Natural resource management in the hillsides of Honduras: bioeconomic modeling at the micro-watershed level
The objective of this study is to simulate the effect of population pressure, market integration, technological improvement and policy decisions on natural resource management in the hillsides of Honduras. To do so, we developed a bioeconomic model that combines dynamic linear programming with a biophysical model, then applied this model to a typical microwatershed. Over recent years, farmers from the selected microwatershed have followed a "vegetables-intensive" pathway of development. We ran different scenarios with historical data over the period 1975 to 1995 and then projected 25 years into the future from 1995 to 2020. The results of the bioeconomic model presented in this paper help to test a number of induced innovation hypotheses. Many of our hypotheses are confirmed, but some of the model's results challenge conventional wisdom. The simulation results confirm that technology improvements such as irrigation and new varieties can help overcome diminishing returns to labor due to population pressure.
Honduras., Natural resources., Water Management.,
Barbier and Bergeron explore several hypotheses about the dynamics of natural resource management in the hillsides of La Lima and further explore the causes and consequences of the transition to vegetable production. To fully integrate agroecological factors, such as forest, water resources, and topography, the authors use a bioeconomic model that links farmers' resource management decisions to biophysical models. This captures production processes as well as the condition of natural resources. The model was used to run different scenarios over the period 1975 to 1995 and then to project into the future. The authors conclude that agroecological conditions are the most important factors de-termining incomes for villages with comparable agroecological conditions.
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