Highly optimized tolerant (HOT) farms in Rondônia: Productivity and farm size, and implications for environmental licensing

Andrew Bell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This paper operationalizes the concept of highly optimized tolerance (HOT) for the case of smallholder agriculture in Rondônia, Brazil. It seeks to understand how characteristics of family farms shift as a function of property size, arguing that as production intensifies, properties move closer to a HOT state. In this state, resources are committed to maintaining robustness against expected disturbances, such as shifts in yields or crop prices, making property more vulnerable to other unexpected disturbances, such as shifts in input prices or availability. The shifts in production, labor, and costs that occur across scale in the Ji-Paraná River Basin in Rondônia were measured using a survey instrument on a sample of farmers in the basin. Study results show decreasing production intensity with increasing property size in the sample, coupled with decreasing contracted and family labor use intensity, as well as decreased income diversification and off-farm labor. Farms smaller than 60 ha in the sample differed markedly in production and cost structure from those that were larger. For these smaller properties, meeting the requirements of Rondônia's new environmental licensing program (LAPRO) may lead to an increase in the sale of land parcels to cover debts and a speeding up of land consolidation in the region.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    JournalEcology and Society
    Volume16
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - 2011

    Fingerprint

    farm size
    labor
    farm
    productivity
    disturbance
    family farm
    smallholder
    debt
    cost
    river basin
    tolerance
    income
    agriculture
    crop
    resource
    basin
    licencing
    price

    Keywords

    • Amazon
    • Environmental licensing
    • Highly optimized tolerance
    • Property size
    • Ranching
    • Rondônia

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology

    Cite this

    @article{75cab21e03774256b454567b89ce5732,
    title = "Highly optimized tolerant (HOT) farms in Rond{\^o}nia: Productivity and farm size, and implications for environmental licensing",
    abstract = "This paper operationalizes the concept of highly optimized tolerance (HOT) for the case of smallholder agriculture in Rond{\^o}nia, Brazil. It seeks to understand how characteristics of family farms shift as a function of property size, arguing that as production intensifies, properties move closer to a HOT state. In this state, resources are committed to maintaining robustness against expected disturbances, such as shifts in yields or crop prices, making property more vulnerable to other unexpected disturbances, such as shifts in input prices or availability. The shifts in production, labor, and costs that occur across scale in the Ji-Paran{\'a} River Basin in Rond{\^o}nia were measured using a survey instrument on a sample of farmers in the basin. Study results show decreasing production intensity with increasing property size in the sample, coupled with decreasing contracted and family labor use intensity, as well as decreased income diversification and off-farm labor. Farms smaller than 60 ha in the sample differed markedly in production and cost structure from those that were larger. For these smaller properties, meeting the requirements of Rond{\^o}nia's new environmental licensing program (LAPRO) may lead to an increase in the sale of land parcels to cover debts and a speeding up of land consolidation in the region.",
    keywords = "Amazon, Environmental licensing, Highly optimized tolerance, Property size, Ranching, Rond{\^o}nia",
    author = "Andrew Bell",
    year = "2011",
    language = "English (US)",
    volume = "16",
    journal = "Ecology and Society",
    issn = "1708-3087",
    publisher = "The Resilience Alliance",
    number = "2",

    }

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Highly optimized tolerant (HOT) farms in Rondônia

    T2 - Productivity and farm size, and implications for environmental licensing

    AU - Bell, Andrew

    PY - 2011

    Y1 - 2011

    N2 - This paper operationalizes the concept of highly optimized tolerance (HOT) for the case of smallholder agriculture in Rondônia, Brazil. It seeks to understand how characteristics of family farms shift as a function of property size, arguing that as production intensifies, properties move closer to a HOT state. In this state, resources are committed to maintaining robustness against expected disturbances, such as shifts in yields or crop prices, making property more vulnerable to other unexpected disturbances, such as shifts in input prices or availability. The shifts in production, labor, and costs that occur across scale in the Ji-Paraná River Basin in Rondônia were measured using a survey instrument on a sample of farmers in the basin. Study results show decreasing production intensity with increasing property size in the sample, coupled with decreasing contracted and family labor use intensity, as well as decreased income diversification and off-farm labor. Farms smaller than 60 ha in the sample differed markedly in production and cost structure from those that were larger. For these smaller properties, meeting the requirements of Rondônia's new environmental licensing program (LAPRO) may lead to an increase in the sale of land parcels to cover debts and a speeding up of land consolidation in the region.

    AB - This paper operationalizes the concept of highly optimized tolerance (HOT) for the case of smallholder agriculture in Rondônia, Brazil. It seeks to understand how characteristics of family farms shift as a function of property size, arguing that as production intensifies, properties move closer to a HOT state. In this state, resources are committed to maintaining robustness against expected disturbances, such as shifts in yields or crop prices, making property more vulnerable to other unexpected disturbances, such as shifts in input prices or availability. The shifts in production, labor, and costs that occur across scale in the Ji-Paraná River Basin in Rondônia were measured using a survey instrument on a sample of farmers in the basin. Study results show decreasing production intensity with increasing property size in the sample, coupled with decreasing contracted and family labor use intensity, as well as decreased income diversification and off-farm labor. Farms smaller than 60 ha in the sample differed markedly in production and cost structure from those that were larger. For these smaller properties, meeting the requirements of Rondônia's new environmental licensing program (LAPRO) may lead to an increase in the sale of land parcels to cover debts and a speeding up of land consolidation in the region.

    KW - Amazon

    KW - Environmental licensing

    KW - Highly optimized tolerance

    KW - Property size

    KW - Ranching

    KW - Rondônia

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=79959953845&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=79959953845&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    M3 - Article

    VL - 16

    JO - Ecology and Society

    JF - Ecology and Society

    SN - 1708-3087

    IS - 2

    ER -