despite the price they receive. Grains and pulses that are durable and easily transportable are the primary market crops for the upland farmers. In 1997, a 60-kilogram. sack of maize fetched US $ 8.00 in Monte Alegre. The agricultural cooperative has been instrumental in spreading maize throughout the municipality. However, the cooperative is not the only merchant within the municipality that specializes in this crop. A large number of wholesalers have established themselves in Monte Alegre to sell maize, so the small farmer has a number of alternative locations where his crop can be sold. Many of these wholesalers also lend money to farmers in return for a share of the crop.

A critical factor to farmers is the marketability of their agricultural produce. The low value of fruit compared with the transportation cost is the primary reason cited by farmers for their lack of involvement in marketing fruit. A dozen oranges are purchased for US$ 0.30 by wholesalers and are resold for US$ 0.50. But the cost of transport ($ 1.00) for passage for one person plus cargo does not make the sale profitable. Another reason farmers do not sell much of their fruit may be the small numbers of trees per farm







83





Table 4.5 Crops t at are grown and sold Percent of
Number of farmers Number of Percent of farmers
farmers growing growing farmers selling who grow selling
Manioc 32 86 8 25
Orange 31 84 3 10
Beans 29 78 20 69
Maize 28 75 20 71
Mango 24 63 1 4
Rice 24 65 14 58
Banana 21 55 1 5
Watermelon 18 48 3 17
Papaya 16 45 1 6
Squash 15 40 2 13
Guava 13 35 1 8
Maxixe 12 32 0 0
Melon 11 29 1 9
Coconut 11 32 1 9
Avocado 9 24 1 11
Pineapple 9 24 1 11
Coffee 5 13 2 40
Cane 7 19 1 14
Green Beans 6 16 1 3
Passion fruit 6 16 2 33
Black pepper 6 16 3 50
Tomato 6 16 1 17
Rubber 3 5 3 100







84




Table 4.6 Crops grown on but not sold
Number of farmers Percent of farmers Number of growing growing farmers selling
Lime 24 64 0
Cashew 20 54 0
Tangerine 19 51 0
Maxixe 12 32 0
Sweet sop 8 21 0
Murici 7 19 0
Acai 6 16 0
Peach Palm 6 16 0
IngA 6 16 0
Cupuaqu 6 16 0
Star fruit 2 5 0
Onions 2 5 0
Barbados Cherry 2 5 0
Cacao 2 5 0
Annatto 1 3 0
Ata 1 3 0
Jackfruit 1 3 0
Tobacco 1 3 0
Gandu 1 0







85

planted in any particular fruit.

Home gardens are a vital part of the individual farmer's risk management strategy by adding diversity and important nutrients to the family diet. Agroforestry is being promoted through governmental and non-governmental programs. However, evidence from this case study suggests that agroforestry in Monte Alegre will be limited to home gardens. Agroforestry will not become the income generating mechanism that has been hoped for by the government. In order for agroforestry systems to become a large part of income generation in Monte Alegre, farmers will have to adopt higher value fruits and timber products. The formation of a cooperative that has proper transportation and facilities to process the fruits and nuts that are currently produced may help increase the value of agroforestry products sufficiently.


Agricultural Intensification



The measure of agricultural intensification combines nine variables believed to be important in a farmer's ability to intensify his agriculture. Agricultural intensification on the uplands is low with a mean value of 0.36 (Table 4.7). In the land-rich Amazonian setting, little intensification is expected due to the area involved in agricultural production in relation to the area available for further expansion. However there are a number of push and pull factors are leading to intensification in this environment. Pushing intensification is the increased population, and division of land holdings among land owners. Farmers must utilize their labor more productively on smaller holdings. Involvement in the marketplace is pulling farmers into intensifying their agricultural







86

practices. As farmers generate more cash, they are able to invest in outside inputs, such as chemical amendments to the soils. They can also hire outside labor to work in the cash crop systems. However, the biophysical environment limits the farmer's ability to intensify his agriculture. Small farmers cannot afford the chemical inputs necessary to increase productivity in those areas where the soils have been used for generations with few inputs.

Regardless of the individual conditions that farmers face in their agricultural

systems, all of them are motivated to employ particular land use and agricultural practices based on their strategies on meeting household needs, income generation and leisure time.


Driving Forces Behind Land Use and Azficultural Practices



This study seeks to examine the role of the driving forces in farmers'

decision making processes in regard to the problems they face, the factors contributing to crop selection, and what they believe would be most important in raising their standard of living. Farmers reported that the economic factors were the greatest problem that they faced in their agricultural pursuits (Table 4.8). Seventy-two percent stated that the low price for agricultural goods is the greatest problem, and 42% stated that access to markets is also a problem. Social factors such as injuries and illness are rarely a problem. Labor availability was reported to be rarely a problem by 36%, but another 47% reported it usually a problem. Farmers also stated that environmental factors such as precipitation and access to quality seeds and seedlings are not usually a problem.








87

Table 4.7 Land use intensity and intensification Total
hectare Hectare Land
Households planted owned intensity Intensification Index
Sector 15 1 17.45 100 0.17 0.35
Sector 15 2 4.05 100 0.04 0.23
Sector 15 3 4.94 100 0.04 0.23
Sector 15 4 4.26 100 0.04 0.24
Sector 15 5 8.15 100 0.08 0.32
Sector 15 6 6.65 100 0.06 0.23
Sector 13 1 9.75 100 0.09 0.2
Sector 13 2 7.3 100 0.07 0.23
Sector 13 3 8.4 100 0.08 0.27
Mulata 1 5.44 15 0.36 0.46
Mulata 2 10.17 15 0.67 0.77
Mulata 3 3.33 3 1.11 0.57
Mulata 4 0.65 1 0.65 0.3
Mulata 5 1.95 5 0.39 0.37
Mulata 6 12.93 90 0.14 0.29
Mulata 7 4.98 2 2.49 0.51
Mulata 8 12.65 50 0.25 0.39
Mulata 9 1.76 5 0.35 0.55
Tres Bocas 1 3.5 5 0.7 0.42
Tres Bocas 2 0.33 6.6 0.05 0.31
Tres Bocas 3 5.15 5 1.03 0.62
Tres Bocas 4 13 66 0.19 0.35
Tres Bocas 5 14.55 39 0.37 0.3
Terra Pretal 4.65 5 0.93 0.44
Terra Preta2 7.15 11 0.65 0.43
Terra Preta3 3.35 25 0.13 0.56
Terra Preta4 2.72 25 0.1 0.62
Terra Preta5 1 3 0.33 0.71
Limio 1 23 100 0.23 0.29
LimAio 2 39 100 0.39 0.36
Limlo 3 31 100 0.31 0.47
Jusaratuia 1 3.3 3.3 1 0.4
Jusaratuia 2 2 5 0.4 0.22
Jusaratuia 3 2 2 1 0.25
Jusaratuia 4 2.5 6.6 0.37 0.19
Jusaratuia 5 1.35 1 1.35 0.4
Jusaratuia 6 20.05 76 0.26 0.22
Means 7.89 43.09 0.46 0.38







88



Table 4.8 Farmer responses regarding problem s faced by farmers
Category Low (%) Medium (%) High
Pest E 25.00 33.00 42.00
Seeds E 56.00 25.00 19.00
Rain E 56.00 36.00 8.00
Drought E 25.00 39.00 36.00
Injury S 94.00 0.00 6.00
Worker S 36.00 17.00 47.00
Illness S 54.00 35.00 12.00
Transport C 49.00 23.00
Prices C 11.00 17.00 72.00
IMarkets----t- C 1 33.00 1 25.00 1 42.00 1



Farmers were also asked if certain factors were important in their decisions when they selected the types of crops they grew (Table 4.9). When making choices about their crop types, 78% report that it is very important that they be able to consume the produce within the house. Additionally, 57% state that it is very important that they be able to sell their produce. The time of planting was ranked as not important (47%), and considerations of crop diseases are also of low importance (40%).

Farmers were asked which services or goods would make their life better (Table

4. 10). Additional money was naturally the highest ranked of these factors. However, farmers believed that technology (64%) and better markets (64%) would raise their standards of living. The majority of farmers, 67%, stated that they did not want or need additional lands. Agricultural cooperatives were noted for their importance; but, farmers responded similarly across the rankings as to the degree of the cooperative's importance.







89

Table 4.9 Farmer res onses to importance of factors 1 crop selection Category, Low (%) Medium (%) High
Use C 17.00 6.00 78.00
Market C 17.00 42.00 42.00
Production C 17.00 42.00 42.00
Sell C 24.00 19.00 57.00
Prices C 43.00 22.00 35.00
Plant E 47.00 8.00 44.00
Disease E 40.00 43.00 17.00
Seeds E 29.00 29.00 43.00
Soils E 23.00 37.00 40.00



Table 4. 10 Farmers perceptions on factors that would contribute to a better standard of iving
Category Low (%) Medium (%) High (%)
Technology S 11.00 25.00 64.00
Coop S 38.00 32.00 29.00
Money C 3.00 11.00 86.00
Markets C 25.00 11.00 64.00
Production E 43.00 26.00 31.00
Land E 67.00 11.00 22.00



A chi-square test (a = 0.05) was used to determine if the responses to the survey

questions are reported with equal frequency in regard to the categories of environmental,

economic and social (Appendix Q. The results indicate that there were significant

differences between the responses. Farmers do not view each driving force equally, they

are making their decisions based on the economic, social, and environmental driving

factors that they encounter.

The economic variables are the strongest factors behind farmers' selection of

crops (Table 4.11). The greatest problems faced by farmers on the uplands are economic




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DYNAMICS OF LAND USE AND AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES
ON THE UPLANDS AND ADJACENT FLOOD PLAIN IN
THE LOWER AMAZON
by
SUSAN E. SWALES
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1999

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This research was supported by a Tinker Foundation Fellowship through the
Center for Latin American Studies, Russell Corporation Scholarship and a University of
Florida College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dissertation Fellowship. Government
Agencies in Brazil played a supportive role throughout the duration of the research
including Museu Geoldi, EMPRAPA, EMATER, and the Municipio de Monte Alegre.
A great number of people in Brazil also encouraged and supported my research
efforts: Nelsi Sadek, Adilson Serráo, Louis Forline, Mario Ishiguro, Zenaldo Couthino,
Bia and Rui Marcedo, Seta and Kishi. Also I am indebted to all of the farmers who
allowed me to stay with their families and partake in their lives, and to all of the farmers
who took time out of their day to answer my questions about their farming practices.
I would like to thank my committee members for their guidance, advise, and
support: my chair, Dr. Nigel Smith, Dr. César Caviedes, Dr. Tim Fik, Dr. Mickie
Swisher, and Dr. P. K. Nair.
a

TABLE OF CONTENTS
page
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ii
LIST OF TABLES vi
LIST OF FIGURES ix
ABSTRACT xi
CHAPTERS
1 INTRODUCTION 1
Overview 1
Research Objectives 5
Hypothesis 6
Methodology 7
Sampling Procedures 16
Analysis of Surveys 18
Presentation of Research 19
2 PERSPECTIVES ON THE DRIVING FORCES OF
AGRICULTURAL INTENSIFICATION, LAND USE
PATTERNS, AND AGRICULTURAL DYNAMICS 20
Land Use Patterns and Agricultural Intensification of Distance and
Accessibility to Market 20
Agricultural Intensification as a Result of Population Pressures 24
Agricultural Intensification and Farmer Risk Management Strategies 26
Agricultural Intensification and Government Policies 31
Theoretical Implications of Agricultural Intensification on the Uplands and
Floodplains 33
iii

3BIOPHYSICAL AND SOCIOECONOMIC SETTING
34
Amazonia 34
Monte Alegre, Pará 40
History of Monte Alegre 42
The Government and Infrastructure in Monte Alegre 46
Transportation 47
Education 51
Non-governmental Organizations 52
Agricultural Programs 54
Villages Visited on the Uplands 57
Sector 15 57
Sector 13 58
Mulata 58
Limao 59
Tres Bocas 60
Terra Preta 60
Jusaratuia 61
Villages Visited on the Flood plains 61
Piapo 62
Santa Rita 62
Curierus 64
Parido 64
Sapucaia 65
4 LAND USE DYNAMICS ON THE UPLANDS 67
Farmsteads in the Uplands 67
Farmers Interactions with the Outside World 80
Strategies for Subsistence and Income Generation 82
Agricultural Intensification 85
Driving Forces Behind Land Use and Agricultural Practices 86
Distance as a Factor in Land Use and Agricultural Practices 91
Distance as It Relates to Land Use Patterns and Agricultural Intensification .. 96
5 LAND USE DYNAMICS ON THE FLOOD PLAINS 100
Households on the Flood Plains 100
Farmer Interactions with the Outside World 109
Strategies for Subsistence and Income Generation Ill
Agricultural Intensification 114
Driving Forces Behind Land Use and Agricultural Practices 116
Distance as a Factor in Land Use and Agricultural Practices 120
IV

Distance as It Relates to Land Use Patterns and Agricultural
Intensification 123
6 COMPARING THE UPLANDS TO THE FLOOD PLAINS 126
Household Characteristics 126
Distance as a Factor in Land Use and Agriculture 131
Driving Forces in Agricultural Practices and Land Use 135
7 IMPLICATIONS OF THE RESEARCH FINDINGS 141
Theoretical Implications 141
Application Implications 143
Methodological Implications 145
Recommendations for Future Research 146
APPENDICES
A SURVEYS ON AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES 148
B UF INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD APPROVAL 154
C STATISTICAL RESULTS FOR THE UPLANDS 157
D STATISTICAL RESULTS FOR THE FLOOD PLAINS 160
E STATISTICAL RESULTS FOR THE MUNICIPALITY 162
LIST OF REFERENCES 166
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 173
v

LIST OF TABLES
Table Page
1.1 Villages on the flood plains with number of households sampled 15
1.2 Villages on the Uplands with number of households sampled 16
3.1 Vendors in Monte Alegre 48
4.1 Characteristics of the households 69
4.2 Crops commonly found in Monte Alegre 74-75
4.3 Land devoted to perennial crops 76
4.4 Farmer interactions with the marketplace 81
4.5 Crops that are grown and sold 83
4.6 Crops grown but not sold 84
4.7 Land use intensity and intensification 87
4.8 Farmer responses regarding problems faced by farmers 88
4.9 Farmer responses to importance of factors in crop selection 89
4.10 Farmers perceptions on factors that would contribute to a better
standard of living 89
4.11 Percentages of responses to the question regarding problems faced by farmers . 90
4.12 Percentages of responses regarding crop selection 90
4.13 Percentages of responses regarding standard of living 90
vi

Table page
4.14 Characteristics of households grouped by distance 93
4.15 Percentages of farmers selling crops based on distance 94
4.16 Agricultural intensification indices by distance 95
5.1 Characteristics of the households 102
5.2 Number of crops grown in each household 107
5.3 Agricultural crops on the flood plains 108
5.4 Farmer interactions with the marketplace 110
5.5 Agricultural produce grown and sold by flood plain farmers 114
5.6 Land use intensity and agricultural intensification 115
5.7 Responses to survey regarding problems faced by farmers 117
5.8 Responses to the importance of variables in crop selection 118
5.9 Farmer perceptions on factors that would contribute to a better
standard of living 118
5.10 Responses to problems faced by farmers by category 119
5.11 Response to factors in crop selection by category 119
5.12 Response to factors required to raise standard of living by category 119
5.13 Flood plain household characteristic by distance 121
5.14 Crops sold by flood plain residents 122
5.15 Agricultural intensification index based on distance 123
6.1 Characteristics of households in the uplands and flood plains 128
6.2 Crops that are grown and sold on the uplands and flood plains, in percent ... 129
vii

Table page
6.3 Characteristics of households based on distance to market 132
6.4 Agricultural intensification indices 134
6.5 Upland and flood plain responses to survey regarding problems faced
by farmers 136
6.6 Categories of problems faced by farmers in the uplands and flood plains .... 137
6.7 Responses to the importance of factors in crop selection on uplands
and flood plains 138
6.8 Factors in crop selection on uplands and flood plains 139
6.9 Factors believed to contribute to a better standard of living 140
viii

LIST OF FIGURES
Figure PaSe
1.1 Brazilian Amazon Basin 2
1.2 The major rivers of the Amazon Basin 10
1.3 Monte Alegre and surrounding municipalities 11
1.4 Villages visited in the municipality of Monte Alegre 17
3.1 Monthly fluctuation in precipitation in Monte Alegre, PÁ 38
3.2 Annual fluctuation in precipitation in Monte Alegre, PÁ 38
3.3 Cross-sectional view of the Amazon Flood plain 39
3.4 Population growth in Monte Alegre from the mid-1900s 44
3.5 Fruit stands line the streets of the cidade alto in Monte Alegre, PÁ 49
4.1 Villages visited in the uplands of Monte Alegre by distance 68
4.2 Upland farmer’s house with thatched roof surrounded by manioc 70
4.3 Upland field intercropped with beans and maize with primary forest borders .. 77
4.4 Casa da farinha surrounded by a home garden 79
5.1 Villages visited on the flood plains of Monte Alegre by distance 101
5.2 Typical house on stilts on the flood plains during the dry season 105
5.3 Cleared field on the flood plains with native fruit tree spared from the ax .... 106
5.4 Watermelons delivered from flood plains during the peak harvest 112
season in December
IX

Figure
5.5 Village on the restinga in Monte Alegre, PÁ during high water
113
x

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
DYNAMICS OF LAND USE AND AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES ON THE
UPLANDS AND ADJACENT FLOOD PLAIN IN THE LOWER AMAZON
By
Susan E. Swales
May, 1999
Chairperson: Nigel J. H. Smith
Major Department: Geography
A comparison of agriculture and land use change on the flood plains and adjacent
uplands in the Lower Amazon illustrates similarities and differences between these two
dynamic environments. Farmers in both environments are motivated by market forces
when they select crops, however, these farmers face different problems with their
agricultural practices. The upland farmers face greater problems with market access and
the value of their agricultural products while the flood plain farmers have greater
problems with environmental constraints. Agricultural intensification is underway in
both environments and is driven by market access, capital availability, and the quality of
the soils available for farming.
xi

CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
Overview
Amazonia encompasses approximately two-thirds of South America (Figure 1.1).
The Amazon Basin is a widely misunderstood environment, believed by many to be
homogenous in nature with little potential for development. It is in fact a heterogeneous
region with two major environments: the uplands and the flood plains. The Amazon is
estimated to hold one half of all species on the planet (Wilson, 1992). This great
biodiversity which has hardly been described, is in peril of being lost due to deforestation
of the uplands and degradation of the flood plain (Hecht and Cockburn, 1989; Anderson,
1990; Goulding, 1993). The Amazon is also one of the largest carbon sinks in the world
and the loss of its forests may therefore contribute to global climate change (Feamside,
1985).
Alarm over deforestation in the Amazon Basin was first sounded in the 1970s as
Brazil began its ambitious colonization projects. Colonization resulted from the need to
effect land reform, to provide a safety valve for the drought stricken and relatively
densely settled Northeast, and to place a stamp of sovereignty on the natural resources
contained in the Basin (Mahar, 1979; Smith, 1982; Schmink and Wood, 1992).

Figure 1.1 South America

3
Colonization took three forms: spontaneous, government-directed and privately
funded (Almeida, 1992). The best known and most studied government-directed
colonization scheme is along the Transamazon Highway (Moran, 1981; Smith, 1982;
Smith, 1981b; Feamside, 1986). Colonists migrated from the South and the Northeast
regions of Brazil, and their success in the colonies depended on the wealth they brought
with them, their entrepreneurial ability, and agricultural experience (Moran, 1981;
Almeida, 1992).
Knowledge about the Basin as a whole varies. We have considerable knowledge
about the Amazonian upland ecosystems and agricultural practices. Colonists in upland
areas practice slash and bum agriculture and commonly grow manioc, maize, beans and
rice. They also incorporate perennial crops such as coffee, cacao and citrus into their
farming systems. Use of the flood plains has been largely overlooked, perhaps because of
the imperative to investigate the widespread deforestation connected with the upland
environment. Many researchers have noted the potential of the flood plain ecosystem for
agricultural production and have recommended additional research be conducted
(Sternberg, 1975; Roosevelt, 1992; Goulding et al., 1996; Srivastavaet al., 1996).
The Amazon River spills over its banks each year for four to six months, flooding
forests and refreshing the lakes adjacent to the river. When the river retreats during the
dry season, flood plain residents farm the sediment-laden soils. The agricultural season
on the flood plain is short and farmers face the risk of crop loss if the river rises early. As
a result, short season crops are grown on the flood plain including tomatoes, melons,
beans and rice. Herds of cattle are brought from the uplands to graze on the flood plain

4
grasses during low water, and are then herded back to the uplands when the river rises.
The high restingas, or natural levees, along the main channel rarely flood and are often
fanned throughout the year, including perennial crops such as cocao, and citrus.
Full time residents of the flood plain practice a mixed livelihood of fishing and
agriculture. Farming supplements fishermen’s incomes during low water, unfortunately,
some areas have been over-fished. Consequently, fishing of economically important
species is prohibited in many Amazonian lakes during the breeding season in January and
February. Expanding urban areas such as Belém, Manaus and Santarém require greater
supplies of food for their residents, adding impetus to deforestation by ranchers and small
farmers on the uplands. Large ice boats ply the river system buying fish and freezing
them for long distance transport to the urban centers of Belém and Manaus (McGrath et
al., 1993). The seasonally flooded forests are being cut and devoted to pasture for cattle
during the dry season.
»
Factors driving intensification and diversification of land use need to be identified
and explained in order to provide a clearer picture of the dynamic nature of agriculture
and land use in the Amazonian environment. Traditional land use patterns are changing as
land holdings are divided and agriculture becomes more commercially oriented.
Intensification and diversification of agriculture may be one way to slow or arrest
deforestation and provide a sustainable basis to farming. If the needs of the farmer can be
met both socially (food within the house) and economically (income generation), pressure
on forests should subside. Intensification includes intercropping annual crops, using
additional labor and chemical inputs to increase productivity per unit area, and

5
agroforestry. By diversifying crop types through planting perennials, farmers reduce risks
from environmental catastrophes such as disease, pests and drought. If a farmer produces
just one crop, for instance rice, which is destroyed by pests, the farmer has lost his
season’s income. On the other hand, a farmer who is producing rice and oranges and
papaya may still gain income from the oranges and papaya when the rice is destroyed.
Diversification is protection against the loss of a single crop. Diversification also reduces
economic uncertainties such as high transport cost and low market value. Agroforestry
could therefore play an important role in diversification and intensification (Raintree and
Warner, 1986; Smith, 1996).
Research Objectives
The objectives of the research are the following:
1. To examine selected variables that affect agriculture on the flood plains and
uplands including, economic, environmental and social forces, and to define the
role of these variables in farmers’ decisions in selecting crop types and inputs into
their agroecosystems in each environment.
2. To determine if distance from the market plays a role in land use decisions and
agricultural practices.
3. To examine land use and agricultural practices on the flood plains and uplands
and to define similarities and differences between the two environments.
4. To elucidate the factors that drive agricultural intensification and the role of
agroforestry systems in intensification.

6
Hypotheses
Agricultural development and associated land use issues including the causes of
agricultural intensification have been debated through the twentieth century. Boserup
(1965) proposed that decreased land availability and increased labor availability are the
driving mechanisms of intensification. These factors ‘push’ farmers into intensifying
their agriculture in order to increase their productivity. Von Thiinen (1966) examined the
economic character of agriculture and the relation of the distance to market in agricultural
development. The market is the ‘pull’ factor that leads farmers to intensify their
agriculture. As economic agents, farmers try to maximize their outputs in relation to their
inputs, and gain the greatest benefits in the most sound economic manner.
This study combines both the ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors into one theoretical
framework. Additionally, this study includes a third factor, the biophysical environment,
which has a role in agricultural intensification. Farmers may be constrained in their
ability to intensify because of the nature of their natural resource base and capital
availability. Small farmers with little income and nutrient poor soils will not be able
intensify their agriculture.
Intensification in the Amazon Basin may discourage farmers from continuing to
clear forests for new agricultural land, thereby reducing the deforestation rate. We need
to understand the push and pull factors that contribute to intensification to formulate
government policies and other programs that encourage intensification rather than
extensification. Therefore, the hypothesis to be tested in this study is:

7
Intensification will be a function of land use intensity, market access, labor
availability, and environmental setting.
Intensification is the dependent variable in the research and is defined as 1)
chemical use, 2) inter-cropping, 3) agroforestry, 4) mechanization, and 5) land use
intensity. Land use intensity is defined as the area of land under agricultural production
divided by the amount of land available to an individual farmer for use that is of adequate
agricultural quality for the crops selected by the farmer. Market access is defined as the
1) ability to get to market, 2) adequate return or profitability for crops, 3) time to get to
market, and 4) mode and cost of transportation. Labor availability is defined as the
amount of labor available to the farm family regardless of the source of labor.
Methodology
To test this hypothesis, this research compares the importance of the dependent
variables in explaining agricultural intensification in two adjacent environments. It
examines whether the same process of intensification and the same relationships of
intensification to distance to markets, land and labor availability occur in both
environments. Field work was conducted in Monte Alegre, Brazil, from 1995 through
1998 (Figures 1.2 and 1.3), and data were gathered from both upland and flood plain
farmers.
Three survey instruments were developed and used in interviews with small
farmers. The first instrument was used to obtain demographic data on each household, the

8
second to obtain data on the types of crops each farmer plants, and the third instrument
was designed to obtain information regarding factors influencing agricultural practices
and land use. The survey instruments were pilot tested and revised in the municipality of
Monte Alegre in June 1996. The instruments are included in Appendix A. The
instruments were submitted to the University of Florida Institutional Review Board
(UFERB) and were approved as posing minimal risk to the human subject participants on
November 21, 1996 (#96.520), and renewed in 1997 (Appendix B).
Formal interviews were conducted at the farm household with individual farmers.
Informal discussions were held with groups of farmers in six communities to obtain
farmers’ impressions regarding the government programs available to them and the
limitations they face. Additionally, observational visits were made to farmers’ fields to
corroborate the farmers’ responses to the survey questions. The following information
was included in the surveys: area in production, types of crops in each field, combinations
of crops planted, farmers’ perception or knowledge of soil type, agroforestry system
components, tenure, title, laborers working in the fields, and market information. In
addition to interviews at the household, interviews were held with farmers at meetings
sponsored by the Federal extension agency EMATER (Empresa de Assisténcia Ténica e
Extensáo Rural). Only the interviews regarding factors influencing agricultural practices
were conducted at these meetings.
The instrument regarding factors influencing agricultural practices has three parts.
The first part identifies problems faced by farmers, the second examines the factors in
farmers’ crop selection, and the third identifies factors that would improve their standard

9
of living. The questions in this instrument were categorized into three types of driving
factors: environmental (E), social (S), and economic (C). For example, the question
posed “How much of a problem is there with pests?” is categorized as an environmental
factor. The question posed “How much of a problem is there with disease/illness in your
family?” is categorized as a social factor. Farmers were asked to rank each problem as
never a problem, sometimes a problem, usually a problem, or always a problem. For
analysis, the survey information was converted from the four point scale into a three point
scale of low, medium and high due to farmers’ responses. Farmers did not distinguish
between “usually a problem” and “always a problem”. The converted categories are low
is never a problem, medium is sometimes a problem, and high is usually or always a
problem.
Farmers were also asked if certain factors were important in their decisions when
they selected the types of crops they grew. This part of the survey included questions that
were categorized into two groups, environmental (E) and economic (C). For example,
the question “How important is the quality of seeds?” is an environmental factor. The
question “How important is it that you use the produce in the home?” is an economic
factor.
Specific questions were included in the instrument on demographics and
agricultural practices to elicit information regarding the dependent and each of the
independent variables (Stoddard, 1982; Bernard, 1994). These questions permit the
formulation of conclusions regarding the degree to which each of the independent

Figure 1.2 The major rivers of the Amazon Basin
o

11
Figure 1.3 Monte Alegre and surrounding municipalities

12
variables is associated with intensification of agricultural production. An index of
agricultural intensification was developed to assess the degree of intensification. A
numerical value was determined from the interview data for each independent variable.
Land use intensity, for example, is calculated by dividing the area in agricultural
production by the area of land available for agriculture for each farmer. For other
variables where the responses were ‘yes’ or ‘no’ such as employment off the farm, an
additional index value was used. The intensification index is determined by adding the
values of the following independent variables and dividing by the number of variables
included to give a number less than one.
1. Labor: The number of people working in the fields divided by the number
of people in the household provides a percent value used in the
calculation. A value of more than one indicates that hired labor is being
used.
2. Duration of Stay: The number of years a farmer has lived on the same
piece of land. These were divided into classes and assigned an index
number. The classes are: 0-5 years = 0.1
6-10 years = 0.3
11-20 years = 0.5
Over 20 years = 0.8
3. Distance to market: Distance to market is expressed in hours. These were
divided into classes and assigned an index value. The classes are:
0-2 hours = 0.8
2.1 - 3.9 hours = 0.5
4 hours or greater = 0.1
4. Chemical use: The index value assigned to a positive response in the use
of chemical inputs is 0.8.
5. Sale of agricultural produce: The index value assigned to a positive
response on the sale of agricultural products is 0.5.

13
6. Percent of agricultural produce used outside the house: The percent of
produce sold is used as the value.
7. Land use intensity: Land use intensity is determined by dividing the
amount of land under cultivation by the amount of land owned by the
individual.
8. Work outside of agriculture: The index value assigned for a household
member with employment off the farm is 0.3.
9. Crop diversity: The index values are based upon the number of different
crops cultivated on the farm: 0 - 5 crops = 0.1
6-10 crops = 0.3
11-15 crops = 0.4
16-20 crops = 0.5
Over 20 crops = 0.8
The resulting index value is an indicator of agricultural intensification. The
index is a qualitative based on quantitative data. This generalized model is used to
explore the factors believed to contribute to agricultural intensification because data
regarding inputs and out puts into these agricultural systems is difficult if not impossible
to obtain. Subjective index values are assigned to variables such as whether or not a
farmer uses chemicals because a truly quantitative information is difficult to impossible
to obtain. An accurate quantitative value for chemical use would have to based on the
toxicity level of the chemical used and the quantity of each of the various constituents
used. The index for crop diversity is based on the number of species present on the farm
but does not account for the density of each species, nor does it account for the
management needs of the various crops.
The agricultural intensification indices are first analyzed by region and then by
distance from the market. Finally, a comparison of the uplands and flood plains is

14
performed to determine similarities and differences between the two regions.
In the 1995 census of Monte Alegre, the total population of the municipality is
recorded as 65,802 individuals and 15,759 households: 10,618 residents are urban and
the remaining 5,360 are rural. Populated rural areas are primarily used for agriculture and
ranching. The uplands have 4,338 households and the flood plains 1,022. These two
values are the respective population sizes for the two subregions. Many of the rural
villages have central business districts and some residents engage in non-agricultural
pursuits such as teaching, health care, and government employees including postal and
health workers. Twenty-five percent is believed to be a reasonable percentage of
households not engaged in agricultural production. Therefore, the total population sizes
were reduced by 25% to reflect the non-farm households within each subregion. The
resulting agricultural populations were 3,254 for the uplands and 752 for the flood plain.
A total of 70 farmers were interviewed, 37 on the uplands and 33 on the flood plains.
Sample sizes were selected to achieve a 95% accuracy level and a 95% confidence level
for statistical analysis (Portier, 1983). In the field it was determined that some villages
were not engaged in crop production (i.e., cattle only) and they were eliminated as
potential respondents.
Sampling of clusters of individuals was performed to gain representative samples
from the various communities based upon distance and time involved in transportation
from the city of Monte Alegre (Hessler, 1992). Census data were used to determine
sample size in each cluster (Table 1.1, and 1.2). The number of households surveyed in
each village is calculated by taking the approximate proportion of households in each

15
cluster to the total number of households available in the population. A map of the
communities sampled is presented in Figure 1.4. Time involved in transport to the city is
the best indicator of distance since the method of transport differs for individuals. Some
flood plain residents travel to the city in johnny boats with ten-horsepower motors while
others have large boats with fifty-horsepower motors. Some upland residents own their
own vehicles while others use the local bus transport. Additionally, during the rainy
season the roads become difficult to travel and time spent in transport is increased.
Topographic maps produced by the Brazilian government were used to locate the
villages. However, the maps contained villages that were not in the government census
data, and the census data contained information for villages that did not appear on the
maps.
Distance and time traveled are categorized in the following manner: close sites are
within an hour of the city, medium sites are between two and three hours of the city, and
far sites are more than three hours from the city. The selection of the villages was based
on distance, the community and farmer’s willingness to participate in the survey, and the
availability of transport to the communities.
Table 1.1 Villages on the flood plains with number of households sampled
Close
Medium
Far
Total Households
186
43
74
Villages and number of houses
Parido 130
Curierus 43
Piapo 24
Sapucaia 56
Santa Rita 50
Number of households sampled
18
10
5

16
Table 1.2 Villages on the Uplanc
s with number of households sampled
Close
Medium
Far
Total households
299
292
60
Villages and number of
houses
Terra Preta 36
Li mao 86
Sector 15-30
Tres Bocas 36
Mulata 132
Sector 13-30
Jusaratuia 30
Number of households
sampled
16
11
9
Sampling Procedures
Selection of households to be surveyed was based on spatial features of the
village. Most villages are built in a straight line with even spacing between houses. On
the flood plain, the space between houses is a few meters, while on the uplands the
distance maybe a few kilometers. Due to the distance between houses on the uplands,
and the practicality of surveying, the surveys were conducted in households located
within five kilometers of a central point of the village. On the flood plain, a systematic
sampling procedure with a randomly determined starting point was used. A number
between one and five was picked before the village was entered. This number was used
to determine the spacing between the houses selected; for instance, if three was picked
then the third house from the center of the village was the first house to be interviewed,
after that each third house was selected. If the head of the household was not home or
unwilling to participate, the house directly to east was selected as a replacement
(Romesburg, 1990; Hessler, 1992).

Jusaratuiq.
Monte
Alegre
Figure 1.4 Villages visited in the municipality of Monte Alegre
umoo
Mulata
Kilometers
Seasonal flood
plains

18
Analysis of the Surveys
The surveys are analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. Statistical analysis
of the data includes the Student’s t test of significance to determine if there are
differences between means in selected variables. Chi-square tests are performed to
determine if the responses to ranked questions occurred significantly within groups. Chi-
square indicates, for example, if the environmental factors are being considered by
farmers when they select their crops. Statistical analyses are used to help formulate a
general qualitative model of intensification which explores the importance of the nine
independent variables selected for study in explaining intensification. It also helps to
examine their relative importance across different biophysical settings.
The following formulas are used in this study:
Student’s t-test: t =x- u
s
V n
Chi-square test: = (Oi-Ej)2
°i
To obtain the 0¡ in the chi-square, responses were totaled into the categories of
environmental, social, and economic in the ranges of low, medium, and high. The E, was
calculated by
E¡ = Total Row * Total Column
Total Column

19
Significant %2 was determined by finding the degrees of freedom (R-1)(C-1) for
each chi-square test, then at a = 95%, the significant x2 number was found in chi-square
tables (Earickson and Harlin, 1994). For 3x3 tables, df = 4, so %2 at (df 4, 0.95) is 9.49;
and the 2 x 2 table, %2 at (df 2, 0.95) is 5.99.
Chi-square tests were performed on the three separate questions posed in the
survey and then combined for an examination of total responses:
1. What are the greatest problems faced by the farmers?
2. What factors are most important in a farmer’s selection of crops?
3. What goods or services would be most desirable to raise the standard of living.
Presentation of the Research
The results of the research are presented in the following five chapters, and the
concluding chapter summarizes the contribution of this work to theory and application.

CHAPTER 2
PERSPECTIVES ON THE DRIVING FORCES OF AGRICULTURAL
INTENSIFICATION, LAND USE PATTERNS, AND AGRICULTURAL DYNAMICS
This study of land use dynamics seeks to identify the driving forces behind
agricultural intensification. Agricultural intensification is a result of many complex
factors including distance and accessability to market, population pressures, farmer risk
management strategies, and government policies. Generally recognized constraints to
intensification are lack of labor, inadequate infrastructure, low profit margins, and the
biophysical setting (Eden, 1990). Land use patterns, crop selection, rates of deforestation,
and the associated socioeconomic considerations of markets and food security also affect
agricultural intensification and agricultural change. In order to fully explore the issue of
agricultural intensification, it is necessary to review the information available on the
various driving forces and theories behind land use change and agricultural dynamics.
Land Use Patterns and Agricultural Intensification of Distance and Accessibility to
Market
Variables such as distance to market, labor availability, and land availability play
a role in why farmers select particular crops. Von Thtinen (1966) developed a theory
20

21
regarding the zonation of agriculture and the placement of fields in relation to the home
and market (Ilbery, 1986; Tarrant, 1974). Von Thiinen studied his farm to determine
‘ideal cropping’ patterns, and found that transport and market values contributed to a
zonation of agricultural patterns based upon distance from the market because
transportation to the market contributes to the cost of the agricultural product.
Additionally, the ability of the farmer to get crops to market in saleable condition will
directly effect the types of crops grown. A pull is exerted by the nearest market and
‘nodes’ develop in land use patterns. Farmers living the greatest distance from the market
with poor transportation will develop very different agroecosystems than those who are
closer to markets with frequent transportation opportunities (Von Thiinen, 1966).
Extensive land use systems prevail at greater distances from the market, while more
intensive systems are located closer to market. Additionally, there is a tendency of
fanners located close to markets to grow more valuable and highly perishable agricultural
products, such as fruits and vegetables. However, each crop has its own growth
requirements, and diets are culturally dictated, both directly affect the types of crops
produced in an area. Therefore, specific cropping patterns cannot be predicted; even
though land use patterns based upon distance from the market can be predicted from Von
Thiinen’s theory.
Classic Von Thiinenian zonation of crops based upon distance to market have
been identified throughout the world. In England, highly perishable crops such as lettuce,
celery, and carrots, are grown intensively on small plots within an hour of the market.
Less intensive agricultural systems are located further from the market which include the

22
less perishable and bulkier products such as potatoes and turnips (Chisholm, 1970).
Japanese farmers in Tome Agu, Brazil, are located close to the urban markets of Belém
and produce perishable vegetables, fruits and chickens. Japanese farmers located further
away from Belém produce low bulk products that can withstand rough road transport
such as black pepper, palm oil and rubber (Uhl and Subler, 1988; Subler and Uhl, 1990).
In the Amazon Basin, flood plain farmers near major urban centers produce crops of high
value in an intensive manner (Denevan, 1984; Padoch et al., 1985; Hiraoka, 1986;
Brondizio et al., 1994; Toniolo and Uhl, 1995). The fruit of the agai palm is a delicacy in
Brazil, but is highly perishable, bulky, and must be transported to market quickly. A
productive industry of agai fruit has arisen in the Amazonian estuary close to Belém and
Macapá. The industry thrives due to easy access to those cities and the high value of the
crop (Brondizio et al., 1994). Flood plain farmers near Iquitos, Peru, produce high value
fruits and vegetables for that urban market (Hiraoka, 1986). Access to the urban center
directly affected the crops that farmers incorporate into their agroecosystems (Hiraoka,
1986). The market therefore appears to play a major role in the choice of crops grown on
the flood plains of the Amazon Basin (Hammond et al., 1995).
Remote areas are not cut off from the national or international economy and
political systems (Turner and Brush, 1987). Links with the outside world have strong
influences on these farmers and impel agricultural change. The decision-making model
on the frontier where land is abundant and labor scarce is much different from areas that
have been inhabited for many years and therefore, population pressure does not explain
destructive land use patterns on the frontier. In the land-abundant frontier, such as that

23
found in the Amazon Basin, it is more rational to continue clearing new lands than to
intensify labor investments on already degraded land areas. Therefore degradation to the
natural resource base is inevitable (Pinchón, 1996).
More and better roads attract more colonists. Roads increase land values leading
colonists to sell their land and move. Consequently, the presence of a larger population
justifies the construction of more roads. Better transportation makes agriculture and
ranching more profitable and leads colonists to clear more land. Consequently, a positive
feedback process is at work where roads are tied with new arrivals which leads to greater
deforestation. There is also a decline in labor input and productivity with distance since
labor requirements for the same crop varies from place to place (Chisholm, 1970). The
greater the amount of land cleared per farm, the lower the productivity per unit of land
area per day’s work. The high labor productivity of cattle is critically important to the
labor-scarce, land abundant household economy in the Amazon. The market alone will
not produce land saving technological innovations or intensification in these situations
(Pinchón, 1996).
Access to markets including improved roads and cheaper transportation can
therefore induce intensification. As market access improves, farmers have an incentive to
increase the area under cultivation for cash production. Increases in cash availability
provide a means to further intensify input uses. In West Africa, agricultural
intensification and high yields are due to good road systems, extension services, and
technological change (Smith et al., 1994). In Madagascar, agricultural intensification is
driven by demographic growth, market incentives, and a strong social structure (Kull,

24
1998). Market-driven intensification is believed to facilitate the adoption of land saving
inputs more strongly than the population-driven intensification (Binswanger, 1987).
Agricultural Intensification as a Result of Population Pressures
Population growth is one driving force behind agricultural intensification which
raises agricultural production levels sufficiently to support a growing population
(Boserup, 1965). Extensive land use precedes intensive land use and any change in land
use may be attributable to increased population pressures with some modification to the
agricultural system. Population pressure cause fallows to be shortened with a transition
into a multi-cropping system (Boserup, 1965). Additionally, the output per man hour
increases with little or no capital investment resulting in more intensive land use systems.
A growing population can increase food supplies through intensification where output per
capita is maintained but output per area is increased (Boserup, 1965).
Many studies have been conducted using the Boserupian approach to agricultural
intensification (e.g., Tarrant, 1974; Raintree and Warner, 1985; Ilbery, 1986; Lele and
Stone, 1989; Goldman, 1993). If populations move with ease, or change professions
easily, the size of a farm becomes a consequence of the physical area available and the
amount of area a farmer is able to keep in production. However, if populations cannot
move easily, the increased population pressure creates pressure to divide holdings into
smaller parcels and generates intensification (Chisholm, 1970). In New Guinea, the
widest range of agricultural technology is located in the densely populated areas which

25
have the greatest variety of terrain (Brookfield, 1962). Brookfield (1962) also concluded
that population density was driving intensification rather than the physical setting. In
addition to population growth other factors are believed to be key variables in agricultural
intensification and change including market access, technology, and farmer innovation.
Intensive and extensive farming can occur in the same farming systems among the
same farmers. The Iraqw of Tanzania practiced a traditional system of terracing and
intensive agriculture that closely followed Boserup’s model. After European colonization
the Iraqw abandoned their terraces and adopted more extensive systems even though
population density remained high. This was a result of complex factors including
resources becoming available outside of the Iraqw’s traditional homeland and individual
decisions made by farmers (Snyder, 1996). Hillside agriculture was abandoned because
of the perception that the soils were of low fertility, and the Iraqw now farm primarily
bottom land. However, farmers are reforesting hillsides due to government programs and
the desire to use less labor on remaining hillside agriculture (Snyder, 1996).
Intensification of vegetable gardening in the Phillippines was driven by dramatic
population growth and an emphasis on gardening rather than extensive agricultural
systems. This intensification resulted in a two and threefold increase in labor invested per
unit of land over a seventeen-year period from 1971 to 1988. Returns to gardening labor
were higher in 1988 than 1971 because of increased market opportunities, improved
efficiency in production, and technological change. Market demand, production
subsidies, and technological changes are the central variables to intensification in this
system (Eder, 1991).

26
Agricultural Intensification and Farmer Risk Management Strategies
Intensification is also believed to be based on the size and composition of the
household and upon individual household behavior (Chayanov, 1966; Turner and Brush,
1987; Ali, 1998). The relation of the ratio between consumers and producers within the
household will increase to meet the needs of the house, even if marginal returns decrease
(Boserup, 1965; Chayanov, 1966).
Other things being equal, small farms will be more intensive. Achieving a
standard of living which the individual farmer believes is reasonable is more important
than obtaining maximum income (Chisholm, 1970; Netting, 1992). Once this standard of
living is attained, then leisure time becomes available. The smaller the farm the greater
must be the net income per hectare to achieve the minimum lifestyle. Therefore, there is
then a strong tendency for farmers with small holdings to apply more labor and inputs to
each hectare than on large farms (Chisholm, 1970). Conservation practices are difficult
to justify on small farms except on very productive land which is not already degraded
but is threatened with a large reduction in capability. In the end, the farm family is the
decision making unit, but parameters of choice may be controlled by decision of others
such as the government through fixed prices (Blaikie and Brookfield, 1987).
Farmers resist changes in their systems even when they have information; they
tend to rely on first hand experiences (Turner and Brush, 1987). Traditional farming
systems should not be viewed as purely ecological in nature. The socioeconomic
situation in which they develop is critical and traditional systems will be abandoned if the

27
socioeconomic situation in which they developed changes (Wilken, 1987). Traditional
farmers act like their industrial counterparts; they identify goals, minimize costs and
maximize gains (Wilken, 1987).
Profit maximization and risk aversion behavior are practiced by all farmers.
Farmers are ‘economic agents’ and changes in the market create changes in agricultural
systems. Agricultural systems that evolve at any locale are products of the economic rent
(the difference in production of the same crop on a different piece of land). Economic
rent will decrease with distance to the market and transport costs (Von Thiinen, 1966;
Turner and Brush, 1987). Thus creating rings of land use around the market with the
least intensive land use furthest away, just as Von Thiinen suggests. Farmers are thought
to be efficient in response to the markets. Farmers trade off risks versus profits and hence
maximize utility, not profit, and display ‘proficient’ behavior (Turner and Brush, 1987).
Farmers tend to put the least effort and costs into intensification and choose systems
which use the least effort and least cost to meet their goals. Peasants or small traditional
farmers are risk takers and profit maximizers who respond efficiently to farm and market
innovations (Turner and Brush, 1987). They combine their consumption goals with their
commodity goals. Farming systems are a mix of purposes rather than the ideal
consumption system or commodity production system. Intensification in turn is a
response to interactions between demand and the environmental context (Turner and
Brush, 1987). Over time, farmer objectives and resources change, necessitating changes
to farming strategies in response to the changing socioeconomic conditions (Wilken,
1987; Arnold and Dewees, 1995).

28
Fanners have a survival algorithm, those who lack in resources suffer greater risks
and are more inclined to behave in risk averse manners than wealthier farmers. Economic
constraints caused by uncertainty and risk, compounded by onerous relations of
production, provide the impetus for the farmer to develop a farming system that will
provide both subsistence and commodity-based products (Blaikie and Brookfield, 1987).
The milpa system in Mexico meets subsistence needs, generates income, and builds
equity in long term security. Even if production is generally low, the system persists
because it gives each household partial control over food security. Farmers have the
ability to participate in new markets and improved infrastructure without sacrificing
control over their own resources or threatening the stability of the family economy. Small
animals are important in these systems because they convert damaged or surplus products
into flexible household assets (Beckerman, 1987; Ewell and Sands, 1987). Also
important in these systems is the use of trees in agroforestry systems.
Agroforestry systems must be reviewed in the overall strategy a farmer develops
for food security, social security, income generation, and risk management. Agroforestry
is not an efficient way to alleviate poverty because farmers need year round production,
and landlessness will not allow the production of trees.
Reduction in labor input is often accomplished through production of perennial
crops. Income per man hour may increase and provide a diversified agroecosystem that
affords protection from risks of disease and fluctuating market prices (Raintree and
Warner, 1986; Nair, 1993; Smith, 1996). The benefits from agroforestry include
decreases in soil loss and erosion, increases in biodiversity, lowered risk of losses from

29
pests and diseases, production of multiple crops that have a high market value, and
increased use of local indigenous knowledge (Hecht, 1982; Nair, 1993). Strong
ecological reasons for the inclusion of the perennials include soil protection and
enhancement and the ability of some tree species to grow on poor soils (Alvim, 1982).
Agroforestry systems may be less environmentally degrading than monocropping of
annual plants and provide a pathway to sustainable agriculture (Nair, 1993; Smith, 1996).
Farmers plant trees for three main reasons: soil maintenance and fertility
management; the use of products within the house; and for economic products. Many
farmers are careful to maintain the roots of trees that they cut during slash and bum
activities enabling regeneration of those trees during fallow. Fruits from protected and
planted trees and other forest products provide variety in the diet and vitamins, calories,
and minerals that may otherwise be lacking. Tree products supplement other resources
and income flows (Arnold and Dewees, 1995). With the increase in government
regulation of forests, farmers take precautionary steps in protecting trees on their property
because the traditional system of forest resource management breaks down (Arnold and
Dewees, 1995). In Kenya, farmers increased tree planting to obtain critical goods which
would otherwise be bought with scarce cash, to diversify sources of cash income, and to
protect food security in face of declining yields (Arnold and Dewees, 1995). Fruits are
especially important in food security for children and agroforestry systems provide the
conditions to alleviate food shortages during pre-harvest periods.
Diverse home garden systems emerge as agricultural intensification and tree
management increases (Arnold and Dewees, 1995). Home gardens are used heavily

30
during the harvest season for snacks and are designed for varying agricultural cycles.
Work on the home garden system can be done during the period of low annual labor
demand in the agricultural cycle (Arnold and Dewees, 1995).
Agroforestry systems in the Amazon have been found to be highly diverse
(Denevan, 1984; Padoch et al., 1985; Hiraoka, 1986; Subler and Uhl, 1990; Smith et al.,
1995). Agroforestry systems in Tamshiyacu, Peru, have allowed farmers to increase
income and to earn it from a variety of resources that are available during the different
stages of the agroforestry system (Padoch et al., 1985). Intensification of perennial crops
is more lucrative than cattle ranching or shifting cultivation in Eastern Pará (Toniolo and
Uhl 1995). However, there are some limitations to perennially based systems including,
the limited economic value of some trees, the amount of time between planting and
harvest, loss of trees to drought or pests, and potential competition with other crops
(Hecht, 1982; Alvim, 1982; Sheer, 1995). The best suited perennial crops for production
in the Amazon include rubber (Hevea brasiliensis), cacao (Theobroma cacao), oil palm
{Elaeis guineeniss), and sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum) (Alvim, 1982). Other
intensive crops such as black pepper (Piper nigrum) and papaya (Carica papaya) have
great potential. New or underdeveloped crops include guaraña, annatto (Bixa orrellana),
peach palm (Bactris gasipaes), and an array of other palms for palm heart production
(Alvim, 1982).

31
Agricultural Intensification and Government Policies
Governments promote many agricultural programs. Programs and policies change
over time as a result of new information and technology and changing socioeconomic
systems and conditions. Some policies and programs promote intensification of
agriculture while others promote extensive land use.
Deforestation in the Amazon was limited due to the small population pressure and
remoteness of the region until the 1975. Between 1975 and 1987, the deforestation rate
increased exponentially to a rate of 12,500,000 hectares in 1980 (Moran, 1993). The
primary reason was Brazil’s financial incentives for cattle pasture and the government’s
colonization schemes. Deforestation rates are now declining as a result of Brazil’s
hyperinflation in the 1980s and the revocation of subsidies for pasture.
Cattle ranching is an Iberian cultural tradition and has been transferred to the
Brazilian culture at large (Moran, 1993). Subsidies have played a great role in the
conversion of forest to pasture. Even more important is the role that cattle play in the
regional economy. Benefits of cattle to both large and small ranchers include the
usefulness of the animals as a hedge against inflation, biological flexibility, the ability of
livestock to occupy large areas with little labor, and the low economic risk associated
with producing animals and pasture. All these combine to produce explosive expansion
of a land use that produces minimal calories, protein, and direct monetary returns but
maximum environmental degradation (Hecht, 1989). Nonetheless, cattle are an important
factor in farmers’ strategies for self reliance. Small farmers keep cattle for a number of

32
reasons. Cattle reduce risks from agriculture and require little labor and supplement
household food with milk and calves. They generate income in bad times, extend the life
of a cleared area, protect savings, serve as collateral for credit, and assure occupation
rights. Furthermore, cattle can transport themselves to market (Hecht, 1989).
Policies and programs on reforestation and the use of agroforestry are taking the
place of extensive land use policies. In the 1970s, policies regarding agroforestry focused
on environmental reclamation and protection which may not have been helpful to
individual farmers (Arnold and Dewees, 1995). Agroforestry systems have been
promoted through formal and informal means in the Amazon basin. Researchers have
noted their importance in generating income, enriching local peoples diet, and protecting
the soil. However, government programs, such as the one in the municipality of Monte
Alegre, are meeting with successes and failures. Failures stem in part from the lack of an
infrastructure and the low value of some perennial crops in relation to transportation
costs.
Serráo and Homma (1993) have reviewed various land use systems in the
Brazilian Amazon and have classified them as sustainable or not, based on parameters
that include technology, social acceptance, environmental soundness and economic
viability. They state that sustainable agriculture development in the Amazon depends
upon its permanence in an area, increased land and labor productivity, all of which in turn
reduce the pressure for more deforestation (Anderson, 1990; Serráo and Homma, 1993).
They further state that more than enough land has been deforested in the Amazon to meet
current population demands for at least the next decade. Additionally, only 50 percent of

33
the already deforested land and other less fragile ecosystems such as savannahs and flood
plains would need to be under agricultural production to attain this goal (Serráo and
Homma, 1993). Serráo and Homma (1993) make clear that in order for agriculture to be
sustainable in the Amazon, intensification must take place.
Theoretical Implications of Agricultural Intensification on the Uplands and Flood Plains
This study compares the relationships between land, labor, and markets, in the
upland and flood plain environments to determine if there are different outcomes for
otherwise similar land, labor, and market combinations. This study is not intended to
define or prove or disprove any claims to sustainability. However, the study may
illuminate differences in intensification and the role of markets in the two regions and
provide information for future development potential in each region. Land use patterns as
posited by Von Thiinen are expected due to the nature and state of transportation and
markets in the Amazon. Additionally, farmers using traditional agricultural practices are
expected to base their decisions on a strategy that allows them to achieve their goals of
subsistence production, savings, and income generation.

CHAPTER 3
BIOPHYSICAL AND SOCIOECONOMIC SETTING
Amazonia
The Amazon Basin covers approximately two-thirds of South America, with a
total surface area of 7.18 million square kilometers (Caviedes and Knapp, 1995). The
river itself is 6,400 kilometers long and contains more fresh water than any other river
system in the world. The basin has a complex geological and geomorphological history
that has formed the two distinct environments of concern to this study: the floodplains
and uplands. In the Cretaceous period, the Amazon River flowed west into the Pacific
Ocean; with the rise of the Andes Mountain, the Amazon began flowing east into the
Atlantic Ocean. The change in flow of the river impacted the Amazonian environment
greatly and allowed the Amazon River to cut through the Brazilian and Guiana granitic
shields (Smith, 1981; Caviedes and Knapp, 1995; Goulding et al., 1996). These shields
are some of the oldest existing land formations and are remnants of the earlier continent
Gondwana (Caviedes and Knapp, 1995). Many soils formed from these shields are
highly weathered and lack nutrients necessary for agricultural crops. However, additional
sediments were laid down in the Amazon basin through the Tertiary and Quaternary
periods forming some upland areas with relatively fertile soils (Caviedes and Knapp,
34

35
1995). The Amazon Basin is not characterized by a dramatic rise in elevation. Manaus,
which is four thousand kilometers upstream from the Atlantic Ocean is only 150 to 180
feet above sea level (Goulding et al., 1996).
The primary source of the Amazon River is in the high Andes, but it also receives
inputs from two other watersheds: one from the Brazilian Shield and the other from the
Guiana Shield (Caviedes and Knapp, 1995). Furthermore, the Amazon River system
contains three types of rivers: white, black and clear water. The variety of water types has
profound effects on the ecosystems and diversity of life within the Basin (Sioli, 1967;
Smith, 1981; Goulding et al., 1996). White water rivers, the Amazon being the largest,
are rich in sediments received from the Andes and are the most biologically productive
due to their high nutrient load (Caviedes and Knapp, 1995; Smith, 1996). Black water
rivers such as the Negro, receive water from areas with dense forest cover and soils
lacking in organic matter. The black color of the rivers results from the leaching of
tannic acid from leaves that fall from the canopy overhead. Black water rivers are the
least productive of all of the Amazonian rivers due to their lack of nutrients and low pH
(Caviedes and Knapp, 1995; Smith, 1996). Finally, clear water rivers drain lands on the
Brazilian and Guiana shields. They are vibrant blue in color and are nutrient poor
because the soils covering the shields are old and highly weathered (Caviedes and Knapp,
1995; Smith, 1996) (Figure 1.2).
The Amazon Basin lies wholly within the tropics and is close to the
equator along its stretch. This tropical environment is marked by constant temperatures

36
throughout the year, averaging between 26 and 28° C. The greatest variation in
temperature exists between the daily highs and lows that fluctuate between 5 and 10° C.
Precipitation in the Basin varies between 1000 and 3000 millimeters per year.
Rain forests receive the highest amount of precipitation while the savannahs the least.
The rainy season varies throughout the basin with the Eastern region receiving the most
evenly distributed rain fall, while the middle and lower Amazon experience distinct dry
seasons from August to January (Salati, 1985; Goulding et al., 1996). Precipitation data
from the research area in Monte Alegre, Pará, show a distinct dry season from August
through November (Figure 3.1). Additionally precipitation fluctuates yearly (Figure 3.2).
Most of the rivers in the Amazon Basin are seasonally inundated. During the
flood stage they overflow their banks and penetrate into the forests and streams that flank
them. These flood plains are estimated to encompass 25,000 square kilometers in area,
but occur primarily on the Amazon River itself (Smith, 1981). The river floods from four
to six months depending on the location in the Basin. The northern tributaries begin to
rise in March or April and subside in September, while the southern tributaries rise in
November and subside in April (Goulding et al., 1996).
When the Amazon river spills out of the main channel, it floods low lying areas
creating the look of an ocean in some places. The flood plains can reach a width of 50
kilometers (Smith, 1981). The main channel has natural levees known as restingas
formed from sediment deposition and are the highest points on the várzea or flood plain.
Consequently, these areas are the most densely populated on the flood plain. Behind the
slope of the restingas is often a lake, or series of swales that fill during flood stage

37
(Smith, 1981; Caviedes and Knapp, 1996). Side arms of the main channel, or paranás,
may stay filled with water during the year, but often dry and become clogged with aquatic
vegetation. The flood plain lakes are refreshed with the Amazon’s water each flood
season and many lakes may be interconnected during the high water to form one large
lake (Smith, 1981) (Figure 3.3). The main river channels may also have many islands
exposed during low water, creating a maze between the side and main channels
(Goulding et al., 1996).
Much of the area adjacent to the Amazon’s main river channel is forested and
becomes seasonally inundated, creating flooded forests which are highly diverse and are
highly productive. Many trees must spend the first years of their lives totally submerged
in the flood waters for periods up to six months (Goulding, et al., 1996). These trees are
adapted to the seasonal flooding, but cannot tolerate permanent waterlogging and require
a period of time without water. Fish depend on these flooded forests for food, shelter,
and mating sites and they are essential in maintaining the Amazonian fisheries (Goulding
etal., 1996).
In addition to the flooded forests, the flood plains have floating meadows made
of grasses, sedges and broad-leaved plants. These meadows may be tied to the shore by
roots or may be free floating. They thrive in areas of open sunlight and wind-protected
parts of lakes and tributaries. Meadows serve as shelters for a great variety of
invertebrates and fish fry which feed on invertebrates (Goulding, et al., 1996). These
floating meadows may also be life rafts that carry the first tree seeds to newly exposed

300
250
W 200
03
0
£ 150
^ 100
50
0
Figure 3.1 Monthly fluctuation in precipitation in Monte Alegre, PA
JFMAMJJASONDJ
Months
Figure 3.2 Annual fluctuation in precipitation in Monte Alegre, PA

39
Figure 3.3 Cross-sectional view of the Amazon Flood plain

40
islands along the river channel. Adjoining the flood plains are the uplands, which are a
mosaic of soils and ecosystems. The uplands have been called “Green Hell,” and have
often been represented as a vast, flat, tropical rainforest underlain by poor soils unable to
support human populations (Carmargo, 1958; Meggars, 1995). The contrary is true. The
uplands are a patchwork of various vegetation types reflecting varying environmental and
social conditions (Moran, 1995). Research has revealed that the Basin contains some
very fertile Alfisols and Mollisols with a high potential for agricultural land use (Moran,
1995). However, very little is known about the extent of these soils and it was not until
Brazilian colonization began that more in depth information was obtained on the upland
environment.
Monte Alegre. Pará
Both dynamic environments are present in the municipality of Monte Alegre
(Figure 1.4). The municipality lies 2° north of the equator at 54° west longitude, and is
located in the Lower Amazon region. Monte Alegre contains a diverse mix of savannah
and dry forests, with extensive flood plains. The municipality covers roughly 26,000
square kilometers of upland area. Of this, 40% is wooded (10,400 km2), 40% is in
pasture and agriculture (10,400 km2), and the remaining 20% (5200 km2) is characterized
by secondary growth. The flood plains cover an additional 5,000 km2 (M. Ishiguro, pers.
com.). The municipality of Monte Alegre is ideal for this study because of its diverse
environment and the inclusion of extensive flood plains and upland areas.

41
The municipality was of interest to the European explorers in the mid-1800's,
being visited by Wallace and noticed by Hartt in 1874 (Hartt, 1874; Wallace, 1889). The
hills of Monte Alegre drew particular interest because the first 300 miles of ascent of the
Amazon River are monotonous, with little rise in elevation and the vegetation encloses
the banks of the river (Hartt, 1874). At Monte Alegre, these early explorers found greater
relief and interest in the table top mountains of Piatúna and Ereré. Hartt (1874)
conducted a survey of the mountains to determine their origin and deduced that the hills
originated in the Tertiary period arising out of a flat Devonian bed. Hartt (1874) explored
the Serra of Ereré and his colleague Staunton visited the Serra of Piatúna. They noted
that the two mountains are composed of horizontal beds of sandstone that were probably
part of a synclinal fold. Both Wallace (1889) and Hartt (1874) noted the early
Amerindian rock paintings at Ereré and Piatúna. In fact, these works led archeologist
Anna Roosevelt to conduct research in the municipality in the 1990s. Roosevelt’s
research shows that these areas were used by paleolithic people as early as 11,000 B.P.
and that people used the rock shelters provided by the serras throughout the intervening
years (Roosevelt, 1996).
The soils of Monte Alegre were examined by Falesi in 1970 and his work
confirms the Devonian era as the time of origin for a large part of the upland area (Falesi,
1970). Falesi’s work also identifies a Pleistocene beachhead, approximately seven
kilometers wide, which lies just north of the city. Another table top mountain, the Serra
Itaujuri, originated in the Cretaceous period and is characterized by coarse sandstone.
Diabase dikes arise from the Jurassic period and can be found jutting out in the middle of

42
the open country. Calcareous rocks from the upper Carboniferous occur near the villas of
Dois Galhos and Mulata. Finally, more recent deposits are found along the shores of the
rivers Amazon and Gurubatuba (Falesi, 1970). The variety of soils in this municipality is
typical of other areas in the Amazon Basin. The heterogenous soils and the
geomorphology are exploited for agriculture by the farmers in the area.
History of Monte Alegre
Before European conquest Monte Alegre was inhabited by the Gurubatuba Indians
who used both the flood plains and upland areas for subsistence. In 1639, Pedro Teixeira
visited the area but was forced to leave by the Gurubatubas (Friaes, 1996). In 1681,
Jesuit missionaries established a church and convent in the city, then known as
Gurubatuba. This church remained the largest in the area through the mid-1700's when
the city became known by its current name - Monte Alegre (Friaes, 1996; Denevan,
1997). The Gurubatubas were enslaved by the Portuguese and were used in the
construction of the city of Belém and the fort at Macapá. Presumably many of these
people never returned to Monte Alegre. During the mid-1700's Portuguese settlers began
moving to the area (Friaes, 1996). In 1802, Count Marcos de Noronha Brito provided
financial incentives to the settlers to plant cacao in the region. In addition to the cacao,
extraction and exportation of wood from the uplands down the Amazon River to the
Atlantic were the mainstays of the area (Friaes, 1996). By the mid-1800's crop
production and cattle ranching had become the primary economic activities in the
municipality (Wallace, 1889). Exports from Monte Alegre to Belém at this time

43
included: farinha or manioc flour, rice, corn, beans, cacao, brown sugar, cattle, butter,
pirarucu and manatee meat - the tongue was a delicacy at that time (Friaes, 1996). In
1860, the population of Monte Alegre reached 4,000 people and was declared a city.
The municipality continued to grow slowly through the 1900's. Brazil was
actively recruiting immigrants to fill its frontier due to fears of foreign invasions (Moran,
1981; Schmink and Wood, 1992). Some countries, such as Japan, were eager to send
volunteers abroad to relieve population pressures and contribute to their economy from
foreign sources. Thus in 1933, the Companhia Niponica began establishing farming
communities of Japanese immigrants in the State of Pará (Pará Agrióla, 1933). Monte
Alegre was one site selected for the Japanese immigrants. Other sites include Tome A$u,
Santa Maria, Assaisal, Boa Vista, Ipitinga and Aqua Branca. The Monte Alegre
community was established in the village of Mulata in 1933 with 63 homes. The
Companhia Niponica contributed seedlings to farmers including: 10,000 cashew
(Anacardium occidentale), 6,400 cacao (Theohroma cacao), 700 coconut (Cocos
nucífera), 800 andiroba (Carapa guianensis) and 1,500 of munguba (Pseudobombax
munguba) (Pará Agripóla, 1933). The company also set up an experimental station with
cedar (Cedrela odorato), coffee (Coffea spp.), oranges (Citrus spp.), sapucaia (Lecythis
pisonis), guaraná (Paullina cupana), cacao (Theobroma cacao) and quinine (Cinchona
officinalis) (Pará Agrilla, 1933). The community soon faltered because of poor
transportation to markets and lack of communication with the outside world and with the
Companhia Niponica (Pará Agripóla, 1933). Thirty-five Japanese families remain in

44
Monte Alegre today, none of whom live in Mulata. Some of them are descendants of the
original settlers, but most have immigrated to Monte Alegre since the 1950s.
Monte Alegre municipality was targeted for federally-sponsored colonization in
the 1960's by the Brazilian Agency for colonization and agrarian reform Instituto
Nacional de Colonizacdo Reforma Agrária (INCRA). Fifty thousand people moved into
the upland areas of the municipality over a period of forty years, most of whom come
from Northeastern Brazil (Carvalho and Lins, 1992) (Figure 3.4). At last census, there
were more than 65,000 people in the municipality. The majority, 60%, live in the city,
while the remaining 40% live in scattered villages in the rural areas.
During the peak of Brazil’s colonization efforts in the 1970s, INCRA was the
most powerful agency in the colonization plans. It was responsible for surveying the land
to be colonized, building health and education facilities, distributing land, and managing
1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 1995
Years
Figure 3.4 Population growth in Monte Alegre from the mid-1900s

45
all of the colony activities. By the end of the 1980's, fNCRA had lost most of its power to
other agencies and was left with the responsibility of distributing land. Municipalities
took over most of the other functions previously held by fNCRA (I. Moacir pers. com.).
The city of Monte Alegre and its existing infrastructure of schools, hospitals,
government, markets and agricultural cooperative made this federally-sponsored
colonization project effective when compared with other colonization projects in the
Amazon (Almeida, 1992). The costs incurred by INCRA were less than other directed
colonization efforts and private colonization schemes throughout the Amazon (Almeida,
1992). New colonists continue to arrive in Monte Alegre, while the original colonists’
children have matured and are starting their own farms. To provide more land, INCRA
opened a new colony, Serra Azul, in 1994. It is intended for settlement by colonists’
children who are allotted 50 hectares per family (M. Ishiguro, pers. com.).
In contrast to the uplands, the flood plains were never targeted for colonization.
Approximately 30 communities are situated on the Monte Alegre flood plains, all of
which are at least 100 years old. Many were originally Indian villages, such as Aldeia.
Five villages are located on the seasonally flooded restinga between the Amazon River
and the permanent lake, Lago Grande. Another village is seasonally inundated, but lies
on a paraná of the Amazon River. Population in these communities has remained
constant over the past hundred years. Today however, many young people do not want to
continue living on the flood plains and are moving to the city to attend school and work.
The other twenty villages are located on the cusp of the great lake, Lago Grande, and the
uplands. The residents of the flood plain communities are primarily fishermen and

46
engage in seasonal agriculture to supplement their incomes. During the six months of
low water, the fertile soils left by the retreating river are exposed and used for cattle
pasture and short season vegetables. High value crops such as tomatoes, watermelons,
green beans and melons are ideal for this location.
The majority of agricultural products are taken to the city of Monte Alegre or
Santarém for sale. Residents fish throughout the waters of the municipality and many
also fish in the waters of Alenquer and Óbidos. Their catches are sold locally or are
contracted to large boat owners for the regional and national markets. Lago Grande has
been used heavily in the past ten years and fishermen complain that it has been over
fished. In fact, violence over community rights and exclusion of large commercial
trawlers is a problem in the area (Araujo, 1994). Many flood plain communities are
beginning to organize and file for official government recognition to their land rights
(McGrath et al., 1993). Some of these same villages are beginning to exert local control
over the flood plain lakes and are prohibiting commercial fishermen from entering the
lakes (McGrath et al., 1993).
The Government and Infrastructure in Monte Alegre
The municipality is the main governing body with the mayor’s office located in
the city of Monte Alegre. Elections are held every two years and any party may put
forward a candidate for election to the mayor’s position or that of the city council
(vereador/camára). The mayor has at his disposal the federal agencies that are located in
the city, such as the agricultural extension agency (EMATER) and the colonization

47
agency (INCRA). Additionally, the mayor’s office oversees the infrastructure of the
municipality including education, transportation and communications. The mayor also
has the discretion to institute educational and agricultural programs for the municipality.
Each village within the municipality also has its own leader and governing body, although
this is a less formal arrangement.
The city of Monte Alegre is the major economic and social center of the
municipality and is divided into two distinct areas due to topography. The lower city
(cidade baxio) sits directly on the banks of the Gurubatuba River and the upper city
(cidade alto) sits on a bluff some 50 meters above the lower city. Residents of the flood
plains and colonies use the city as their main market and purchasing center. Purchased
manufactured products include such items as clothes, household goods, and foods such as
coffee, sugar and bread.
A survey of vendors in the city revealed that agricultural products are traded in the
cidade alto while the fish and general household goods are traded in the cidade baxio
(Table 3.1, Figure 3.5). Furthermore, the cidade alto is the gateway to the colonies, while
the cidade baxio is the gateway to the river.
Transportation
Transport into Monte Alegre from outside the municipality is primarily by boat.
There are roads from the city to the colonies and there is a road that connects Monte
Alegre to the municipalities of Prainha, Alenquer and Óbidos. The roads however, are

48
Table 3.1. Vendors in Monte Alegre
Merchandise
Cidade Alto
Cidade Baxio
Fruit Stand
12
6
Supermarket
2
4
Pharmacy
2
11
Car repair
6
1
General
12
16
Hardware
1
1
Bars
2
3
Clothing
5
15
Sewing
2
0
Butchers
4
2
Children’s
1
1
Wholesalers
6
0
Food stands
21
2
Saddle shop
1
0
Drink distributor
2
5
Dentist
2
1
Funeral home
1
0
Hotels
3
3
Agriculture supply
0
2
Restaurant
2
6


50
not paved and are poorly maintained. During the rainy season they become filled with
potholes and mud making travel slow. Many cars and buses become stuck in the mire
making the trips to the colonies more arduous. Additionally, the bridges are not
well maintained so trucks often ford the streams rather than use the shaky bridges.
Transport to the colonies is regular with four transportation lines in the city. People and
agricultural products are transported on buses and large Toyota pickup trucks. Many of
the trucks are brightly painted and have been given fanciful names such as “Gigante do
Paró" (Giant of Pará), “Cometa de Halley” (Halley’s Comet), “O Gatdo” (The Big Cat),
“Ar auto da estrada'' (Air-auto of the Highway), Dragdo Vermelho (Red Dragon),
Cowboy da Estrada (Highway Cowboy) and Traváo Azul (Blue Thunder). Boat traffic is
regularly scheduled with one or two ferries departing every night for Santarém, the main
regional center. The boat trip from Santarém to Monte Alegre takes five hours while the
return takes eight hours. From Santarém, boats, roads, and airplanes connect the region
to the rest of Brazil.
The cost of overland transport in Monte Alegre in 1996 and 1997 varied between
$1.00 and $2.00 US per trip per person depending on the distance traveled. The buses
have regular schedules and will pick up riders anywhere along their routes. For example,
scheduled transportation to Sector 15 is on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Close
communities such as Parido and Nazaré enjoy daily service. In addition, the truck drivers
will stop at individual houses to deliver and pick up items such as car batteries that need
recharging. Bus owners state that the cost of transport is high due to the poor condition
of the roads and the continual maintenance needed on the trucks. Some villages located

51
on the cusp of the flood plains and uplands have both road and boat transportation, such
as Parido and Sao Diogo. Other flood plain villages such as Sapucaia and Cuierus, may
only be reached by boat. Transportation directly affects fanners’ ability to get their
agricultural produce to the market quickly, economically, and in saleable condition.
Education
Each village in the municipality has a school that offers at least the first four years
of education to children. These schools are funded by the municipality and the state The
number of schools seems encouraging, a total of 217, but the majority of the schools have
only one room with no books, chalkboard or any other teaching aids. High school is only
offered in the city of Monte Alegre or other urban centers such as Santarém or Belém.
Twice as many girls attend high school as boys because boys generally stay at home to
help their parents with the farming. Girls attend high school to earn a certificate in
teaching or nursing, hoping to gain employment and aid their family’s income. Two
options exist for children who leave the colonies to attend high school in the city. They
can live with relatives or they can find part-time employment in homes as cooks or
housekeepers.
Farm families with children in high school have a reduced work force, which
affects their agricultural production. Many women leave the farm to live in the city while
their children attend school, further reducing the labor available on the farm. Women and
children often return to the farm on the weekends or during the peak agricultural labor
seasons to aid in harvesting. The attraction of education in urban areas has induced some

52
farm families to abandon their lots on the uplands and flood plains, hoping that their
children will have greater opportunities in the urban setting.
Nongovernmental Organizations
There are a number of non-governmental organizations that deal with issues
related to farmers, ranchers and fishermen in Monte Alegre. The upland farmers are
represented by the Sindicato dos Trabalhadores Rurais. Fishermen are represented by
the Colonia dos Pescadores, and ranchers are represented by the Sindicato dos
Productores. The small farmers’ association helps families obtain loans from banks,
lobbies the government for assured prices on agricultural products, and serves as a social
gathering place. The ranchers’ association also lobbies the government on issues relating
to cattle. The fishermen’s association provides social services to its members, including a
day care center and educational programs for children and mothers, and serves as the
filter for government regulations regarding fishing. The small farmers and fishermen’s
associations are affiliated with other such associations throughout the region. The
Sindicato dos Trabalhadores Rurais is also involved with the Gritou na Terra (The Earth
Screamed) movement in eastern Pará. This organization is involved with the Sent Terra
(People Without Land), which is lobbying the government for land reform in Brazil,
guaranteed agricultural prices, government financing for agriculture, and protection of
land rights.
Monte Alegre has an agricultural cooperative, Cooperativa Integral de Reforma
Agrária de Monte Alegre (CIRAMA) started by the Japanese immigrants in 1965. It is
used primarily by farmers in the colonies. New colonists are afforded guaranteed access

53
to the market with decent prices for their products in their first year of production. The
primary cash crop of the municipality is maize; 25% of all maize produced in the state of
Pará comes from Monte Alegre (Swales, 1993). The agricultural cooperative's influence
has proven to be strong and was a stabilizing factor in the colonists’ ability to remain on
their land. Almeida (1992) found that the Monte Alegre colonization effort was one of
the most successful in all of the Amazon, one reason being the strength of the
cooperative. The cooperative’s emphasis on maize has influenced the crop selection of
the small farmers in the colonies. Farmers state that even if they do not belong to the
agricultural cooperative they grow maize because they know that there is a market for it
in Monte Alegre.
In 1990, the cooperative contracted with the federal government to provide 500
tons of high quality maize for seed. However, in 1991, elections brought in a new
government which did not honor the contract causing the cooperative to sell the high
quality seed com for a fourth of its value for animal feed (Swales, 1993). The
cooperative continues to operate at a reduced level and many of the farmers in colonies
are not aware that it is still in business. The cooperative’s main objective is the purchase
and sale of maize, and secondarily beans and rice (Swales, 1993). Many of the
government officials in Monte Alegre blame the downfall of the cooperative on its
inability or unwillingness to keep up with the current market emphasis. The lack of
diversification in the products the cooperative sells has put it in a high risk situation.
Another nongovernmental association that has a strong influence on agriculture in
the municipality is the Associa$ao Nippon Brasilero (The Japanese Brazilian

54
Association.) This association’s main purpose is cultural. However, of the 34 member
Japanese families that reside in Monte Alegre, at least seven of the members are trained
in agronomy and economics and 27 of the members are farmers. These members aid
other members with technical advice on farming and economic matters. The association
also has a small nursery where members can obtain seedlings.
Agricultural Programs
Numerous programs to improve education, health care and agriculture for the
municipality’s residents have been launched since 1993. The mayors involved were very
interested in sustainable agricultural development through agroforestry. They also had
great interest in agroforestry as a means to provide tree cover to agricultural fields and to
raise the income of farmers in the colonies. The municipality’s Secretary of Agriculture is
directly responsible for aiding the municipality’s farmers and provides technical
assistance to farmers, and also serves as the liaison with the Federal agricultural extension
agents at EMATER. Additionally, the Secretary is responsible for leading the
municipality’s agricultural programs.
There are a number of programs instituted at the municipal level. Of main interest
to this study are the Programa da Várzea and Programa Agroflorestal, a project to
distribute perennial crops to the colonies. Both programs were lead by the municipality
with the cooperation and input of the EMATER staff.
The first project, Programa da Várzea, began in 1993 and ran for three years.
This program had a two pronged approach. The first was a demonstration project on land

55
owned by the municipality on the flood plains. Seedlings of tomatoes, melons and squash
were germinated in seed beds then transplanted to the flood plain soils. The fields had
been tilled and weeded. The demonstration plots were regularly irrigated with river water
and production was carefully calculated. The demonstration plots were invaded by cattle
and suffered great damage. The municipality concluded that the demonstration plots did
not provide an adequate measure of agricultural production on the flood plains and
discontinued the experimental station. The second approach to the Programa da Várzea
was to distribute seeds to communities on the flood plains at no initial charge. The crops
were limited to watermelon, squash and melon. At harvest, participants in the program
were expected to give 20% of their produce to the municipality to be distributed to
creches, schools and other social programs within the Monte Alegre.
Programa Agroflorestal was instituted by the mayor in 1993 and provided
colonists with saplings of orange and lime. This program was instituted to encourage
perennial crops on the uplands because they were believed to contribute to sustainable
agricultural practices. EMATER agents were enlisted by the municipality to distribute
the seedlings to the colonists. Saplings were bought in Belém and shipped to Monte
Alegre. The saplings were transplanted to the agricultural station operated by the
municipality, which is located on the periphery of the city. The Secretary of Agriculture
distributed saplings to farmers in the colonies at no charge in 1995. (J. Santana, pers.
com.). After two months, the municipality’s extension agents found that the saplings in
the colonies had all died or were not growing properly. Due to this lack of success,
officials changed their philosophy on the project and began to sell the saplings. They

56
believed that if the saplings were purchased they would have more value and that the
farmers would take better care of them. However, some farmers and members of the
nonprofit organizations believe that the seedlings failed because the municipality was not
able to properly distribute them or perhaps because they were of low quality. The
Associagao Nippon Brasilero was then asked if they would take over the distribution of
the seedlings, charging US $ 1.50 per seedling. This price is out reach for most of the
small farmers in the colonies. Therefore, only the larger farmers have any access to these
seedlings.
The Associagao Nippon Brasilero also has a project sponsored by IB AMA
(Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recoursos Naturais Renováveis) through a
project titled Programa Piloto para a Protegáo das Florestas Tropicals do Brasil-
Projecto Demostrativo A. (Pilot Program for the Protection of the Tropical Forests of
Brazil - Demonstration Project A). This project has the general goal to produce saplings
of agroforestry species to be distributed to the rural population within the municipality.
One of the trees distributed through the program is rubber. There are currently three
farmers in the municipality that have trees producing latex. Additional farmers are
integrating rubber into their farming systems, but those trees are not yet producing latex.
The Associagao Nippon Brasilero is trying to recruit Brazilians to participate in the
rubber project and is in the process of setting up another association especially for this
project called the Hortoflorestal Educativa de Monte Alegre. The Japanese farmers have
embraced rubber because of the Financial incentives provided by IB AMA and because
they believe that the future market for natural latex will continue to grow in the medical

57
field and in high quality tires and sports shoes. There is no history or cultural tradition
within the municipality of rubber tapping, therefore, the Japanese who have rubber have
hired rubber tappers from Bellterra, Henry Ford’s attempt at plantation rubber in the
Amazon located on the southern side of the Amazon River near Santarém.
Villages Visited on the Uplands
Seven upland communities were visited in this study and farmers were
interviewed regarding their agricultural practices, land use, decision making and
demographics. Communities were selected for inclusion in the study based on their
distance from the city of Monte Alegre and the farmers’ willingness to participate in the
study (Figure 1.4).
Sector 15
Sector 15 is located approximately 60 kilometers by road from Monte Alegre.
Bus transportation takes four to four and one half hours to Monte Alegre and is provided
three days per week at a cost of US $ 1.50 one way. This colony has 30 households and is
divided into upper and lower communities by distance - about 10 kilometers apart.
Neither community has electricity, televisions, radios or cars.
Sector 15 was opened for EMCRA colonization in 1986. Many of the first
residents remain. Two schools provide education, one at each end of the community.
The farmers in Sector 15 all believe that they have poor soils. They were particularly hurt

by the strong drought that occurred in 1997. Many farmers lost all of their perennials,
including oranges, palms and limes.
Sector 13
Like Sector 15, Sector 13 is an INCRA colony founded eleven years ago. The
majority of farmers interviewed were natives of Monte Alegre and a number of extended
families live in the colony. Sector 13 is located approximately 55 kilometers from the
city and is also approximately four and one half hours by truck to Monte Alegre, and
operates three days a week. The cost of transportation in 1996 was US$ 1.00 to $2.00 one
way, depending on the amount of produce hauled. Farmers in Sector 13 believe that their
soils are of good quality. One farmer has been planting soy beans and stated that he had
as high production as farmers in southern Brazil. He was not, however, able to sell the
beans in Monte Alegre. A number of residents of Sector 13 are involved in a regional
land reform movement of "Gritou Terra".
Mulata
Mulata was the original site of the first Japanese settlement in Monte Alegre, but
no Japanese remain in the village today. Mulata is located on the main highway 30
kilometers and approximately three hours by bus from Monte Alegre. Mulata is a mix of
large cattle ranches and small farms. Ranchers who also raise crops and sell most of their
agricultural produce, while the small farmers use most of their produce within the
household. Soils are characterized as weak and most of the farmers interviewed planned
to convert all of their land to pasture. Small farmers were converting land into pasture
even though they did not own cattle. They stated that they were planning for a day when

59
they would be ranchers. Many of the town’s teenage children live in Monte Alegre to
attend high school, reducing the work force on some farms.
Lirnao
Lirnao is the center of Japanese residents in the municipality. It is located
approximately 44 kilometers from Monte Alegre on the main highway BR 254. This
unpaved but heavily traveled road links the municipalities of Prianha, Monte Alegre, and
Alenquer. The soils are suitable for growing a great variety of crops. The Japanese grow
exclusively for the regional and international market and have large plantations of black
pepper. Problems with fusarium fungus have plagued these farmers in the past ten years
reducing pepper production and they can no longer purchase new planting stock and are
relying on the existing stock. Salmonella is common in black pepper produced in Brazil.
Due to unsanitary processing and the United States has banned the import of black pepper
from Brazil since 1994. However, the Japanese have maintained their position in the
international market through a previous certification process. They are also involved in
large scale citrus production and rubber is also being planted on a large scale.
The Japanese have their own transportation, farm with machinery, and hire all of
their labor. Most of the Japanese do not live on their farms, but do maintain a small
house where they spend weekends in the country. The majority have propane stoves and
ovens, propane lights and indoor plumbing. A number of Japanese farmers return
routinely to Japan for work to raise money needed for additional investments on their
farms. During their absence the hired laborers continue the agricultural production on the
farms.

60
Tres Bocas
Tres Bocas is located 13 kilometers from Monte Alegre, approximately one hour
and a half by bus every day at a cost of $ 1.00 each way. The road to this community is
narrow and winds along the Serra Itaujuri. Bus service is provided to the city twice a
week, but many residents of Tres Bocas have their own transportation. Tres Bocas is a
mix of cattle ranches and small farmers. Most of the farmers in Tres Bocas believe that
the soils are poor due to the long history of use. Half the farmers interviewed rent land
and are indentured to one rancher in the area. These farmers produce maize sold through
the cooperative and purchase their food from their patron. The other half of the farmers
interviewed consume the majority of their agricultural produce within the household and
have extensive home gardens surrounding the house. One farmer had a diverse home
garden with 22 different types of plants. He also had a row of large mango trees that were
no less than 15 feet in diameter and had been scored heavily to encourage the trees to
produce fruit. The farmer reported that these trees were 80 years old.
Cattle are sent to the floodplains during the dry season, giving the ranchers the
opportunity to weed the pastures that quickly become choked with palms. Capeoria, or
weedy secondary growth characterizes this landscape which has been in crop and
livestock production for at least one hundred years.
Terra Preta
Terra Preta is located approximately six kilometers from Monte Alegre, one half
hour by bus every day at a cost of $1.00 each way. Like Tres Bocas, this community has
been inhabited for at least one hundred years. One couple interviewed were in their 70's

61
and stated that their parents farmed the land before them. Terra Preta is characterized by
Capeoria and the farmers report that the land is poor.
Farmers report that birds are the main pests in the rice fields and that they lose
more rice than they harvest. Further, the government no longer guarantee prices for rice.
Therefore, many of the farmers no longer plant rice. Some farmers are converting all of
their land to pasture.
Jusaratuia
Jusaratuia is located approximately five kilometers, a 20 minute bus ride from
Monte Alegre. Situated on the wide band of sand described by Falesi (1970), poor soils
dominate this community. The community has daily bus service at a cost of $0.60 each
way, and many residents work in Monte Alegre. This community is at least one hundred
years old. The older residents stated that their parents grew up in the area. Jusaratuia is
known as a poor community with few opportunities and because it is located so close to
the city, the majority of children attend high school and leave home at an early age.
Villages Visited on the Flood plains
Five flood plain communities were visited in this study and farmers were
interviewed regarding their agricultural practices, land use, decision making and
demographics (Figure 1.4).

62
Piapo
Piapo is a village of 23 households and 138 people, is approximately 70
kilometers from Monte Alegre and 30 kilometers from Santarém. Travel time by boat is
approximately seven hours to Monte Alegre and four hours to Santarém. This village
lies on the restinga between the Amazon River and Lago Grande. None of the residents
of Piapo have cattle or buffalo. The village’s water source is the Amazon River, there is
no electricity, and no one owns a television although, some residents do own radios.
The village is located high on the restinga and endures total inundation by flood
waters only once every few years. Residents of Piapo are able to plant and harvest long
season crops such as manioc and pineapple as well as perennials such as banana, guava,
mango and ingá. Coffee was planted in the village five years ago, but a high flood killed
all of the trees. Only one person has replanted coffee. Villagers also plant rice, beans,
sugar cane, com, squash and melons. Agricultural products are sold in Santarém along
with the fish caught by the residents. An average of 65% of all agricultural produce is
sold while the rest is consumed in the house.
Santa Rita
Santa Rita is also situated on the restinga between the Amazon River and Lago
Grande, and is flooded only for a few weeks ever few years. It is approximately 56
kilometers from Monte Alegre, and travel time by boat is approximately five hours to
Monte Alegre and six to Santarém, both of which serve as market centers. The village
has 60 households and its main source of livelihood is fishing. A diesel generator supplies

63
electricity to Santa Rita from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. every night. The village’s water
source is the Amazon River.
The houses at Santa Rita are laid out in a line on a single main street, each home
has a home garden that includes medicinal plants and spices on raised beds, usually an
old canoe. Most residents have chickens and ducks. Santa Ritans planted cacao 15 years
ago, but it was wiped out by a series of sequential floods. Consequently, few residents in
Santa Rita now plant perennial crops. Santa Rita was also the location of extensive jute
plantings through the 1900's until the low value of the fiber on the Brazilian market made
it no longer profitable to grow. Residents are currently engaged in limited planting of
annual crops of beans, com, cabbage, lettuce and collard greens. The village was a part
of the Programa da Várzea in 1997. Forty-six of the residents farm cooperatively in this
venture on three hectares of land producing lettuce, melons and green beans for the
market in Monte Alegre. The program is intended to raise money during the dry season
while the ban on fishing is in place. Some residents alternate crops between years to
capture the greatest value for their crop from year to year.
Many of the residents complain that the cattle that graze on flood plain pastures
during the low water have destroyed valuable agricultural land. Additionally, cattle and
buffalo eat any crops that are not vigilantly protected. The Santa Ritan’s cattle spend the
wet season in the upland colonies on rented land, and they pay US $0.10 per head per day
for pasture. Cattle are brought to Santa Rita on boats in September and remain until
January.

64
Curierus
Curierus is located at a lower elevation on the restinga than the other villages and
is completely flooded each year. The total area that the village has available to it is
limited since the restinga here is less than a 1,000 meters in width. Curierus is
approximately 34 kilometers from Monte Alegre and is approximately four hours by boat.
The village has 35 households. There is no electricity, but one-third of the residents have
televisions and radios powered by car batteries. Farming in this village is limited to small
gardens of squash, melons and beans.
There are many cattle in the western part of the village. A few households have
gardens because cattle are permitted to roam freely through this area. A deep stream bed
divides the eastern and western ends of the village, keeping cattle out of the eastern end.
As a result, residents in the eastern part of the village maintain small plots of watermelon.
Musk melons grown in Curierus are sold in Monte Alegre along with fish from the area.
One household in Curierus maintains a small herd of water buffalo during the dry season
in the far eastern edge of the village. This resident has been under increased pressure in
the past few years to give up the buffalo because for four previous years the buffalo
completely destroyed crops in the eastern part of the village. This resident now has a
heavy fence around her property to eliminate the problem.
Parico
Parido is located three kilometers from Monte Alegre, a journey of 10 to 20
minutes by boat or car. The president of the community believes that the village is more
than 200 years old and was established by four French men. They named their village

65
after their origin - Paris - which has been translated into Parido by the Portuguese.
Although, the village is located on the uplands and is never inundated with flood waters,
little of this area is cultivated due to the poor soils. The agricultural plots of Parido are
located on the flood plains and residents travel to them every day by boat or on foot.
Some residents choose to set up small temporary houses at their gardens and live there for
the five to six months they farm. All of the farmers in this community consider the
village their permanent home.
The majority of farmers in this community plant watermelons, or, as an
alternative, meter long green beans. There is little diversity in the crops grown here and
the residents all complain bitterly about the low prices they receive for the watermelons.
The watermelons are transported by commercial boat lines to Monte Alegre. The village
participated in the Programa da Várzea in 1996.
Sapucaia
Sapucaia is located 15 kilometers from Monte Alegre on the Gurubatuba River,
which is a permanent paraná of the Amazon River. The village is only accessible by boat
and depending on the power of the boat, the journey takes between 40 minutes and two
hours. The village is divided into two sections by the paraná. One side of the village lies
on an island that is completely flooded each year, and the other side lies on the cusp of
the upland and flood plain. Parts of the village located on the upland side of the village
are high enough to escape seasonal flooding and residents are able to grow perennial
crops such as bananas. The residents of this community are growing produce for sale
and for subsistence. The Programa da Várzea in 1995 encouraged cash cropping of

66
watermelons and musk melons. Of all of the communities visited on the flood plain, the
residents of Sapucaia were most involved in producing food for in-house consumption.
Some farmers keep cattle in Sapucaia, but the majority are pastured on the uplands for the
entire year.
The biophysical and socioeconomic setting is at the heart of the land use practices
in Monte Alegre. Farmers have adapted their agricultural practices and crops to the
environmental setting and socioeconomic conditions. The physical features of the land
and river have a great influence over the types of crops that can be grown, while the
economic conditions have influence over the types of crops that are profitably produced.
Social factors such as education affect labor availability in farm families, and the
programs initiated by governmental and non-governmental organizations encourage
particular land use systems. The following chapters address the environmental, social
and economic conditions faced by farm families in more detail.

CHAPTER 4
LAND USE DYNAMICS ON THE UPLANDS
Farmsteads in the Uplands
Seven communities were visited on the uplands for this study (Figure 4.1).
Upland farmsteads consist of a house, home garden, fields in crops and pasture. Mean
area per farm is 43.09 hectares, reflecting the size and number of farms established under
the ENCRA colonization plan. Most residents, 74.3 percent, have titles to their land
(Table 4.1) and receive agricultural technical assistance from the government. There is
an average of five people per household. About one-third of the household members (2.4
people per household) provide labor for the farm. Although farming is by far the most
important economic activity, individuals in some households (11.8%) do hold non-farm
jobs. Average residence time on the farm is fairly long, 17.4 years.
No architectural plans are followed, however, the majority of the houses in the
upland areas have the same basic layout. The house has one main room which serves as
the primary living quarters for the family and includes a table and chairs. It is also
equipped with metal hooks on the wall so the children can sling their hammocks at night.
f
One bedroom is kept for the head of household, usually the parents, who have a mattress
67

68
Figure 4.1 Villages visited in the uplands of Monte Alegre by distance

69
and chest of drawers. The third room in the house is the kitchen. The kitchen has a
propane fired stove and a single open window onto the yard. This window has a shelf
built into it and is used in the preparation of food, the scraps are thrown into the yard for
the small farm animals, such as chickens, ducks, turkeys and the occasional pig. Poorer
families cook with charcoal in an outdoor kitchen. Screens are absent from the windows
but some homes have glass windows. All windows have wood shutters that are closed at
dark to keep the insects out.
Table 4.1 Characteristics of the households
Variable
Mean
Number of people per household
5.0
Number of people working in the fields
2.4
Number of years in house
17.4
Distance to field - Minutes
10.8
Distance to market - Hours
2.6
Percent of households with title
74.3
Percent of households with good soils
22.2
Number of cows
21.1
Area in pasture - Hectare
22.2
Percent of households with pasture
70.1
Construction materials vary according to the wealth of the individual family, those
with little money have thatched roofs, but most have either tin or the more expensive tile
roofs (Figure 4.2). The vast majority of houses are built from sawn timber, only a very
few are made of mud and dabble. Few of the upland communities have electricity or
indoor plumbing. An outhouse or “key” is located at some distance from the house. A

Figure 4.2 Upland farmer’s house with thatched roof surrounded by manioc
--j
o

71
separate enclosed bathing area is either attached to the house or located nearby. The
colonists have the more rustic houses while the wealthier farmers have some amenities
such as propane lamps and TVs powered by car batteries.
Adjacent to the house is the home garden which includes small farm animals,
herbs, perennials, ornamental and medicinal plants. The home gardens are used primarily
for home consumption and as food for the small farm animals. These permanent home
gardens may also serve as experimental plots as the farmer tries new plants before
investing in large plantings of an unknown crop.
Fruits are especially important in tropical diets and are the main source of
vitamins and minerals. The most commonly grown fruits are the Amazonian natives
murici (Brysonima crassifolia), cashew (Anacardium occidentale), and those originating
in Asia such as oranges (Citrus sinensis), mangos (Mangifera indica) and bananas (Musa
sp.). Some farmers plant papaya (Carica papaya), banana and citrus (Citrus sp.) in the
fields with their annual crops. Although, each farm family has a unique set of perennial
and annual crop combinations, over half of the farmers interviewed raised oranges, lime
(Citrus aurantifolia), mango, cashew and tangerines (Citrus reticulata). Many other
perennial crops are found in the home gardens (Table 4.2). A few farmers reported as
many as 22 species included in their home garden but the mean was twelve. A few crop
associations were common in the home gardens. Five farmers reported each of the
following associations in their gardens: (1) orange, lime, mango, banana and cashew; (2)
orange, lime, banana, mango, cashew, murici, tangerine and guava (Psidium guajava)-, (3)
orange, lime, papaya, tangerine and banana. Four farmers reported associations of

72
orange, lime, mango and a$ai (Euterpe olerácea). Few of the farmers interviewed in this
study actively protect valuable timber species and none were planting any of these trees
for future harvests, which is a common practice in other areas of the Amazon (Smith et
al„ 1995).
A mean of 25% of land in crop production is devoted to perennials. The
exception is the Japanese who devote more than 95% of their productive land to perennial
crops (Table 4.3). Rubber is grown by a small number of Japanese who believe that the
market for natural latex continues to grow due to its use in the prevention of the HIV
virus, and the resurgence of natural latex in high quality sports equipment and automobile
tires. Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is also a speciality crop of the Japanese farmers and is
their primary cash crop. Black pepper is sold on the international market through
wholesalers in Belém. Many of the surrounding Brazilian farmers have adopted black
pepper but it is a less important cash crop for them and they are limited to selling it in the
region due to contamination problems from Salmonella. The Japanese have begun to
incorporate rubber into their pepper plantations. They hope that they will gain additional
income from latex production and extend the production of the black pepper. The
Japanese report that the yields of the black pepper are reduced when interplanted and
shaded by the rubber, however, the black pepper produces for an average of two years
longer.
The other small farmers do not have more than six hectares devoted to perennial
crops and most non-Japanese farmers keep approximately one hectare in perennial crops.
These farmers practice slash and bum agriculture, burning their fields during the dry

73
season from October to December. These fields are used for two to five years then
abandoned to fallow, converted to pasture, or planted in perennials. Farmers follow an
agricultural schedule as recommended by EMATER (Table 4.4). Most families have
five hectares in production at a time. The exceptions are families that have multi¬
generations farming the same lot and are able to keep more land under production.
The majority of farmers have highly diverse crop assemblages. The number of
crops produced varied from three to 22 (Table 4.3). A traditional intercrop of beans
(.Phaseoulus vulgaris), maize (Zea mays) and squash (Cucúrbita sp.) is common
throughout the municipality and 15 of the 37 upland farmers interviewed reported that
they plant this crop combination (Figure 4.3). Another ten farmers interplant musk
melons (Cucumis melo) and watermelon (Citrulus lanatus). Five farmers in this study
had interplantings of musk melon, watermelon and maxixe (Cucumis anguria). Maxixe
is a small green spiky squash appreciated in beef dishes. Rice {Arroz sativa), manioc
{Manihot esculata), tomatoes {Lycopersicon lycopersicum) and sugar cane {Saccharum
officinarum) are grown as monocultures.
The location of individual fields depends primarily on the type of soil on the
farmer’s lot. Farmers classify their soils as terra fraca and terra boa, or weak land and
good land. Farmers report that crops on terra fraca are stunted and yields are lower
compared with those on terra boa, although few of the farmers know what the production
is for any of their crops. Farmers further characterize the suitability of the soil for crops
based on moisture retention in the wet and dry seasons. Those that are better in the dry
season can retain moisture; those that are better in the wet season have good drainage.

74
Table 4.2 Crops commonly found in Monte Alegre
Local Name
English Name
Scientific Name
Abac ate
Avocado
Persea americana
Abac ax i
Pineapple
Ananas cosmosus
Agai
Agai
Euterpe olerácea
Acerola
Barbados cherry
Malpighia glabra
Ata
Sour sop
Annona squamosa
Banana
Banana
Musa sp.
Cajú
Cashew
Anacardium occidentale
Coco
Coconut
Cocos nucífera
Cacao
Cocoa
Theobroma cacao
Cupuagu
Cupuagu
Theobroma grandiflorum
Dendé
Oil Palm
Elaeis guineensis
Gandu
Gandu
Cajanus cajún
Goiaba
Guava
Psidium guajava
Graviola
Sweet sop
Annona muricata
Inga
Inga
Inga sp.
Jaca
Jackfruit
Artocarpus heterophyllus
Laranja
Orange
Citrus sinensis
Li mao
Lime
Citrus aurantifolia
Manga
Mango
Mangifera indica
Mamáo
Papaya
Carica papaya
Maracujá
Passionfruit
Passiflora edulis
Murici
Wild Cherry
Brysonima crassifolia
Pimenta do Reino
Black Pepper
Piper nigrum
Pupunha
Peach Palm
Bactris gasipaes
Seringa
Rubber
Hevea brasiliensis

75
Table 4.2 continued
Local Name
English Name
Scientific Name
Carambola
Star fruit
Averrhoa carambola
Tangerina
Tangerine
Citrus reticulata
Urucum
Annatto
Bixa orellana
Milho
Maize
Zea mays
Feijao
Beans
Phaseolus vulgaris
Arroz
Rice
Arroz sativa
Tomate
Tomato
Lycopersicon lycopersicum
Macaxeria
Manioc
Manihot esculata
Aborbora
Squash
Cucúrbita sp.
Cana
Sugar cane
Saccharum officinarum
Maxixe
Maxixe
Cucumis anguria
Meláo
Musk Melon
Cucumis melo
Cebóla
Onion
Allium sp.
Fuma
Tobacco
Nicotiana tabaccum
* Source: Multilingual Dictionary of Agronomic Plants, S. Rehm, 1994

76
Table 4,3 Land devoted to perennial crops
Household
Hectare
cropped
Perennial (ha)
Annual
(ha)
Perennials in
Percent
Number of
crops
Sector 15 1
17.7
0.95
16.75
5.36
15
Sector 15 2
3.95
3.95
0
100
21
Sector 15 3
4.89
1
3.89
20.44
21
Sector 15 4
4.26
-0.5
4.76
-11.73
14
Sector 15 5
8.15
0.9
7.25
11.04
15
Sector 15 6
6.85
2.6
4.25
37.95
21
Sector 13 1
9.3
0.3
9
3.22
11
Sector 13 2
7.3
0.3
7
4.1
9
Sector 13 3
8.4
0.4
8
4.76
11
Mulata 1
5.59
1.1
4.49
19.67
16
Mulata 2
10.27
0.65
9.62
6.32
13
Mulata 3
3.23
1.25
1.98
38.69
17
Mulata 4
0.75
0.5
0.25
66.66
12
Mulata 5
1.95
0
1.95
0
8
Mulata 6
12.83
0.4
12.43
3.11
13
Mulata 7
4.48
0.98
3.5
21.87
10
Mulata 8
12.75
0.5
12.25
3.92
14
Mulata 9
1.76
0.1
1.66
5.68
7
Tres Bocas 1
3.5
1.18
2.32
33.71
21
Tres Bocas 2
0.33
0
0.33
0
3
Tres Bocas 3
5.05
1.4
3.65
27.72
15
Tres Bocas 4
13
2
11
15.38
19
Tres Bocas 5
13.65
3.35
10.3
24.54
22
Terra Pretal
4.65
0
4.65
0
15
Terra Preta2
6.15
6.15
0
100
13
Terra Preta3
3.35
0.93
2.42
27.76
14
Terra Preta4
2.82
0.4
2.42
14.18
15
Terra Preta5
1
0
1
0
1
Limáo 1
22
22
0
100
7
Limáo 2
37.1
37.1
0
100
8
Limáo 3
31
30
1
96.77
3
lustauria 1
3.3
0
3.3
0
3
Justauria 2
2
0
2
0
2
Justauria 3
2
0
2
0
7
Justauria 4
2.5
0
2.5
0
2
Justauria 5
1.25
0.5
0.75
40
8
Justauria 6
20.55
1.55
19
7.54
19
Average
8.09
3.29
4.8
25.1
12.1

Figure 4.3 Upland field intercropped with beans and maize with primary forest borders
-o

78
Most farmers have both terra fraca and terra boa but do not know if the land they
clear will be good or weak until the forest has been removed and the soils exposed. Once
the terra boa is found, the farmer continues to clear the land around that area in hopes of
finding additional terra boa. The terra boa is cropped for three to five years in maize,
rice, beans, squash and other annual crops. These soils are then planted in perennial crops
or left in fallow. Farmers use the terra boa again after the field has rested or had a
sufficient fallow period, from eight to twenty years. Terra fraca is usually planted in
manioc and abandoned after one or two years. When it is located next to the home it is
then planted with grass and used as pasture. If the poor land is located further from the
home it is abandoned to fallow and not used again unless no other land is available.
Although manioc is raised on terra fraca because of its tolerance for drought, low
nutrient availability, and acidic soils, it is nonetheless a critical component in the farming
system. The casa dafarinha, a mud and brick oven with a griddle used to make a gritty
flour from manioc (farinha), is a prominent feature of the farmstead (Figure 4.4).
Making farinha takes a full day and often involves the entire family and neighbors who
use this time to share news and information. The manioc is harvested, brought to the
casa dafarinha, peeled then soaked in water. After soaking, the manioc is squeezed or
pressed to express the excess water and cyanic acid. The manioc is then ground.
Wealthier farmers have motors to grind the manioc, but most people must grind by hand.
The resulting mass is then roasted on the oven until it reaches a granular consistency, a
process that usually takes four hours of constant turning and mixing. This farinha is a

Figure 4.4 Casa da farinha surrounded by a home garden
VO

80
staple in the diet and is also sold. In 1997, a 60-kilogram sack offarinha sold for
approximately US $7.00; a small return on a process that takes at least four hours of
manufacture.
Pastures are an important component of most farmsteads. Most farmers, 70%,
keep cattle and are actively trying to increase their herd size. The small farmers
interviewed own a mean of 21 cows and keep a mean of 22 hectares in pasture, or about
one hectare per cow. All of the pastures are planted in imported African grasses, kikuyu
(Pennisetum clandestinum) and brachiarao (Brachiaria brizantha). Cattle are kept close
to the home for protection and to reduce the time needed to milk the cows in the morning.
Farmer Interactions with the Outside World
As with so many other characteristics of the Amazon Basin, the heterogenous
nature of farming practices and land use are demonstrated in this case study of Monte
Alegre. Each farm family is unique and is guided by their perceptions and desires to meet
their subsistence and income needs. Each family has a unique set of agricultural crops, a
variety of intercropped production systems, and unique set of crops they are producing for
sale.
Farmers are motivated by subsistence and economic needs. Their decisions
regarding the crops they produce are influenced by these needs (Table 4.4). More than
65% of households consume their produce and sell the remainder. More than 80% of
farmers interviewed were actively involved in the local market. Additionally, the
majority of farmers (69%) conserve their produce until the prices are sufficiently high to
sell. Farmers (86%) also conserve some of their produce as seed for the following year’s
cropping. At the same time, 68% of farmers reported that they purchase some of their

81
seed stock from the feed and seed stores in Monte Alegre.
Some farmers (12%) work off-farm to supplement their incomes. Farmers
reported various reasons for doing so including the wish to raise capital to expand their
cattle herd, the need for cash to purchase medicine for their sick children, and to work for
relatives that own shops in Monte Alegre.
Table 4.4 Farmer interactions with the marketplace
Variable
Mean
Percent of produce consumed in-house
65.7
Percent of produce sold
34.3
Percent of households selling produce
81.9
Percent of households using chemicals
36.1
Percent of households conserving produce
69.4
Percent of households purchasing seed
68.8
Percent of households conserving seed
86.8
Percent of households with jobs out of agriculture
11.8
The majority of upland farmers (71 %) grow and sell maize as their primary cash
crop (Table 4.5). In addition to maize, other annual crops are produced widely for sale
including rice (58%), beans (69%) and manioc (25%). Ninety percent of all of the small
farmers’ income is generated by these four crops.
Fruits and other perishable agricultural crops are not being produced widely for
the market but are instead used by the household (Table 4.6). Sixty four percent of the
farmers are growing lime but do not sell it, and over half of the farmers are growing
cashew and tangerines, but do not sell the produce.

82
Strategies for Subsistence and Income Generation
Annual crops such as rice, beans and manioc form the staples of the Amazonian
diet. They are grown by the majority of farmers for consumption within the household
and for the market. However, subsistence production remains the primary concern for
many of the farmers on the uplands. They must assure enough labor is devoted to
producing crops for home consumption before they devote labor to income generation.
The primary market for the municipality is located in Monte Alegre however,
farmers are not assured of prices at the market until they arrive. Farmers produce crops
that they know that they can sell despite the price they receive. Grains and pulses that are
durable and easily transportable are the primary market crops for the upland farmers. In
1997, a 60-kilogram sack of maize fetched US $ 8.00 in Monte Alegre. The agricultural
cooperative has been instrumental in spreading maize throughout the municipality.
However, the cooperative is not the only merchant within the municipality that
specializes in this crop. A large number of wholesalers have established themselves in
Monte Alegre to sell maize, so the small farmer has a number of alternative locations
where his crop can be sold. Many of these wholesalers also lend money to farmers in
return for a share of the crop.
A critical factor to farmers is the marketability of their agricultural produce. The
low value of fruit compared with the transportation cost is the primary reason cited by
farmers for their lack of involvement in marketing fruit. A dozen oranges are purchased
for US$ 0.30 by wholesalers and are resold for US$ 0.50. But the cost of transport
($ 1.00) for passage for one person plus cargo does not make the sale profitable. Another
reason farmers do not sell much of their fruit may be the small numbers of trees per farm

83
Table 4.5 Crops that are grown and sold
Number of
farmers growing
Percent of
farmers
growing
Number of
farmers selling
Percent of farmers
who grow selling
Manioc
32
86
8
25
Orange
31
84
3
10
Beans
29
78
20
69
Maize
28
75
20
71
Mango
24
63
1
4
Rice
24
65
14
58
Banana
21
55
1
5
Watermelon
18
48
3
17
Papaya
16
45
1
6
Squash
15
40
2
13
Guava
13
35
1
8
Maxixe
12
32
0
0
Melon
11
29
1
9
Coconut
11
32
1
9
Avocado
9
24
1
11
Pineapple
9
24
1
11
Coffee
5
13
2
40
Cane
7
19
1
14
Green Beans
6
16
1
3
Passion fruit
6
16
2
33
Black pepper
6
16
3
50
Tomato
6
16
1
17
Rubber
3
5
3
100

84
Table 4.6 Crops grown on but not sold
Number of farmers
growing
Percent of farmers
growing
Number of
farmers selling
Lime
24
64
0
Cashew
20
54
0
Tangerine
19
51
0
Maxixe
12
32
0
Sweet sop
8
21
0
Murici
7
19
0
Acai
6
16
0
Peach Palm
6
16
0
Ineá
6
16
0
CuDuacu
6
16
0
Star fruit
2
5
0
Onions
2
5
0
Barbados Cherrv
2
5
0
Cacao
2
5
0
Annatto
1
3
0
Ata
1
3
0
Jackfruit
1
3
0
Tobacco
1
3
0
Gandu
1
3
0

85
planted in any particular fruit.
Home gardens are a vital part of the individual farmer’s risk management strategy
by adding diversity and important nutrients to the family diet. Agroforestry is being
promoted through governmental and non-governmental programs. However, evidence
from this case study suggests that agroforestry in Monte Alegre will be limited to home
gardens. Agroforestry will not become the income generating mechanism that has been
hoped for by the government. In order for agroforestry systems to become a large part of
income generation in Monte Alegre, farmers will have to adopt higher value fruits and
timber products. The formation of a cooperative that has proper transportation and
facilities to process the fruits and nuts that are currently produced may help increase the
value of agroforestry products sufficiently.
Agricultural Intensification
The measure of agricultural intensification combines nine variables believed to be
important in a farmer’s ability to intensify his agriculture. Agricultural intensification on
the uplands is low with a mean value of 0.36 (Table 4.7). In the land-rich Amazonian
setting, little intensification is expected due to the area involved in agricultural production
in relation to the area available for further expansion. However there are a number of
push and pull factors are leading to intensification in this environment. Pushing
intensification is the increased population, and division of land holdings among land
owners. Farmers must utilize their labor more productively on smaller holdings.
Involvement in the marketplace is pulling farmers into intensifying their agricultural

86
practices. As farmers generate more cash, they are able to invest in outside inputs, such
as chemical amendments to the soils. They can also hire outside labor to work in the cash
crop systems. However, the biophysical environment limits the farmer’s ability to
intensify his agriculture. Small farmers cannot afford the chemical inputs necessary to
increase productivity in those areas where the soils have been used for generations with
few inputs.
Regardless of the individual conditions that farmers face in their agricultural
systems, all of them are motivated to employ particular land use and agricultural practices
based on their strategies on meeting household needs, income generation and leisure time.
Driving Forces Behind Land Use and Agricultural Practices
This study seeks to examine the role of the driving forces in farmers’
decision making processes in regard to the problems they face, the factors contributing to
crop selection, and what they believe would be most important in raising their standard of
living. Farmers reported that the economic factors were the greatest problem that they
faced in their agricultural pursuits (Table 4.8). Seventy-two percent stated that the low
price for agricultural goods is the greatest problem, and 42% stated that access to markets
is also a problem. Social factors such as injuries and illness are rarely a problem. Labor
availability was reported to be rarely a problem by 36%, but another 47% reported it
usually a problem. Farmers also stated that environmental factors such as precipitation
and access to quality seeds and seedlings are not usually a problem.

87
Table 4.7 Land use intensity and intensification
Households
Total
hectare
planted
Hectare
owned
Land
intensity
Intensification Index
Sector 15 1
17.45
100
0.17
0.35
Sector 15 2
4.05
100
0.04
0.23
Sector 15 3
4.94
100
0.04
0.23
Sector 15 4
4.26
100
0.04
0.24
Sector 15 5
8.15
100
0.08
0.32
Sector 15 6
6.65
100
0.06
0.23
Sector 13 1
9.75
100
0.09
0.2
Sector 13 2
7.3
100
0.07
0.23
Sector 13 3
8.4
100
0.08
0.27
Mulata 1
5.44
15
0.36
0.46
Mulata 2
10.17
15
0.67
0.77
Mulata 3
3.33
3
1.11
0.57
Mulata 4
0.65
1
0.65
0.3
Mulata 5
1.95
5
0.39
0.37
Mulata 6
12.93
90
0.14
0.29
Mulata 7
4.98
2
2.49
0.51
Mulata 8
12.65
50
0.25
0.39
Mulata 9
1.76
5
0.35
0.55
Tres Bocas 1
3.5
5
0.7
0.42
Tres Bocas 2
0.33
6.6
0.05
0.31
Tres Bocas 3
5.15
5
1.03
0.62
Tres Bocas 4
13
66
0.19
0.35
Tres Bocas 5
14.55
39
0.37
0.3
Terra Pretal
4.65
5
0.93
0.44
Terra Preta2
7.15
11
0.65
0.43
Terra Preta3
3.35
25
0.13
0.56
Terra Preta4
2.72
25
0.1
0.62
Terra Preta5
1
3
0.33
0.71
Limao 1
23
100
0.23
0.29
Limao 2
39
100
0.39
0.36
Limao 3
31
100
0.31
0.47
Jusaratuia 1
3.3
3.3
1
0.4
Jusaratuia 2
2
5
0.4
0.22
Jusaratuia 3
2
2
1
0.25
Jusaratuia 4
2.5
6.6
0.37
0.19
Jusaratuia 5
1.35
1
1.35
0.4
Jusaratuia 6
20.05
76
0.26
0.22
Means
7.89
43.09
0.46
0.38

88
Table 4.8 Farmer responses regarding problems faced by farmers
Category
Low (%)
Medium (%)
High (%)
Pest
E
25.00
33.00
42.00
Seeds
E
56.00
25.00
19.00
Rain
E
56.00
36.00
8.00
Drought
E
25.00
39.00
36.00
Injury
S
94.00
0.00
6.00
Worker
S
36.00
17.00
47.00
Dlness
s
54.00
35.00
12.00
Transport
c
49.00
23.00
29.00
Prices
c
11.00
17.00
72.00
Markets
c
33.00
25.00
42.00
Farmers were also asked if certain factors were important in their decisions when
they selected the types of crops they grew (Table 4.9). When making choices about their
crop types, 78% report that it is very important that they be able to consume the produce
within the house. Additionally, 57% state that it is very important that they be able to sell
their produce. The time of planting was ranked as not important (47%), and
considerations of crop diseases are also of low importance (40%).
Farmers were asked which services or goods would make their life better (Table
4.10). Additional money was naturally the highest ranked of these factors. However,
farmers believed that technology (64%) and better markets (64%) would raise their
standards of living. The majority of farmers, 67%, stated that they did not want or need
additional lands. Agricultural cooperatives were noted for their importance; but, farmers
responded similarly across the rankings as to the degree of the cooperative’s importance.

89
Table 4.9 Farmer responses to importance of factors in crop selection
Category
Low (%)
Medium (%)
High (%)
Use
C
17.00
6.00
78.00
Market
C
17.00
42.00
42.00
Production
c
17.00
42.00
42.00
Sell
c
24.00
19.00
57.00
Prices
c
43.00
22.00
35.00
Plant
E
47.00
8.00
44.00
Disease
E
40.00
43.00
17.00
Seeds
E
29.00
29.00
43.00
Soils
E
23.00
37.00
40.00
Table 4.10 Farmers perceptions on factors that would contribute to a better standard of
iving
Category
Low (%)
Medium (%)
High (%)
Technology
S
11.00
25.00
64.00
Coop
S
38.00
32.00
29.00
Money
C
3.00
11.00
86.00
Markets
C
25.00
11.00
64.00
Production
E
43.00
26.00
31.00
Land
E
67.00
11.00
22.00
A chi-square test (a = 0.05) was used to determine if the responses to the survey
questions are reported with equal frequency in regard to the categories of environmental,
economic and social (Appendix C). The results indicate that there were significant
differences between the responses. Farmers do not view each driving force equally, they
are making their decisions based on the economic, social, and environmental driving
factors that they encounter.
The economic variables are the strongest factors behind farmers’ selection of
crops (Table 4.11). The greatest problems faced by farmers on the uplands are economic

90
in nature (Table 4.12), and the most desired goods or services for a higher standard of
living are economic (Table 4.13).
The small farmers in Monte Alegre are not isolated from the larger economic
scene. The majority are not solely subsistence level farmers. Their risk management
strategies focus on both home consumption and income generation. All of the farmers
interviewed wanted to be involved in the market. Furthermore, farmers make decisions
regarding their land use and agricultural practices based on the various economic driving
forces; this is true, regardless of where the farmer resides. Some farmers however, face
different economic factors based on distance to the market.
Table 4,11 Percentages of responses to the question regarding problems faced by farmers
Category
Low (%)
Medium (%)
High (%)
Economic
31
21
47
Environmental
40
33
26
Social
61
17
21
Table 4.12 Percentages of responses regarding crop selection
Categories
Low (%)
Medium (%)
High (%)
Economic
24
26
51
Environmental
35
29
36
Table 4.13 Percentages of responses regarding standard of living
Categories
Low (%)
Medium (%)
High (%)
Economic
13
10
75
Environmental
54
18
26
Social
24
28
46

91
Distance as a Factor in Land Use and Agricultural Practices
One of the objectives of this study is to determine if distance from the market
plays a role in land use patterns and the character of the communities included in the
study. The upland communities visited are grouped into categories of far, medium, and
close based on travel time to Monte Alegre. Means were calculated for the various
variables based on where the household was located in the municipality (Table 4.14).
In the close communities, farmers use 68% of their crops within the house, but
they are also involved in the market. They have a low labor input into their fields, 1.8
people per house hold, and more than 18% of individuals in these communities have off-
farm employment. The average farm size is 18 hectares. The mean length of residence on
the same lot is 20 years. None of the farmers believed that they had good soils on their
lots, and few (25%) are using chemical additions in their farming systems. In the close
communities, maize (43.8%), beans (37.5%) and farinha (18.8%) are the most important
cash crops (Table 4.15). More than 6% of these farmers also sell fruits including
watermelon, musk melon, pineapple, guava, coffee, mango, oranges and avocados.
In the middle communities, farmers use 55% of their produce within the house,
and sell the remainder. The average land holding is 40 hectares, 12 hectares are devoted
to crops and an average of 11 hectares are in pasture. Their land use intensity is 0.61, or
61% of their land is under cultivation. Farmers have been on their lots for an average of
22 years, with an average of 3.7 people per house. There are 2.9 people devoted to labor

92
on the farms, some of whom are hired labor. More than 16% of household members hold
jobs off the farm. One third of the farmers believe that they have good soils, and the
majority (83%) are using chemical additions. In the middle communities, beans (42%),
rice (33%), maize (33%), farinha (33%) are the most important cash crops for the
majority of farmers (Table 4.15). Small farmers also sell fruits including water melon,
passion fruit, oranges, coconuts, papaya, sugarcane candy, coffee, tomatoes and bananas.
The Japanese specialize in selling black pepper and latex.
Farmers in the far communities own 100 hectares, but they keep less than 8
hectares under cultivation. The land use intensity is 0.07, or 7% of their land is under
cultivation. These farmers use more than 73% of their agricultural produce within the
household, and sell the remainder. All households have pasture, an average of 6 hectares,
and they keep an average of 11 cows. None of these farmers are employed off of the
farm. One third of the farmers believe that they have good soils, and none of the farmers
are using chemical additions to their farming systems. Farmers in the far communities
have highly diverse agroecosystems but they sell only three or four agricultural products
that are durable such as maize, beans, rice, squash and farinha (Table 4.15).
Transportation is often rough and delicate fruits do not withstand the journey well.
During the wet season, trucks and buses frequently become stuck in mud holes on the
unpaved roads. Men get out of the truck and try to push it out of the mud. If they are not
able to do so then the heavy bags of grain are unloaded as well as the waiting women. In
one such incident, a truck was stuck for over two hours as the driver tried to rock the
truck out of the mud hole, men and women pushing together. The truck finally was freed,
but four chickens that had been in a box over the axil of truck died from the heat, and

93
two boxes of soursop were reduced to mush.
A number of selected variable were analyzed with a two tailed Student’s t-test (a
= 0.05). They were performed to determine if there were differences in means between
the variables (Appendix C). Far communities were tested against medium and close
communities; and the medium was tested against the close communities for the
Table 4.14 Characteristics of households grouped by distance
Uplands
Far
Medium
Close
Number of people in the house
5.0
6.0
3.7
5.3
Number of people working in the fields
2.4
2.3
2.9
1.8
Number of years on farm
17.4
9.5
22.7
20.0
Distance to field in minutes
10.8
21.8
7.1
3.4
Distance to market in hours
2.6
4.2
3.0
0.7
Pasture in hectares
8.6
6.0
15.0
4.6
Percent of produce used in-house
65.7
73.3
55.8
67.8
Percent of produce sold
34.3
26.7
44.2
32.2
Percent of houses with titles
74.3
66.7
100.0
56.3
Percent of houses with pasture
70.1
100.0
66.7
43.8
Percent of houses with chemicals
36.1
0.0
83.3
25.0
Percent of houses conserving produce
69.4
66.7
66.7
75.0
Percent of houses purchasing seed
68.8
33.3
91.7
81.3
Percent of houses conserving seeds
86.8
100.0
91.7
68.8
Percent of people with jobs outside home
11.8
0.0
16.7
18.8
Percent of houses with good soils
22.0
33.3
33.3
0.0
Percent of houses selling produce
81.9
100.0
83.3
62.5
Number of crops
12.4
15.3
10.6
11.2
Hectares planted
8.09
7.88
12.23
5.4
Hectares Owned
43.09
100
40.5
17.7
Number of cows
13.0
11.4
17.0
11.8

94
Crop
Far
Medium
Close
Rice
100.0
33.3
6.3
Maize
100.0
33.3
43.8
Beans
100.0
41.7
37.5
Squash
11.1
8.3
0.0
Farinha
11.1
33.3
18.8
Watermelon
0.0
16.7
6.3
Melon
0.0
0.0
6.3
Coconut
0.0
8.3
0.0
Papaya
0.0
8.3
0.0
Cane/candy
0.0
8.3
0.0
Pepper
0.0
25.0
0.0
Rubber
0.0
25.0
0.0
Passion
0.0
16.7
0.0
Pineapple
0.0
0.0
6.3
Guava
0.0
0.0
6.3
Coffee
0.0
8.3
6.3
Mango
0.0
0.0
6.3
Oranges
0.0
16.7
6.3
Tomatoes
0.0
8.3
0.0
Green beans
0.0
0.0
0.0
Banana
0.0
8.3
0.0
Avocado
0.0
0.0
6.3
Maxixe
0.0
0.0
0.0
Okra
0.0
0.0
0.0

95
following variables: number of people in the home, number of workers in the fields, crop
diversity, hectares planted, hectares owned, and land use intensity.
The results of the Student’s t-test indicate that there are no significant differences
between means in the various communities in household numbers, workers in the field,
and hectares planted. It also indicates that the middle communities are different in crop
diversity. The differences are slight, and may be a result of the plantation style of
agriculture practiced by the Japanese in Limao and their reliance on fewer crops.
Furthermore, the far communities different from the other communities in number of
hectares owned and land use intensity. The number of hectares under production in each
of the areas does not vary significantly but the amount of land available for production
does.
Agricultural intensification also varies between the communities on the uplands
based on distance (Table 4.16).
Table 4.16 Agricultural intensification indices by distance
Far
Medium
Close
Uplands
0.26
0.447
0.407
The communities that are furthest from the market have the lowest index value for
agricultural intensification. The intensification index value for the farmers located in the
medium distance communities is the highest for the uplands at 0.447. It is reasonable to
believe that the Japanese with their plantation style agriculture are affecting the
intensification index in the middle community. However, the exclusion of the Japanese
from the index calculations yields a higher intensification value of 0.46. The close

96
communities have a reduced intensification index in relation to the middle communities.
Two-tailed Student’s t-test (a = 0.05) were performed on the agricultural
intensification indices to determine if there are differences between the means based on
distance (Appendix C). Results indicate that the far communities are different from the
middle and close communities. The agricultural intensification index is far lower in the
far communities. There is less agricultural intensification in the far communities and they
continue to farm extensively.
Distance as It Relates to Land Use Patterns and Agricultural Intensification
Distance to market is a decisive factor in small farmers’ land use practices. The
history of settlement patterns play a role in the make up of the communities in the
uplands. The close communities were originally settled in the 1800s by farmers who
were producing agricultural products for the growing city of Monte Alegre and for export
to Belém. These land holdings have been steadily decreasing in size as the farms have
been passed on to subsequent generations or sold to new settlers. These are the oldest
communities in the municipality.
The middle communities were settled in the early 1900s by large cattle ranchers
who needed expansive areas for their enterprises. The Japanese also selected Lirnao as
the location for their farms because of the land availability and good soils. Finally, the
INCRA colonization scheme has had a profound effect on the uplands, both
environmentally and socially. These colonies are less than thirty years old. Although the
farmers actively compete in the market, and make their crop selections based on the

97
economic factors, their primary strategy is to assure household consumption needs are
met first. These farmers enter the marketplace with the produce that is left over. The far
communities are stable, but the colonists struggle with the rough conditions on the
frontier and remain more closely tied to self sufficiency than the other farmers.
The classic Von Thiinen zonation of land use patterns is apparent but some
modification is needed. The most extensive land use is located furthest from the urban
area or marketplace in the INCRA colonies. Few incentives exist for them to increase
labor input or to use chemical inputs because they are faced with limited markets and
extensive land holdings. Therefore, there are few incentives for them to intensify their
land use. They are selling only the agricultural products that can withstand the rough
transportation and yet bring a high enough return on their investments, so they are selling
the less valuable, bulkier crops such as maize, beans and rice.
The more intensive land use and the production of more valuable crops are
located in the middle and close communities. A Von Thiinenian zonation suggests that
the close communities would be the most intensely farmed. However, the middle
communities are producing the most valuable crops in the most intensive manner. This
variation on the Von Thunenian theory is due to transportation opportunities afforded the
middle communities. These farmers own their own vehicles and have been able to
internalize their transportation costs. These farmers also have connections outside of
their farms and are able to generate additional cash based on off-farm activities. Their
ability to generate income enables them to add inputs into their farming systems, making
them more intensive.
The close communities are not the most intensive due to the biophysical

98
environment. The farmers do not generate enough income, nor do they have enough labor
to intensify their systems. They cannot afford large quantities of products to amend the
soils in order to improve productivity. Therefore, they grow the more land extensive
crops like manioc.
The market is pulling these farmers to produce crops that can be sold for an
adequate value based on the cost of transportation, input of labor, and marketability of
crops. Thus the land use patterns resemble the concentric rings predicted by Von Thiinen,
with a modification based on the transportation opportunities afforded the middle
communities. The Boserup (1965) prediction of extensification follows that of Von
Thiinen. The most extensive land use is occurring in the land-rich, labor-scarce colonies
located furthest from the city.
The middle communities can still be considered land rich, and should be
experiencing a lower rate of intensification than the close communities. However, the
farmers in the middle communities have increased their labor input by hiring labor, and
raise capital to purchase chemical inputs for their farming systems increasing the
agricultural intensification index in this area.
The close communities have decreased land availability, however, they also have
decreased labor availability. Many of the young people have left the close communities
to take up permanent residence in the city. Furthermore, a number of residents commute
to the city for wage labor rather than work on the farm. The reduction in labor is
affecting the types of crops that are grown. Additional inputs into the farming systems
occur due to the income generated from off farm employment, however, the returns are
not great due to the nutrient poor soils found in these close communities. Therefore, the

99
biophysical environment appears to have a much greater effect on a farmer’s ability to
intensify agriculture than Boserup (1965) believed.

CHAPTER 5
LAND USE DYNAMICS ON THE FLOOD PLAINS
Households on the Flood Plains
Five flood plain communities were visited for this study (Figure 5.1). The flood
plain villages in Monte Alegre have been settled for a hundred or more years. Some
flood plain villages are believed to have been villages of the indigenous inhabitants, the
Gurubatuba. Flood plain residents tend to remain in their traditional homes, new
immigrants to the community enter through marriage. Many of the villages are made up
of extended families. There are an average of 6.4 people per house, and the average
length of residence is 24.6 years (Table 5.1). Only 14.1 % of the permanent flood plain
residents have title to their land. Brazilian law states that the flood plains are State
property and cannot be owned by individuals, however, many large cattle ranchers along
the Amazon have managed to gain legal title to their land. Some flood plain residents do
have documents stating that they purchased their land, but they are not official titles.
Furthermore, government agricultural technical assistance is not given to individuals who
do not have titles to the land. This leaves the flood plain farmers with little help in
dealing with agricultural problems, or in gaining insights into new agricultural
techniques.
100

101
I 1 1
® Kilometers ^
irS.
Far communities
Middle communties
Close communities
Flood plains
Figure 5.1 Villages visited on the floodplains of Monte Alegre by distance

102
Houses are built on stilts to keep the water out during floods (Figure 5.2). Many
homes have raised home gardens with green onions, okra, spices, and medicinal plants,
often old canoes are used as the planter. Bathing areas and outhouses are also on stilts
and are connected to the home by narrow planks that form wobbly bridges. Canoes are
used by everyone during the flood stage as the primary form of transportation around the
village. Even children as young as four years old learn how to canoe from one home to
the next.
Table 5.1 Characteristics of the households
Variables
Means
Number of people per house
6.4
Number of people working the fields
2.7
Number of years in house
24.6
Distance to field in minutes
2.0
Distance to market in hours
2.7
Percent of houses with title
14.1
Percent of households with pasture
18.1
Area in pasture in hectares
0.4
Number of cows
3.8
Percent of households good soils
94.5
Fishermen in the villages located on the restinga of Lago Grande, such as
Curierus and Santa Rita, complain about over fishing in the region. One Fisherman said
that 30 years ago he was able to catch up to ten piraracu a day. Now fishermen are lucky
if they catch one large piraracu every few months. This same Fisherman complains that
young men today are not really Fishermen because they only use gill nets. He went on to
say that a real Fisherman knows how to use a bow and arrow, a spear, and other traditional

103
fishing techniques. In Curierus, fishing was difficult during the high water in 1996, due
to a population explosion of piranhas. Piranhas cut the gill nets with their sharp teeth as
they try to eat the fish trapped in the nets. As a result, the net is brought up empty
because the piranhas ate the netted fish, then escaped. Consequently, fishermen spent
twice as much time as usual mending their nets in 1996.
Conditions for fishing are good during the low water since many fish do not make
it out of the flooded forest and are trapped in the many small lakes and ephemeral
paranás. However, in an attempt to preserve fish stocks, IBAMA has prohibited fishing
of certain species during their spawning season from October through January. A letter
sent to the Sindicato dos Pescadores by the mayor of Monte Alegre dated October 1,
1997 reemphasized the need for the ban in order to preserve the Amazonian fisheries for
the future. His letter stated that fishermen were not allowed to catch pirarucu for export
but were allowed to consume it within the home. Enforcement of this regulation is lax
and is up to the individual fisherman and the fishing community at large to respect and
adhere to the prohibition. A young fisherman in Monte Alegre was murdered in 1990
because he disobeyed the ban on fishing during the breeding season (Araújo, 1994).
Farming begins in August when the Amazon River waters recede in the dry
season. The agricultural cycle is limited by the rise and fall of the river and the ensuing
drought conditions. Additionally, the extent of agriculture is limited by the amount of
land available during the dry season. The flood plain itself is highly diverse in elevation
and location, and amounts of land that are present. Flood plain residents frequently use
only the land adjacent to their house for farming. Residents stated that they maintain the

104
wooded areas and some grassy areas on the flood plains. They know that the trees and
grasses serve as a major sources of food for the fish (Figure 5.3). Flood plain residents
are self-imposing limits to the amount of land they devote to their gardens by protecting
the flooded forests and grasses.
Agricultural systems are not highly diversified, a mean of 3.6 crops per farmer,
the majority grow only two crops (Table 5.2). The most common crop combinations
observed were musk melons and watermelon (10), maize and beans (9), watermelon,
musk melon and maxixe (4) and watermelon and maxixe (2). Tomatoes, green beans,
manioc and sugar cane were always planted as monocultures. A total of 15 different
agricultural crops are grown in the communities in this study (Table 5.3). The number
would be higher if medicinal and ornamental plants were included.
Cattle and water buffalo are a major factor in land use on the flood plains. Some
flood plain residents own cattle and rent land on the uplands during the rainy season, then
transport their cattle to the flood plain during the dry season. Many of the large ranchers
own or use large parts of the flood plain for pasture during the dry season also. All flood
plain residents who garden complained of the damage done to their crops by cattle and
buffalo. “O gado nao tem respeito." The cattle have no respect. Cattle owners do not
reimburse their neighbors for any damage done to the crops. Consequently, a number of
flood plain residents no longer plant gardens having experienced years of crop loss to
cattle. Some flood plain residents also complained that the water buffalo compact soils
and make it difficult to grow anything. In Curierus, where both cattle and buffalo are
pastured, residents with gardens have built fences out of their old gill nets in an


Figure 5.3 Cleared field on the flood plain with native fruit trees spared from the ax
o
Os
í>¿

Table 5.2 Number of crops grown in each household
Household
Number of crops
Hectares
Curierusl 1
2
0.3
Curierus 12
6
1.65
Curierus 13
5
0.99
Curierus 14
2
0.66
Curierus 15
2
0.66
Curierus 16
3
0.99
Curierus 2
6
1.98
Curierus 4
5
3.65
Curierus 5
2
0.76
Curierus 6
2
0.76
Santa Rita 1
2
0.66
Santa Rita 2
4
3.32
Santa Rita 3
4
0.86
Piapo 1
9
4.72
Piapo 2
14
4.73
Sapucaia 1
3
0.99
Sapucaia 2
1
1
Sapucaia 3
2
2
Sapucaia 4
2
1.66
Sapucaia 5
3
1.09
Sapucaia 6
2
1.83
Sapucaia 7
1
0.66
Sapucaia 8
3
0.76
Sapucaia 9
2
0.66
Parico 1
5
1.65
Parico 2
5
3.64
Parigo 3
7
2.98
Parico 4
5
3.66
Parigo 5
4
1.99
Parico 6
2
0.66
Parico 7
5
1
Parico 8
5
2.42
Parico 9
1
0.66
Mean
3.75
1.63

108
Table 5.3 Agricultural crops on t
íe flood plains
Portuguese name
English name
Scientific name
Pimenta do Reino
Black Pepper
Piper nigrum
Café
Coffee
Coffea sp.
Banana
Banana
Musa sp.
Abac ax i
Pineapple
Ananas cosmosus
Goiaba
Guava
Psidium guajava
Milho
Maize
Zea mays
Feijao
Beans
Phaseolus vulgaris
Arroz
Rice
Arroz sativa
Tomate
Tomato
Lycopersicon lycopersicum
Macaxeria
Manioc
Manihot esculata
Aborbora
Squash
Cucúrbita sp.
Cana
Sugar cane
Saccharum officinarum
Maxixe
Maxixe
Cucumis anguria
Meláo
Musk Melon
Cucumis melo
Melancia
Watermelon
Citrulus lanatus
Feijao metre
Yard long beans
Vigna unguiculata
* Source: Multilingual Dictionary of Agronomic Plants, S. Rehm, 1994

109
attempt to keep their gardens safe. Flood plain residents say - where there are cattle there
are no gardens.
In addition to conflicts with cattle, many flood plain residents ceased farming
when the jute market collapsed. Most of the flood plain villages including those located
on the interior shores of Lago Grande planted jute each year. However, when the jute
market collapsed the majority of these residents adopted cattle as a supplement to income
received from fishing. These communities were not included in this study due to their
lack of farming, however they were visited during reconnaissance research. The
communities on the restinga such as Santa Rita and Piapo also had extensive jute
plantings during the peak of jute production, but these farmers switched to the
production of other annual crops.
Farmer Interactions with the Outside World
A mean of 96.5% of flood plain farmers sell their crops. A small percentage
(30%) of produce is used within the household, the majority is sold (Table 5.4). The
majority of flood plain residents (82%) have employment outside of agriculture as
fishermen. Over half of the farmers use chemical inputs, primarily on watermelons and
musk melons shortly after germination. Pests attack the young melons and destroy the
plant before it flowers. Two types of pesticides are used: Parathion and Malathion. None
of the people interviewed knew how many times they sprayed their fields or the quantity
of the pesticide. They spray the young plants when they see a lot of bugs.
A mean of 26% of farmers are conserving their produce for a later date when

prices rise sufficiently to sell. All of the farmers purchase seeds in Monte Alegre, and
only 28% conserve seeds for the next agricultural season.
110
Table 5.4 Farmer interactions with the marketplace
Variable
Mean
Percent of households selling produce
96.5
Use of produce in-house in percent
30.6
Use of produce out in percent
69.4
Percent of households conserving produce
26.4
Percent of households purchasing seed
100.0
Percent of households conserving seed
27.6
Percent of households jobs out of agriculture
82.4
Percent of households using chemicals
57.0
Ninety percent of the farmers grow and sell watermelon resulting in a glut of the
fruit during the peak production in December (Table 5.5). Consequently, prices in
December are driven down to US$ 0.60 from US $ 0.80 in October. All of the farmers
who grow watermelon purchase their seeds in Monte Alegre. They grow an American
variety, Charleston Grey, which has a thick husk making it suitable for transport (Figure
5.4). Green beans, which are the yard long variety (Vigna unguiculata), and maxixe are
sold in small bundles in Monte Alegre for US $ 0.15 a piece. Sweet manioc, or
macaxeria, requires six months to produce a tuber and is not grown widely on the flood
plains.
None of the farmers who grow perennial crops sell the fruit. The majority of
flood plain residents grow and sell watermelon (86%). In addition to watermelon, the
other annual crops produced widely for sale include beans, maize, maxixe, musk melon,

Ill
yard long green beans, tomatoes and squash.
Strategies for Subsistence and Income Generation
Flood plain residents in Monte Alegre are not first and foremost agriculturalists.
They are fishermen, and maintain their gardens primarily for selling their produce in the
urban centers when they make trips to the cities for other purposes such as selling their
fish. Farmers grow crops that they know they can sell in Monte Alegre and Santarém,
such as the watermelon and yard-long green beans. In turn, flood plain residents purchase
the majority of their staple foods such as rice and beans from vendors in Monte Alegre.
Only those flood plain residents who live high on the restinga, which rarely floods, plant
perennial crops (Figure 5.5).
Farmers on the flood plains are really gardeners with limited production and a
limited diversity of crops. Their land use practices are motivated by their position in the
market and the seasonal nature of their agriculture. Diversification in crop types may
help flood plain residents increase their income during the dry season. However,
WinklePrins (1997) reports that cucumbers and green peppers do not have a high enough
market value to be grown on nearby Isla Ituquia for the large Santarém market. The same
may be true in Monte Alegre.
The flood plain residents rely more heavily on fishing than any other activity for
their livelihood. The flooded forests are being protected by the flood plain residents to
assure that the fish have the necessary habitat during the the high waters, and therefore
may be the best protectors of the flood plain environment.

to
Figure 5.4 Watermelons delivered from the flood plains during the peak harvest season in December

»< 'i

114
Table 5.5 Agricultural produce grown and sold by flood plain farmers
Flood plain
Flood plain
Percent of Residents
Percent of Residents
Crops
Grow
Sell
who grow
who sell
Watermelon
30
26
90
86
Beans
22
11
66
50
Maize
16
15
48
93
Maxixe
14
3
42
21
Musk melon
11
10
33
90
Tomato
11
4
33
36
Green beans
7
7
21
100
Squash
7
5
21
71
Manioc
4
0
16
0
Sugar cane
2
0
0.6
0
Black Pepper
1
0
0.3
0
Coffee
1
0
0.3
0
Banana
1
0
0.3
0
Pineapple
1
0
0.3
0
Guava
1
0
0.3
0
Agricultural Intensification
One of the research questions posed by this study is whether agricultural
intensification is occurring and if distance is a factor. In this study, crop diversity is
considered an important variable in intensification. Intensification indices are lower on
the flood plain because crop diversity is included. Each fanner has a unique
combination of crops, area under production, total acreage of land owned, land use
intensity, and agricultural intensity (Table 5.6). Farmers with high land use intensity and
chemical inputs into their agroecosystems have higher agricultural intensification indices.
Agricultural intensification on the flood plains is moderate with a mean value of 0.53.

115
Table 5.6 Land use intensity and agricultural intensification
Number of
Hectare
Hectare
Land use
Agricultural
intensification
Household
crops
planted
owned
intensity
index
Curierusl 1
2
0.3
1.5
0.2
0.402
Curierus 12
6
1.65
1.5
1.1
0.424
Cuneras 13
5
0.99
1.5
0.66
0.356
Cuneras 14
2
0.66
1.5
0.44
0.337
Cuneras 15
2
0.66
1.5
0.44
0.448
Cuneras 16
3
0.99
1.5
0.66
0.326
Cuneras 2
6
1.98
1
1.98
0.468
Cuneras 4
5
3.65
2
1.825
0.535
Cuneras 5
2
0.76
0.33
2.3
0.567
Cuneras 6
2
0.76
0.33
2.3
0.578
Santa Rita 1
2
0.66
0.33
2
0.477
Santa Rita 2
4
3.32
5
0.664
0.516
Santa Rita 3
4
0.86
1
0.86
0.343
Piapo 1
9
4.72
5
0.944
0.477
Piapo 2
14
4.73
1.33
3.55
0.85
Sapucaia 1
3
0.99
1
0.99
0.432
Sapucaia 2
1
1
1
1
0.525
Sapucaia 3
2
2
1
2
0.703
Sapucaia 4
2
1.66
0.66
2.51
0.796
Sapucaia 5
3
1.09
0.66
1.65
0.739
Sapucaia 6
2
1.83
2
0.91
0.523
Sapucaia 7
1
0.66
0.66
1
0.63
Sapucaia 8
3
0.76
0.66
1.15
0.572
Sapucaia 9
2
0.66
1
0.66
0.54
P arico 1
5
1.65
0.25
6.6
1.131
Parico 2
5
3.64
4
0.91
0.49
Parico 3
7
2.98
2
1.49
0.598
Parico 4
5
3.66
2
1.83
0.569
Parico 5
4
1.99
1
1.99
0.547
Parico 6
2
0.66
1
0.66
0.462
Parico 7
5
1
2
0.5
0.458
Parico 8
5
2.42
2
1.21
0.484
Parico 9
1
0.66
0.66
1
0.388
Mean
3.75
1.63
1.43
1.44
0.53

116
A number of push and pull factors are leading to intensification in this
environment. Pushing intensification is limited acreage of land that is under crop
production. Farmers must utilize their labor and capital investments productively on
these small plots. Farmers involvement in the marketplace is pulling the farmers into
intensifying their agricultural practices. Some of the income that farmers generate from
crop production is put directly back into the farming system through chemical inputs.
The biophysical environment is not limiting intensification on the flood plains, and may
be pushing intensification due to limits on land availability, and productivity of the soils.
Driving Forces Behind Land Use and Agricultural Practices
Farmers perceptions of difficulties that they face in agricultural production is
central to this study. Also of interest are the factors contributing to crop selection, and
their perceptions of which goods and services would be important in raising their
standard of living (Table 5.7).
A majority of farmers (55%) stated that pests in their agricultural fields were
usually or always a problem. They also reported that they usually or always had problems
with floods (59%) and drought (62%). Low prices were also usually or always a problem
for 62% of the farmers interviewed. However, few (52%) had problems finding markets
for their produce. Lack of workers (68%) and injuries (95%) were rarely or never a
problem for farmers. Farmers were also asked if certain factors were important in their
decisions when they selected the types of crops they grew (Table 5.8). This part of the

117
survey included questions that were categorized into driving factors as environmental (E),
and economic (C). When making choices about their crop types, 100% of farmers stated
the time of planting and the type of crops that would mature quickly were always
important. Ability to sell produce was rated at always important by 57% of the farmers.
The majority of farmers (82%) also believe that they have good soils. They also stated
that there was little importance in their ability to access high quality seeds; in fact, 100%
of farmers purchase some of their seeds. Guaranteed prices for crops was reported to be
somewhat important (52%) and 57% of farmers state that the ability to sell their produce
was important.
Farmers were asked what they would need, or like, to raise their standard of living
(Table 5.9). Farmers (69%) stated that higher production is considered somewhat
important. They (92%) do not consider agricultural cooperatives as an important means
to raise their standard of living. In fact, the Monte Alegre cooperative does not deal with
the types of crops being grown on the flood plains.
Table 5.7 Responses to survey regarding problems faced by farmers
Variable
Category
Low (%)
Medium (%)
High (%)
Pest
E
23.00
23.00
55.00
Drought
E
5.00
33.00
62.00
Rain
E
5.00
36.00
59.00
Seeds
E
57.00
14.00
29.00
Markets
C
52.00
29.00
19.00
Transport
C
67.00
14.00
19.00
Prices
C
5.00
33.00
62.00
Injury
S
95.00
5.00
0.00
Worker
s
68.00
23.00
9.00
Illness
s
52.00
38.00
10.00

118
Table 5.8 Responses to the importance of variables in crop se
ection
Question
Category
Low
(%)
Medium
(%)
High (%)
Use in house
C
29.00
43.00
29.00
High Production
C
29.00
29.00
43.00
Ability to sell
c
5.00
38.00
57.00
Market availability
c
29.00
29.00
43.00
Guaranteed prices
c
19.00
52.00
29.00
Timing of planting
E
0.00
0.00
100.00
Disease resistance
E
62.00
29.00
10.00
Seed availability
E
63.00
13.00
25.00
Good soils
E
71.00
19.00
10.00
Table 5.9 Farmer perceptions on factors that would contribute to a better standard of
living
Question
Category
Low
(%)
Medium
(%)
High (%)
More markets
C
31.00
31.00
38.00
Additional money
C
0.00
23.00
77.00
Higher production
E
23.00
69.00
8.00
Additional land
E
46.00
31.00
23.00
Technology
S
31.00
46.00
23.00
Cooperative
S
92.00
0.00
8.00
A chi-square test (a = 0.05) was used to determine if the responses to the survey
questions are reported with equal frequency in regard to the categories of environmental,
economic, and social (Appendix D). The results indicate that there are significant
differences in their responses. The environmental variables are the largest problems
faced by farmers (Table 5.10). The economic variables are slightly stronger than the
environmental factors in driving farmers’ selection of crops (Table 5.11). The responses
to the standard of living survey indicates that the flood plain farmers believe that

119
economic goods and services would raise their standard of living (Table 5.12).
Table 5.10 Responses to problems faced by farmers by category
Category
Low (%)
Medium (%)
High (%)
Economic
41
25
33
Environmental
23
26
51
Social
71
22
6
Table 5.11 Response to
'actors in crop selection by category
Category
Low (%)
Medium (%)
High (%)
Economic
22
38
40
Environmental
49
15
36
Table 5.12 Response to factors required to raise standard of living by category
Category
Low (%)
Medium (%)
High (%)
Economic
15
27
57
Environmental
34
50
15
Social
61
23
15
Flood plain farmers are fully integrated into the marketplace. Their primary
motivation is to produce crops for income generation. As such, they are aware of their
economic opportunities, but they must consider the environmental setting in the majority
of their decisions. Some farmers face different economic factors based on distance to
market.

120
Distance as a Factor in Land Use and Agricultural Practices
One of the objectives of this study is to determine if distance from the market
plays a role in land use patterns and the character of the communities included in the
study. The flood plain communities were grouped into categories of far, medium, and
close based on travel time to Monte Alegre. Analyses of the responses to the surveys
based on the distance categories reveal additional information about the communities and
their location within the municipality ( Table 5.13).
The villages located close to Monte Alegre include Parigo and Sapucaia. All of
these farmers sell their produce (Table 5.14). Additionally, only 8% of the produce is
consumed within the household. Almost 90% of these farmers use chemicals on their
crops. These farmers, however, have a short tenure of 11 years compared with the
lengthy tenure of the other communities. Land use intensity is high at 1.6, which
indicates that these farmers are intercropping. The farmers in the close communities
overwhelmingly sell watermelon (89%), musk melons (66%) and green beans (78%).
Only one village is in the medium category of distance, Curierus. None of the
farmers have title to their land, and almost 90% of these farmers are engaged in jobs
outside of agriculture (Table 5.13). They consume 43% of their produce within the home,
primarily beans. Pesticides are used by fewer than half the farmers. Land use intensity is
1.34, indicating intercropping. The majority of farmers in the middle community (84%)
sell watermelon and less than half sell maize and beans (Table 5.14).
In the far communities of Santa Rita and Piapo, farmers consume 40 % of their

121
produce within the household (Table 5.13). Their land use intensity is 1.69, indicating a
high rate of intercropping. The far communities have the highest crop diversity due to the
incorporation of perennial crops into their agroecosystems. However, none of the
perennial crop products are sold. The majority farmers in the far communities (80%) sell
maize and beans; and less than half sell watermelons, squash and musk melons (Table
5.14). None of the flood plain farmers in this study sell manioc oxfarinha and none grow
rice which is common in other flood plain communities outside of this municipality.
Table 5.13 Flood plain household characteristics by distance
Mean
Far
Medium
Close
Number of people in the house
6.4
6.4
6.3
6.6
Number of people working in the fields
2.7
3.0
2.5
2.5
Number of years on farm
24.6
32.6
29.3
11.9
Distance to field in minutes
2.0
6.0
0.0
0.0
Distance to market in hours
2.7
4.8
3.0
0.4
Pasture in hectare
0.4
0.0
0.2
1.1
Produce used in-house in percent
30.6
40.4
42.9
8.3
Produce sold in percent
69.4
59.6
57.1
91.7
Households with title in percent
3.8
20.0
0.0
22.2
Households with pasture in percent
14.1
0.0
21.1
33.3
Households using chemicals in percent
18.1
40.0
42.1
88.9
Households conserve produce in percent
57.0
20.0
36.8
22.2
Households purchasing seed in percent
26.4
100.0
100.0
100.0
Households conserve seed in percent
100.0
40.0
31.6
11.1
Number of houses with jobs outside of
agriculture
27.6
80.0
89.5
77.8
Households with good soils in percent
82.4
100.0
94.7
88.9
Households selling produce in percent
94.5
100.0
89.5
100.0
Number of cows
96.5
0.0
4.7
6.7
Number of crops
4.37
6.6
3.3
3.22
Hectares planted
2.95
2.92
1.27
4.66
Hectares owned
2.49
1.86
1.49
4.14
Land Intensity
1.54
1.69
1.34
1.61

122
Table 5.14 Crops sold by flood plain residents
Crops
Far
Medium
Close
Maize
80.0
47.4
22.2
Beans
80.0
26.3
22.2
Squash
40.0
5.3
22.2
Watermelon
40.0
84.2
88.9
Musk melon
40.0
10.5
66.7
Green beans
0.0
0.0
77.8
Maxixe
20.0
0.0
22.2
Tomatoes
20.0
15.8
0.0
Okra
0.0
0.0
11.1
Farinha
0.0
0.0
0.0
Rice
0.0
0.0
0.0
A number of selected variables were analyzed with a two tailed Student’s t-test (a
= 0.5). They were performed to determine if there were differences in the means between
the variables based on distance (Appendix D). Far communities were tested against
medium and close communities, and the medium was tested against the close
communities. The results indicate that there are no significant differences in any of the
variables. The flood plain communities appear to be a homogeneous population.
Agricultural intensification, however, varies between the communities based on
distance from Monte Alegre (Table 5.15). The communities closest to the city, and those
located furthest from Monte Alegre have the highest agricultural intensification indices.
A Student’s t-test (a = 0.05) was performed on the agricultural intensification indices to
determine if the means are significantly different based on distance. The results
(Appendix D) indicate that the middle community is different from the far and close
communities. The farmers in the middle community have a moderate level of agricultural

123
intensification. These farmers are more isolated from the urban areas and have
specialized their agricultural production. The farmers who are located near the city have
the highest intensification index. These farmers have good soils and ready access to
markets. They are producing primarily for the market and are generating the capital
necessary to purchase outside inputs such as pesticides. The farmers in the far
communities are pulled by both the Monte Alegre and Santarém marketplace and
generate income to purchase inputs for their farms.
Table 5.15 Agricultural intensification index based on distance
Far
Medium
Close
Flood plain
0.533
0.44
0.588
Distance as It Relates to Land Use Patterns and Agricultural Intensification
Flood plain communities are homogenous in their household characteristics,
however, it appears that there are differences between the communities in their
production and involvement in the market place based on distance. The farmers in the
close communities are fully oriented towards the market. Farmers in these close
communities are more involved with selling their produce and sell a greater diversity of
crops than the medium and far communities. Transportation is readily available to these
farmers, therefore, crops that are highly perishable and fragile such as green beans and
tomatoes are ideal in this location.
Farmers in the medium community of Curierus farm for both the market and
subsistence. Beans are produced for household consumption, while other crops are
produced for market. This village is more isolated than the other villages on the flood

124
plains, and they are closer to subsistence level production than the other communities.
This village is situated on the restinga, however, it floods every year and residents can
not grow perennial crops. There are fewer transportation opportunities, and they are more
arduous. Although the residents could shorten travel time between Curierus and Monte
Alegre by crossing Lago Grande, they do not because of the danger of high winds
associated with the open water of the lake. They travel instead along the river staying
close to the shoreline, and must travel against the current on their ascent from Monte
Alegre to Curierus.
The far communities have a similar agricultural intensification index value to the
close communities. The pull of the markets in Santarém and Monte Alegre, high land use
intensities, and chemical inputs are the main factors in agricultural intensification on the
flood plains. Farmers are able to travel to various markets due to their location and
availability of transport to more than one market. Therefore, it appears that the regional
nodes proposed by Von Thlinen play a significant role in zonation of land use and
agricultural intensification in this area. These villages have an additional advantage to
the other communities because they are located on the high restinga and are not
completely flooded each year. Therefore, the farmers can and do plant perennial crops
increasing their crop diversity. However, it appears that the farmers located in the far
communities are specializing in the nonperishable less fragile crops of maize and beans.
Flood plain farmers live in villages scattered on the flood plain and their
livelihoods are dictated by the ebb and flow of the Amazon River. Villages are stable and
are composed of extended families in traditional homes. Cattle pastured on the flood

125
plains during the dry season are tended by people who generally are not permanent flood
plain residents. The environmental factors are a strong influence on the flood plains and
farmers must time their agricultural season to avoid flooding and the hot dry season.
Flood plain farmers appear to avoid risk by growing a limited number of crops that they
know will do well in the flood plain environment, and produce crops that they know they
can sell. The price of any given crop is not as important as their ability to sell it.
Watermelon, for instance, has a low value at the peak harvest due to its abundance. But
flood plain farmers are not working together to diversify their crops nor are they
motivated individually to change their crop selections.
The Programa da Várzea may have directly contributed to the types of crops
grown, and maybe a factor in the close community's reliance on watermelon. However,
farmers interviewed were generally dissatisfied with the results of Programa da Várzea,
and did not believe that they gained much from their participation in the program.

CHAPTER 6
COMPARING THE UPLANDS TO THE FLOOD PLAINS
The uplands and flood plains are very distinct environments. Farmers in each
environment are involved in growing agricultural products for home consumption and
income generation. The settlement histories of each environment are very different, so
are the farmers’ strategies in accomplishing their goals. This chapter reviews the,
similarities and differences between the communities in these two environments.
Household Characteristics
The upland and flood plain environments are dynamic and the residents in each
have intricate knowledge of their resource base and markets. There are similarities
between the two, and in some ways the residents of these two areas can be viewed as a
single population operating under similar circumstances. Overall, however, the
differences in household characteristics between the two environments are greater than
the similarities (Table 6.1). Results of Student’s t-tests (a = 0.05) indicate no significant
differences in labor, years of residence, and area in pasture for the two environments
(Appendix E). For all other variables the results indicate that the uplands and flood
plains are different.
126

127
The most notable differences between the two populations are the economic
characteristics of the households. Flood plain residents are part time farmers/gardeners;
more than 80% of them have an outside occupation. Less than 12% of upland residents
are employed off the farm, most of those are from communities with ready access to
Monte Alegre. The flood plain residents are more concerned with producing crops for
sale than the upland farmers, although both populations are involved in the market, 96.5
and 81.9 percents, respectively.
The types of crops grown are good indicators of involvement in the market. Flood
plain residents grow short season vegetables that have a high market value in relation to
transportation costs. Farmers located high on the restinga also grow fruits but do not
market them. Some fruits such as melons are bulky and fragile and cannot be transported
easily across the rough upland terrain, so melon production remains in the realm of the
flood plains.
The distance residents must travel to the market is approximately the same on the
flood plains and uplands, but the mode of transportation is different in the two
environments and may play a role in farmers’ market strategies. Transportation problems
on the uplands include cost inefficiency and ruggedness of truck transport. In contrast,
transport on the flood plains is by boat, a much gentler mode, therefore perishable and
delicate fruits can be transported on the rivers without the damage caused by truck travel.
Subsistence crop production on the flood plains and uplands mirror each other. Flood
plain residents consume only 30% of their produce and sell the remainder. Flood plain
residents purchase the majority of their food throughout the year. Upland residents

128
consume 66% of their produce and sell the remaining third (Table 6.1).
Crop diversity on the flood plains is far less than that on the uplands. In fact the
flood plains are dominated by two crops, watermelon and green beans, and both are
grown by 50% of the flood plain population. In the uplands, seven crops are grown by
more than 50% of the population including: manioc, oranges, beans, maize, mango, rice
and bananas. Beans and maize are most frequently sold by the two populations (Table
6.2). The flood plain environment is a strong determinant of which crops can be
successfully grown. The production of crops must be accomplished within 120 days.
Table 6.1 Characteristics of households in the uplands and flood plains
Variable
Flood plains
Uplands
Number of people per household
6.4
5.0
Number of people working in the fields
2.7
2.4
Number of years in residence
24.6
17.4
Distance to field - Minutes
2.0
10.8
Distance to market - Hours
2.7
2.6
Area in pasture - Hectare
0.4
22.2
Percent of produce consumed in-house
30.6
65.7
Percent of produce sold
69.4
34.3
Number of cows
3.8
21.1
Number of Hectares owned
1.5
52.7
Number of Hectares planted
1.7
8.5
Land use intensity
1.1
0.5
Agricultural Intensification Index
0.6
0.4
Percent of households with title
14.1
74.3
Percent of households with pasture
18.1
70.1
Percent of households using chemicals
57.0
36.1
Percent of households conserving produce
26.4
69.4
Percent of households purchasing seed
100.0
68.8
Percent of households conserving seed
27.6
86.8
Percent of households with jobs out of agriculture
82.4
11.8
Percent of households with good soils
94.5
22.2
Percent of households selling produce
96.5
81.9

129
Table 6.2 Crops that are grown
and sold on the uplands and flood p
ains, in percent
Upland
farmers who
grow
Upland farmers
who sell
Flood plain
farmers who grow
Flood plain
farmers who sell
Manioc
86
25
16
0
Orange
84
10
0
0
Beans
78
69
66
50
Maize
75
71
48
93
Mango
63
4
0
0
Rice
65
58
0
0
Banana
55
5
0.3
0
Watermelon
48
17
90
86
Papaya
45
6
0
0
Squash
40
13
21
71
Guava
35
8
0.3
0
Maxixe
32
0
42
21
Musk melon
29
9
33
90
Coconut
32
9
0
0
Avocado
24
11
0
0
Pineapple
24
11
0.3
0
Coffee
13
40
0.3
0
Cane
19
14
0.6
0
Green Beans
16
3
21
100
Passion fruit
16
33
0
0
Black pepper
16
50
0.3
0
Tomato
16
17
33
36
Rubber
5
100
0
0

130
The upland residents have highly diverse agroecosystems that include up to 22 different
species. Only the villages located on the high restinga on the flood plain are able to plant
perennials and these villages experience occasional floods that destroy the perennial
crops, such as happened with the cacao plantations in Santa Rita.
Farmers in both environments stated that they experienced problems with the
strong drought conditions in 1997, when the municipality went without any rain for over
five months. The upland farmers lost many of their trees due to the drought and lack of
water for irrigation. The flood plain farmers were able to maintain their gardens by
periodic watering from the river. However, irrigation is not common on the flood plains
of Monte Alegre, because few residents have the money to buy pumps and hand carrying
water regularly is an expensive labor input. One field observation should be noted here.
When the researcher interviewed upland farmers during the 1996 rainy season, few stated
that they had problems with drought, but during the 1997 dry season, the majority of
upland farmers complained about problems with drought. During both field seasons the
flood plain farmers were consistent in their complaints about droughty conditions.
Drought is not a problem usually faced by farmers on the uplands, but is on the flood
plains.
Results from Student’s t-test (a = 0.05) indicate that flood plain and upland
communities differ significantly with regard to land use intensity and agricultural
intensification (Appendix E). Flood plain farmers have less land available and for shorter
periods of time each year than the upland farmers. Consequently, the flood plain farmers’
fields are smaller with a high incidence of intercropping. The mean size for agricultural

131
plots on the flood plain are 0.5 hectares and the upland farmers keep a mean of four
hectares in production. The land use intensity calculated for the flood plain residents is a
mean of 1.5, indicating intercropping. Land use intensity on the uplands is lower, with a
mean of 0.45, indicating that just under half of the land available to upland residents is
under production. Agricultural intensification is also greater on the flood plains than on
the uplands. The mean agricultural intensification index for the flood plains is 0.58. On
the uplands it is 0.37. The primary factors leading to higher intensification on the flood
plains are the higher land use intensity and the higher use of chemical inputs. Both of
these variables are low on the uplands.
The presence or absence of pasture for cattle is another factor in land use in these
two environments. On the uplands, 70% of all residents have pasture, while only 18% of
residents on the flood plains reported having pasture. However, the Student’s t-test (a =
0.05) results indicate that the area in pasture for the uplands and flood plains is
statistically the same, but the number of cows for the upland and flood plains differ
significantly (Appendix E). In fact, many of the small farmers on the uplands were
looking forward to the day when their primary occupation would be ranching.
Distance as a Factor in Land Use and Agriculture
The upland and flood plain communities were compared to each other based on
distance to market in addition to the environmental setting. Means were calculated for a
number of variables (Table 6.3). Mean years of residence decreases with distance from

132
the city, while distance from the house to the field increases. The percent of agricultural
produce kept for use within the house also increases with distance, as does acreage
owned.
Table 6. 3 Characteristics of households based on distance to market
Means
Far
Medium
Close
Number of people per house
6.14
5.27
5.64
Number of workers per house
2.57
2.77
2.23
Years of residence in years
17.78
22
23.13
Distance to the field
16.14
3.86
1.58
Distance to the market
4.39
3.36
0.97
Area in pasture in hectares
3.85
30.8
2.59
Percent of products consumed in-house
61.57
48.23
46.61
Percent products sold
38.42
51.77
53.38
Number of cows
7.35
22.45
8.2
Total number of crops
12.22
7.31
6.97
Area planted in hectares
6.08
7.22
3.4
Area owned in hectares
65.19
22.66
9.06
Land use intensity
0.623
0.866
1.087
Agricultural intensification index
0.284
0.561
0.497
Results from Student’s t-tests (a = 0.05) indicate that the far communities on the
flood plains are different from the far communities on the uplands in three of the seven
variables: years of residence, land use intensity and agricultural intensification. There are
no differences between the flood plain and upland far communities in number of people
per house, number of workers, crop diversity, and percent of produce sold. However,
when tested at a 90% confidence level (a = 0.10), land use intensity does differ
significantly. The far communities in the uplands have a mean of 100 hectares available
but only 4 hectares are kept in production resulting in low land use intensity and

133
agricultural intensification. This is the primary reason why the far communities are
dissimilar in some characteristics.
Results from the Student’s -1 test (a = 0.05) indicate that the upland and flood
plain medium distance communities do not differ significantly in five of the seven
variables tested: number of people working in the fields, years of residence, land use
intensity, agricultural intensification, and the percent of agricultural produce sold. They
do differ in the number of people per house and crop diversity. The medium
communities in the uplands are characterized by farmers who hire outside labor and do
not live on their farms full-time, and the middle community on the flood plains
specializes in just one crop, watermelon.
Results from the Student’s t - test (a = 0.05) indicate that the close communities
in the uplands and flood plains are not different from each other in two of the seven
variables tested. They do not differ significantly in the number of people per household
and years in residence. They do differ significantly in number of workers, crop diversity,
sale of produce, land use intensity and agricultural intensification. The close flood plain
communities are involved in producing watermelons and green beans for sale while the
close upland communities are producing primarily farinha, and some maize and beans.
The upland communities have diverse home gardens while the flood plain residents rely
on only two crops.
There continues to be a gradation of agricultural intensification based on distance
from the city. The pattern is more pronounced for the municipality as a whole than it was
for the individual environments (Table 6.4). A classic Von Thiinenian and Boserupian

134
prediction emerges. The importance of the secondary market in Santarém for the far
flood plain communities is no longer as significant as it was when flood plains were
considered alone. The far community agricultural intensification index is greatly affected
by the extensive land use in the upland INCRA colonies.
Even when aggregated, the intensive agricultural practices of the upland middle
communities continue to exhibit a strong influence on agricultural intensification in the
middle communities. Markets and capital resources appear to be the most important
factors in agricultural intensification in the municipality. Farmers who have the necessary
financial resources will intensify their agriculture.
Table 6.4 Agricultural intensification indices
Far
Medium
Close
Uplands
0.26
0.477
0.407
Flood plain
0.533
0.44
0.58
Flood plains/Uplands
0.39
0.44
0.49
The upland and flood plain communities differ for the majority of variables
explored in this study. Additionally, these differences continue to be found based on
distance from the center point of Monte Alegre. The middle and far communities appear
to be more similar in their characteristics than the close communities. The close
communities have equal access to Monte Alegre; however, the flood plain residents are
fishermen who farm during the low water, while the residents of the close communities
on the uplands rely on outside employment in the city.

135
Driving Forces in Agricultural Practices and Land Use
The driving forces behind farmers’ decisions in their crop selection, land use, and
agricultural practices are based on the individual fanner’s goals, needs, and biophysical
environment (Table 6.5). The majority of flood plain residents (55%) stated that they
always have problems with pests. Consequently, they use more pesticides than the
upland residents. Flood plain residents were also more concerned with obtaining quality
seeds than upland residents, and more flood plain residents purchase their seeds than their
counterparts in the uplands. The majority of flood plain residents stated that flooding or
excessive rains were usually or always a problem while the upland residents rarely have
this problem. The opposite is true with drought conditions which the upland farmers find
to be a greater problem than the flood plain residents. However, it should be reiterated
here that there were differences in responses by the upland residents depending on when
the surveys were administered, during the rainy or dry seasons. Both upland and flood
plain residents stated that there were few problems with the social factors. For the
economic category, the majority of flood plain residents (95%) stated that transportation
is rarely a problem, while less than 50% of upland residents stated that transportation is
rarely a problem. In fact, upland residents believe that the frequency of transportation,
(two or three times per week) is sufficient, but complain about the amount of time it takes
to reach their destination especially in the wet season. Flood plain residents rarely found
the value of their crops a problem (68%), while upland residents (72%) found them

136
usually or always a problem. Finally, flood plain residents have fewer problems finding
adequate markets than the upland residents.
Table 6.5 Upland and flood plain responses to survey regarding problems faced by
farmers
Category
Flood
plain Low
%
Flood plain
Medium
%
Flood
plain High
%
Upland
Low
%
Upland
Medium
%
Upland
High
%
Pest
E
23.00
23.00
55.00
25.00
33.00
42.00
Seeds
E
5.00
33.00
62.00
56.00
25.00
19.00
Rain
E
5.00
36.00
59.00
56.00
36.00
8.00
Drought
E
57.00
14.00
29.00
25.00
39.00
36.00
Injury
S
52.00
29.00
19.00
94.00
0.00
6.00
Worker
S
67.00
14.00
19.00
36.00
17.00
47.00
Illness
S
5.00
33.00
62.00
54.00
35.00
12.00
Trans-port
C
95.00
5.00
0.00
49.00
23.00
29.00
Prices
c
68.00
23.00
9.00
11.00
17.00
72.00
Markets
c
52.00
38.00
10.00
33.00
25.00
42.00
The responses to this survey were combined into the categories environmental
(E), economic, and social (S), and then examined for differences or similarities. There
are differences in the degree to which these various factors are problems for farmers in
each environment (Table 6.6). The greatest problems flood plain farmers face are
environmental (51%) while the upland farmers Find that economic problems (47%) the
greatest. The least severe problems in the uplands are the social ones, such as lack of
labor and illness. The least severe problems on the flood plains are the economic ones,
such as transport and access to markets.

137
Table 6.6 Categories of problems faced by farmers in the uplands and flood p
Flood plain
Flood plain
Floodplain
Upland
Upland
Upland
Low
Medium
High
Low
Medium
High
Category
%
%
%
%
%
%
E
22
26
51
40
33
26
S
41
25
33
61
17
21
c
71
22
6
30
22
47
ams
A chi-square test (a = 0.05) was performed to determine if these differences are
significant. The results indicate that there are significant differences between the two
groups in their perception of the importance of environmental problems, but not the social
and economic problems (Appendix E).
When farmers make decisions about the types of crops they plant, the most
important factor to flood plain farmers is time of planting, which is the primary
environmental determinant to their agricultural season (Table 6.7). The least important in
their decisions regarding crops are disease resistance, good soils, and availability of
quality seeds. Flood plain residents overwhelmingly reported that they believed that their
soils were of good quality. Perhaps flood plain residents place a low priority on disease
resistance due to their high use of pesticides, and a low priority on the soils because they
believe them to be of good quality. Additionally, the majority of flood plain residents
purchase seeds in Monte Alegre that have been treated with pesticides. On the uplands
the primary concern in the selection of crops is their suitability in subsistence use.
Upland residents are planting subsistence crops first, and secondarily cash crops.

138
Table 6.7 Responses to the importance of factors in crop selection on uplands and flood
plains
Flood
plain
Low
(%)
Flood
plain
Medium
(%)
Flood
plain
High
(%)
Upland
Low (%)
Upland
Medium
(%)
Upland
High (%)
Use
C
29.00
43.00
29.00
17.00
6.00
78.00
Market
C
29.00
29.00
43.00
17.00
42.00
42.00
Production
c
29.00
29.00
43.00
17.00
42.00
42.00
Sale
c
5.00
38.00
57.00
24.00
19.00
57.00
Prices
c
19.00
52.00
29.00
43.00
22.00
35.00
Time
E
0.00
0.00
100.00
47.00
8.00
44.00
Disease
E
62.00
29.00
10.00
40.00
43.00
17.00
Seed
E
63.00
13.00
25.00
29.00
29.00
43.00
Soils
E
71.00
19.00
10.00
23.00
37.00
40.00
A chi-square test (a = 0.05) was performed to determine if the upland and flood
plain responses differ significantly (Appendix E). The results indicate that there are
significant differences in factors that farmers consider when they select their crops. Flood
plain farmers’ decisions regarding crop types are based on the biophysical setting, while
the upland residents decisions are based on economic conditions.
Residents in the uplands and flood plains have fairly low standards of living. Few
have electricity, indoor plumbing or educational opportunities. With a few exceptions,
these farmers use manual labor in all of their agricultural practices. Therefore it was of
interest to determine what the residents of the municipality believed would raise their
standard of living. The majority of upland farmers (64%) believed that technology was
necessary, while only 23% of flood plain farmers rated it as their highest priority. Also,
67% of upland farmers stated that their lowest priority is additional land. Additional

139
market opportunities are rated as very important for upland farmers (64%) while 38% of
the flood plain farmers believe this to be very important. A chi-square test (a = 0.05) was
performed on the aggregated flood plain and upland responses to the standard of living
portion of the survey to determine if the responses are different. The results (Appendix
E) indicate that the responses are different.
The flood plain and upland residents have different lifestyles, economic
enterprises and environmental constraints. Upland farmers are involved in agriculture for
subsistence and income generation. In contrast, the flood plain farmers are producing
primarily for the market and to supplement their income gained from fishing.
Additionally, the social make up of the two populations is distinct. The flood plain
farmers live in traditional communities made up of extended family members. The
upland environment has both traditional communities and communities formed through
colonization.
Table 6.8 Factors in crop selection on up
ands and flood plains
Category
Flood plain
Flood plain
Flood plain
Upland
Upland
Upland
Low
Medium
High
Low
Medium
High
%
%
%
%
%
%
C
22
38
40
23
26
50
E
49
15
36
35
29
36

140
Table 6.9 Factors believed to contribute to a better standard of living
Upland
Low
(%)
Upland
Medium
(%)
Upland
High
(%)
Flood
plain
Low
(%)
Flood
plain
Medium
(%)
Flood
plain
High
(%)
Technology
S
11.00
25.00
64.00
31.00
46.00
23.00
Cooperative
S
38.00
32.00
29.00
92.00
0.00
8.00
Additional money
C
3.00
11.00
86.00
0.00
23.00
77.00
More markets
C
25.00
11.00
64.00
31.00
31.00
38.00
Higher production
E
43.00
26.00
31.00
23.00
69.00
8.00
Additional land
E
67.00
11.00
22.00
46.00
31.00
23.00
Farmers in each environment have different risk management strategies. The
flood plain farmers have a mixed livelihood of fishing and agriculture. The upland
residents have a mixed livelihood of agriculture and ranching. Farmers in each
environment are reacting to the conditions they are presented with in order to achieve
their individual goals.

CHAPTER 7
IMPLICATIONS OF THE RESEARCH FINDINGS
This study was an attempt to develop a qualitative index model to measure
agricultural intensification based on the various factors believed to contribute to
intensification. The index was used to measure intensification at the farm level, the
village level, and then aggregated to a regional level based on distance to the market.
This study was also a comparison of land use in two very different ecosystems within the
Lower Amazon. The resultant information provides a view of the regional variations in
land use and agricultural practices and a discussion point for measuring and defining
agricultural intensification.
Theoretical Implications
Agricultural intensification in Monte Alegre is not occurring to the same degree as
it is in other areas around the world, especially Asia. This is not surprising as the
Amazon continues to be a land rich frontier, and investing in more intensive agricultural
practices is difficult to justify to the individual farmer. Boserupian theory would predict
that the close communities on the uplands had the greatest intensification due to the
increased population pressure and division of land holdings. However, agricultural
intensification cannot be explained by the Boserupian theory regarding increased
population pressure and decreased land holdings in this area. The environment is the
141

142
primary limiting factor in the intensifaction process. These well used soils have had few
inputs over the generations and are now nutrient poor. Few residents in these areas have
the resources available to improve soil quality due the cost of needed inputs (fertilizers).
Instead, these residents have opted for employment outside of agriculture and generate
income for the purchase of their staples. The most intensive practices are found in the
middle communities of Mulata and Lirnao. These farmers have ready access to the
market, the most diverse production of commodity crops, and capital that can and is
reinvested into agriculture.
The Von Thlinenian model predicts similar land use patterns as the Boserupian
model; however, one of Von Thiinen’s preconditions to the model was an environment of
equal quality over the landscape; consequently, the Von Thiinenian model must be
modified to reflect the lower environmental quality of the close communities. The Von
Thiinenian model appears to be most appropriate in predicting land use trends in the land
rich but infrastructure poor Amazon. Access to the market may be the single most
important factor in this study as it relates to land use patterns and agricultural
intensification. Access to market includes travel time, frequency of travel opportunities
and mode of transportation; these variables contribute to the decisions that the small
farmers must make regarding their agricultural systems. Few farmers are completely
isolated from the market, and as they establish themselves they become more involved in
commodity production. Commodity production of agricultural goods is limited by
transportation opportunities. Farmers in the far communities are limited by the types of
crops they can offer for sale that will retain their value and quality due to poor

143
transportation opportunities. This in turn affects the willingness and opportunities for
intensive practices.
On the other hand, the Von Thiinenian model does not predict land use patterns at
the subsistence level. All of the farmers are growing more or less the same suite of crops
with the exception of their home gardens. The resulting pattern is a patchwork of pasture,
annual crops, perennials, primary and secondary forests that cannot be predicted by any
land use model. Subsistence level production is based on the family’s needs and is a
result of household composition. Description and prediction of these patterns can be
drawn from different theoretical frameworks established by sociologists and
anthropologist.
Application Implications
The results of this study indicate that farmers with poor transportation
opportunities are at a distinct disadvantage compared to others in commodity production.
Transportation must be improved if the colonists are to improve their standard of living.
The first step may be to improve the roads themselves through paving or more frequent
grading. This may be a very controversial approach, as it has been proven in the Amazon
and throughout the world that increased access to the rain forests, through the building of
roads, has lead to increased deforestation. However, there is little information that
indicates that improved roads (paving) increases deforestation rates. There is information
that indicates that property values rise with improved access, and in the case of the

144
Amazon has lead to some speculative land deals. However, if development and an
improved quality of life was the goal of ENCRA colonization, the roads must be
improved. The small farmers of Monte Alegre must be afforded the ability to pursue
their goals and dreams, and better roads reducing the time to market and the rough
conditions would be a major factor in contributing to a higher standard of living.
The information generated by this study can be used by Federal, State, and
municipal technical assistance agencies in their outreach and extension programs.
Extension personnel armed with the information regarding the low value of home garden
products may alter the types of perennial crops that are offered through their programs.
Higher value perennial crops should include valuable timber species and high value fruits
such as cacao and black pepper. However, farmers and cooperatives, have faced
problems with the quality of their products from contamination such as salmonella in the
black pepper, and low quality fruit pulp being sent for processing. Extension
information on quality and hygienic standards should be provided to the small farmers
who wish to produce crops for regional, national, and international markets. Farmers
armed with knowledge about crop production and processing could theoretically enter the
larger market and obtain higher incomes.
On the flood plain, the low diversity of crops and high rates of production causes
a glut in certain fruits and vegetables which then lowers the price of those products.
Coordination among the flood plain villages would be the first step in reducing
overproduction of any single commodity item. Additionally, Finding high value crops
that could be grown on the flood plains could increase flood plain residents’ income and

145
end what is perceived to be their over reliance on fishing. In Santarém and Jari, rice has
been produced on the flood plains with success. Also soya beans have been tested in
Santarém and have produced adequate yields. These crops could also be grown on the
flood plains of Monte Alegre. However, these schemes should be approached with
caution. Municipality officials believe that soya is a suitable crop for the upland areas,
but only for large farmers who have the capital to mechanize their operations. Soya is
believed to be labor intensive, and consequently is grown only on a large scale. Soya on
the flood plains could mean additional deforestation but may in turn reduce the area that
is currently devoted to pasture. A reduction in cattle may be good for the flood plain
farmers. However, the large scale agriculture may compete with the traditional flood
plain communities current agricultural practices and fishing.
Methodological Implications
The agricultural intensification index is a qualitative model that is used to
determine the level of intensification at any one location on the landscape. It was based
on the variables that are generally believed to be the most influential in the intensification
process. However, the index itself is somewhat subjective and may bias the scores of
intensification. To further test the agricultural intensification index, metadata, or data
from other studies could be used. If similar patterns of intensification are obtained then
this index could be applied across a broader spectrum of agricultural systems throughout
the world.

146
Recommendations for Future Research
Trends in colonization and agricultural practices have been well researched in the
Amazon. However, the growing importance placed upon sustainable development raises
additional issues that deserve to be researched. Information regarding the physical
environment that farmers face in both environments needs to be generated and would
provide information that demonstrates the constraints to sustainable agriculture. In this
study, farmers were asked about their perceptions of soils quality and most farmers only
recognized good or weak soils. Additional research on soils would be useful in
identifying the qualities of soils that farmers believe to be good and to further elucidate
whether the soils that are believed to be weak are in fact nutrient poor. On the flood
plains, research into soil water holding capacity would be useful to determine the best
areas for farming. Technical assistance agencies armed with the information could
promote better protection of soil resources.
Research on the flood plain environment is still lacking in general, and additional
research on the most important species of fish for food is needed. The spawning and
migration habits of the giant catfish are still unknown. Additionally, research on the
critical areas for fish habitats is warranted. Fishermen in Monte Alegre reported that they
actively preserve areas of flooded forests they know to be important for fish. However,
more information regarding which trees and grasses are favored foods for fish will
provide insights into the ideal requirements of many fish species.
Flood plain farmers have quickly adopted the use of the pesticides Parathion and

147
Malathion for their melon crops. The environmental fate and risk associated with these
pesticides are still debated in the United States. No information regarding pesticide
contamination from agriculture on the Amazon has been generated. Research regarding
possible contamination should include water quality tests along with tests for pesticides in
the soils and fish.
Finally, market concerns should not be left out of any future research on land use
in the Amazon basin. The vast majority of small farmers are involved in the production
of both commodity and consumption goods. They are no longer isolated from the larger
regional and international markets, and their farming systems reflect their inclusion into
the market system.

APPENDIX A
SURVEYS ON AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES
Decision and problems:
Please rate how much of a problem the following are:
No problem Medium Problem Great Problem
Pests (insects, birds) 1 2
Cattle 1 2
Not enough people to work fields 1 2
Too much rain or flooding 1 2
Injury from farm work 1 2
Low prices for crops 1 2
Drought or not enough rain 1 2
Elness in the family 1 2
Inadequate transportation to markets 1 2
Bad quality of seeds 1 2
Poor markets for crops 1 2
Other
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
Please rate how important the following are when you are selecting crops to plant:
Importance
Growing crops for home use
When the crops are planted
Crops with high production
Ability to sell crops
Disease resistant crops
Access to the market
Types of soils planted
Prices of crops
Other
No importance Medium High
148

149
What would make agriculture easier for you?
Technology
No importance
1
Medium
2
High Importance
3
More land
1
2
3
Money
1
2
3
Greater production
1
2
3
Better market
1
2
3
Cooperatives
1
2
3

Agroforestry:
1. How many years have you lived at this location?
2. When did you begin planting tree crops?
3. What type of tree crop did you begin with first?
4.What do you currently have planted?
How old ?
Is it producing?
How much is produced each month or year?
5. How much area is planted in each type of tree crop?
6. Do you sell the products from the tree crops? Do you use them in your house?
7. How much do you sell the products for Per kg or box?
8. Where do you sell the products?
9. What type of trees are planted together? «
10. Are there short cycle crops planted with the trees?
11. Is the value of the tree products more or less than short cycle crops?
12. Where did you get the seedlings or seeds for the trees?
13. Do you know the price of the crops before you sell them?

151
Basic Household information Name V T
CU MU FU CF MF FF
1. How many people live in this location?
How many children and what are their ages?
2. How many years have you lived at this location?
Have you lived in other locations?
If so, where else have you lived?
3. Where were you bom?
4. Did you receive the land through INCRA?
5. Did you buy this land from someone else?
6. Do you have a title to your land?
7. How much land do you own?
8. How much area is used to grow: long term crops
short term crops
9. What types of crops do you grow?
What varieties?
10. What is the production of the crops?
11. What do you sell?
12. Where do you sell your produce?
How do you get to market?
13. Do you know the value of the crop before you sell?
14. Do you have pasture?
How many hectares?
Do you plant the grass? What varieties?

15. Do you have cattle?
How many
16. Do you use pasture on the varzea?
17. Do you sell your cattle? When?
18. How are your cattle transported to market?
19. What is the quality of the soils on your farm?
20. How many years do you use the same field?
21. Have floods destroyed your fields?
How many times?
22. Have droughts destroyed your fields?
How many times?
23. Do you use chemicals for fertilizer or pesticide?
What type?
How often?
24. Does anyone living here work off the farm?
25. Is that salary greater than farming?
26. What items do you need to purchase?
27. Do you use the forest to collect food, nuts, hunt?
28. Do you sell or trade these goods?
29. Do you use the varzea to fish?
Does the house have the following:
Electricity
Machinery
Water
Telephone
TV
Car
Home garden

Laranqa
Limao
Manqa
Maracuja
Urucum
Caju
Pimenta
Sou N
# ou Ha
SouN
# ou Ha
S ou N
# ou Ha
Sou N
# ou Ha
Sou N
# ou Ha
SouN
# ou Ha
S ou N
Borracha
Acai
Pupunha
Cafe
Guranana
Inqa
C. do Par.
S ou N
# ou Ha
Sou N
# ou Ha
SouN
# ou Ha
SouN
# ou Ha
S ou N
# ou Ha
SouN
# ou Ha
SouN
Carambot
Banana
Ata
Mamao
Abacate
Cupu
Coco
S ou N
# ou Ha
SouN
# ou Ha
SouN
# ou Ha
Sou N
# ou Ha
SouN
# ou Ha
S ou N
# ou Ha
Sou N
Abacaxi
Cacau
Muriti
Dende
Tanqer
Graviola
Gandu
Sou N
# ou Ha
Sou N
# ou Ha
Sou N
# ou Ha
S ou N
# ou Ha
S ou N
# ou Ha
Sou N
# ou Ha
Sou N
Goiaba
Moqno
Cedro
Acerola
Jaca
Teca
Outra
Sou N
# ou Ha
S ou N
# ou Ha
S ou N
# ou Ha
S ou N
# ou Ha
Sou N
# ou Ha
Sou N
# ou Ha
Sou N
Milho
Fejiao
Arroz
Tomate
Mandioca
Abobora
Jute
Sou N
# ou Ha
SouN
# ou Ha
SouN
# ou Ha
S ou N
# ou Ha
SouN
# ou Ha
SouN
# ou Ha
Sou N
Cana
Fumo
Abacaxi
Cebóla
Maxixi
Melao
Melancia
Sou N
# ou Ha
Sou N
# ou Ha
Sou N
# ou Ha
SouN
# ou Ha
S ou N
# ou Ha
Sou N
# ou Ha
S ou N

APPENDIX B
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD
INFORMED CONSENT
Susan E. Swales
Ph.D. Student
Department of Geography
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32611 USA
(352) 392-8482
Supervisor: Dr. Nigel Smith
Hello, my name is Susan Swales and I am a Doctoral student in Geography at the
University of Florida. I am doing a study in the municipality of Monte Alegre on
agricultural practices and the way that farmers use the land including any risks or
problems faced in agriculture. The study includes farmers in the uplands and
floodplains. I would like to interview you about your agricultural practices and the
problems and risks that you face in agriculture. I have a survey which I would like you to
answer regarding the risks and problems you face in deciding what crops to grow and
where to sell them. I have a second questionnaire about your family, how long you have
lived here, what types of crops you grow including any agroforestry, and what you use
from the surrounding forest and river. You do not have to answer any question you do not
wish to answer.
You are free to withdraw your consent to the interview at any time without any penalty.
There will be no risk or discomfort to you during the interview, and the information you
give me will be confidential to the extent allowable by the law. The information from my
study maybe used by the municipality or State agricultural agency in planning and policy
making which in turn may benefit farmers in the municipality in the future. There will be
no compensation for your participation in this study.
I would also like to visit your fields with you and discuss what varieties of crops you are
growing, their production, and any problems you have in growing them. The interview
and visit to your field should take about 1 hour.
154

155
Do you have any questions about these procedures now? If you have any questions about
the procedures in the future you can contact me at the University of Florida, Department
of Geography, Turlington Hall, Gainesville, Florida USA, the telephone number is 352-
392-8482.
If you have questions or concerns regarding the research and your rights you may contact:
UFIRB, Box 112250
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-2250.
Please signify that the procedures were verbally described to you, or that you have read
them. And that you voluntarily agree to participate in the procedure. If you would like a
copy of the procedure one will be provided.
Signature of Participant Date
Susan E. Swales, Researcher
Date
Witness
Date

UNIVERSITY OF
? FLORIDA
Institutional Review Board 114 Psychology Bldg.
PO Box 112250
Gainesville, FL 32611-2250
Phone: (352) 392-0433
Fax: (352) 392-0433
November 22, 1996
TO: Ms. Susan E. Swales
710 SW 16th Avenue, #216
Gainesville, FL 32601
FROM: C. Michael Levy, Chair,^T--^>^
University of Florida InstitutionaFO''^
Review Board
SUBJECT: Approval of Project # 96.520
Dynamics of agricultural change and implications for biodiversity
in the lower Amazon
Funding: NSF
At the November 21, 1996 meeting of the University of Florida Institutional Review
Board approval of the above referenced project conditional upon receipt of a revised
informed consent was issued. Now that we are in receipt of the revised informed consent
form, I am pleased to advise you tha the Board has recommended the approval of this
project. The Board concluded that participants will not be placed at more than
minimal risk in this research. Given your protocol it is essential that you obtain
signed documentation of informed consent from each participant. Enclosed is the
dated, IRB-approved informed consent to be used when recruiting participants
for this research.
If you wish to make any changes in this protocol, you must disclose your
plans before you implement them so that the Board can assess their unpact
on your project. In addition, you must report to the Board any unexpected
complications arising from the project which affect your participants.
Approval of this project runs for a period of one year from the date of this
meeting, the maximum duration permitted by the Federal Office for Protection
from Research Risks. If this project will not be completed by November 21, 1997,
please contact this office at least six weeks prior to that time so that we may
advise you how to apply for a renewal.
It is important that you keep your Department Chair informed about the sums
of this research project.
CML/h2
cc: Vice President for Research
Dr. Nigei J. H. Smith

APPENDIX C
STATISTICAL RESULTS FOR THE UPLANDS
Category tested at 95% confidence level
t
Critical t (+
or-)
Fail to Reject
Medium - Far, Number of people
2.022
2.178
Yes
Medium - Close, Number of people
-1.739
2.063
Yes
Far - Close, Number of people
0.522
2.109
Yes
Medium - Far, Number of workers
-0.745
2.100
Yes
Medium - Close, Number of workers
1.942
2.144
Yes
Far - Close, Number of workers
0.848
2.228
Yes
Medium - Far, Crop diversity
2.362
2.119
No
Medium - Close, Crop diversity
-0.243
2.063
Yes
Far - Close, Crop diversity
1.701
2.068
Yes
Medium - Far, Hectares planted
-1.129
2.144
Yes
Medium - Close, Hectares planted
1.263
2.079
Yes
Far - Close, Hectares planted
1.263
2.079
Yes
Medium - Far, Hectares owned
4.669
2.200
No
Medium - Close, Hectares owned
1.620
2.119
Yes
Far - Close, Hectares owned
14.085
2.131
No
Medium - Far, Land intensity
-2.857
2.200
No
Medium - Close, Land intensity
0.269
2.109
Yes
Far - Close, Land intensity
-4.723
2.119
No
Medium-Far, Tenure
-2.573
2.178
No
Medium - Close, Tenure
0.331
2.055
Yes
Far - Close, Tenure
-1.937
2.119
Yes
Student t-Test Scores for household characteristics based upon distance to market
157

158
Category tested at 90% confidence level
t
Critical t
(+ or -)
Fail to Reject
Medium - Far, Number of people
2.022
1.78
No
Medium - Close, Number of people
-1.739
1.710
No
Far - Close, Number of people
0.522
1.739
Yes
Medium - Far, Number of workers
-0.745
1.7
Yes
Medium - Close, Number of workers
1.942
1.7
Yes
Far - Close, Number of workers
0.848
1.7
Yes
Medium - Far, Crop diversity
2.362
1.7
No
Medium - Close, Crop diversity
-0.005
1.71
Yes
Far - Close, Crop diversity
1.701
1.71
Yes
Medium - Far, Hectares planted
-1.129
1.7
Yes
Medium - Close, Hectares planted
1.263
1.7
Yes
Far - Close, Hectares planted
1.263
1.7
Yes
Medium - Far, Hectares owned
4.669
1.7
No
Medium - Close, Hectares owned
1.620
1.7
Yes
Far - Close, Hectares owned
14.085
1.7
No
Medium - Far, Land use intensity
-2.857
1.7
No
Medium - Close, Land use intensity
0.269
1.7
Yes
Far - Close, Land use intensity
-4.723
1.7
No
Medium - Far, Tenure
-2.573
1.7
No
Medium - Close, Tenure
0.331
1.7
Yes
Far - Close, Tenure
-1.937
1.7
No
Student t-Test Scores for household characteristics based upon distance to market

159
Categories Tested
Calculated t
t Critical (+ or -)
Fail to Reject
Far - Medium
-4.217
2.144
No
Far - Close
-3.436
2.08
No
Medium - Close
0.705
2.059
Yes
Student t-Test results for agricultural intensification based on distance
Variables tested on the Upland Responses
Significant
Chi-Square
Calculated
Chi-Square
Problems faced by farmers: E,C,S
9.49
17.9
Factors affecting decisions of crop types: E, C
5.99
8.5
Goods wanted for a higher standard of living: S,
E, C
9.49
51.74
All responses categorized by E,C,S
9.49
63.62
Chi-square results for all responses to survey by category

APPENDIX D
STATISTICAL RESULTS FOR THE FLOOD PLAINS
Category tested
t
Critical t
Fail to Reject
Medium - Far Number of people
0.5579
2.3644
Yes
Medium - Close Number of people
1.3288
2.1009
Yes
Far - Close Number of people
0.3714
2.4469
Yes
Medium - Far Number of workers
-0.6428
2.3060
Yes
Medium - Close Number of workers
-0.3634
2.1447
Yes
Far - Close Number of workers
0.3714
2.4469
Yes
Medium - Far crop diversity
-1.4494
2.5705
Yes
Medium - Close crop diversity
0.1006
2.1199
Yes
Far - Close crop diversity
1.5207
2.7764
Yes
Medium - Far Hectares planted
-1.7334
2.5705
Yes
Medium - Close Hectares planted
-1.0498
2.1000
Yes
Far - Close Hectares planted
1.3292
2.5705
Yes
Medium - Far Hectares owned
-1.2233
2.7764
Yes
Medium - Close Hectares owned
-0.1558
2.0555
Yes
Far - Close Hectares owned
1.1747
2.7764
Yes
Medium - Far Land intensity
-0.7174
2.4469
Yes
Medium - Close Land intensity
-0.9214
2.0595
Yes
Far - Close Land intensity
0.0718
2.3646
Yes
Medium - Far Tenure
-1.4210
2.1788
Yes
Medium-Close Tenure
-0.4839
2.0595
Yes
Far - Close Tenure
1.0398
2.1603
Yes
Student t-Test Scores for flood plain farmer characteristics based on distance
160

161
Category
t
t Critical (+ or -)
Fail to
Reject
Far - Medium
-0.988
2.57
Yes
Far - Close
-0.591
2.44
Yes
Medium - close
-2.876
2.055
No
Student t-test results for flood plain agricultural intensifcation distance to market
Variables tested for Flood plain responses
Significant
Chi-Square
Calculated
Chi-Square
Problems faced by farmers: E, C, S
9.49
100.48
Factors affecting decisions on crop types: E, C
5.99
14.22
Goods wanted for a higher standard of living: S, E, C
9.49
23.9
All responses categorized by S, E, C
9.49
92.35
Chi-Square results for flood plain on survey responses by category

APPENDIX E
STATISTICAL RESULTS FOR THE MUNICIPALITY
Category
Calculated t
Critical t
Fail to Reject
Number of people
-2.295
1.995
No
Number of workers
-0.906
1.995
Yes
Tenure
-1.499
1.995
Yes
Distance to field
3.549
1.995
No
Distance to market
-0.538
1.995
Yes
Use outside of home
-3.842
1.995
No
Number of cows
2.028
2.019
No
Number of crops
7.494
2.007
No
Hectares planted
4.585
2.024
No
Hectares owned
6.067
2.028
No
Pasture in hectares
1.437
2.028
Yes
Agricultural
Intensification
-4.979
1.996
No
Land Use Intensity
3.842
1.995
No
Student t- test results for upland compared to flood plain variables
162

163
Category
Calculated t
Critical t (+or -)
Fail to
Reject
Number of people
-0.239
2.178
Yes
Number of workers
-0.690
2.178
Yes
Tenure
-4.541
2.776
No
Number of crops
0.005
2.306
Yes
Sale of products
-2.285
2.776
Yes
Agricultural
Intensification
-6.620
2.446
No
Land Use Intensity
2.822
2.776
No
Student t-test for upland and flood plain far communities
Category
Calculated t
Critical t
Fail to
Reject
Number of people
-3.973
2.0859
No
Number of workers
0.689
2.085
Yes
Tenure
0.179
2.093
Yes
Number of crops
5.368
2.109
No
Sale of products
-1.080
2.085
Yes
Agricultural
Intensification
1.753
2.131
Yes
Land Use Intensity
-1.741
2.109
Yes
Student t test for medium communities in the flood plains and uplands

164
Category
Calculated t
Critical t (+or -)
Fail to
Reject
Number of people
-0.662
2.036
Yes
Number of workers
-2.372
2.036
No
Tenure
-0.647
2.039
Yes
Number of crops
-2.971
2.039
No
Sale of products
4.191
2.109
No
Agricultural
Intensification
-5.988
2.036
No
Land Use Intensity
-2.960
2.085
No
Student t test for upland and flood plain close communities
Category
Calculated chi square
Critical chi square
Fail to
Reject
Floodplain/Upland
Environmental
22.60
9.49
No
Floodplain/Upland
Economic
5.49
9.49
Yes
Floodplain/Upland
Social
2.22
9.49
Yes
Chi-square results of problems faced by farmers in the uplands and floodplains.
Category
Calculated chi square
Critical chi square
Fail to
Reject
Floodplain/Upland
Economic
5.58
5.99
Yes
Floodplain/Upland
Environmental
5.58
5.99
Yes
Chi-square of factors considered by farmers in their selection of crops

165
Category
Calculated chi square
Critical chi square
Fail to
Reject
FP UP
Environmental
8.46
9.49
Yes
FP UP Economic
10.33
9.49
No
FP UP Social
18.57
9.49
No
FP UP Social and
Economic
14.24
9.49
No
Chi-square results for the standard of living survey
Category
Calculated chi square
Critical chi square
Fail to
Reject
FP UP Economic
20.11
9.49
No
FP UP Social and
Environmental
2.19
9.49
Yes
FP UP Environment
16.7
9.49
No
FP UP Social and
Economic
27.38
9.49
No
FP UP
Environmental and
Economic
11.59
9.49
No
FP UP Social
26.48
9.49
No
Chi-square results for the combined uplands and flood plain responses

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Susan Swales spent her childhood in various parts of the globe and was fascinated
by her encounters with different cultures and places. She graduated from the University of
Denver with a BA in environmental science in 1982. After graduation, Susan worked in
environmental protection for twelve years including employment with Marathon Oil
Company, Eichleay Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Field research for her master’s degree was conducted in Monte Alegre, Brazil, on
the role of an agricultural cooperative in colonization of the Brazilian Amazon. Susan
received her M. A. in geography in 1993 from the University of Dlinois at Chicago.
Susan then enrolled in the Ph.D. program in geography at the University of Florida to
further study agriculture and land use in the Lower Amazon. Susan plans to continue
working on agriculture, land use and human-environment interactions.
173

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Nigel Smith, Chair
Professor of Geography
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
hTotessor of Geography
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Timothy Fik
Associate Professor of Geography
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Marilyn Swisher
Associate Professor of Geography
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Ramachandran Nair
Professor of Agronomy

This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Department of Geography
in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and to the Graduate School and was accepted
as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
May, 1999
Dean, Graduate School