New opportunities for small-scale farmers of the Amazon to strengthen hazards resilience while preserving forests - field experiments combined with agent-based modelling

Bommel Pierre, Piketty Marie-Gabrielle, Sist Plinio, Burlamaqui Amaury Bendahan, Barbosa Tienne. 2014. New opportunities for small-scale farmers of the Amazon to strengthen hazards resilience while preserving forests - field experiments combined with agent-based modelling. In : Forests under pressure - Local responses to global issues. P. Katila, G. Galloway, W. de Jong, P. Pacheco,G. Mery (eds.). Vienne : IUFRO, pp. 83-96. (IUFRO World Series, 32) ISBN 978-3-902762-30-6

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Abstract : This paper introduces a simulation model focused on smallholder practices and labour management that is used to assess the long-term impacts of alternative landuses in the Amazon region. Our objective is not to provide a tool for decision-makers but rather to inform the debate on rural practices and their likely consequences on forests resources, income generation, and land-use trajectories. We discuss the advantages and limitations of forest management (FM) for timber and permanent field of annual crops (PFAC), based on conservation agriculture, and the way in which they constitute management options with potential to protect forests while improving smallholders' livelihoods. Our model shows that subcontracted sustainable FM for timber (logging operations outsourced) in legal reserves and PFAC are not miraculous solutions that allow smallholders to prosper while preserving their forests. However, the additional earnings originated from FM facilitate the family's installation phase, which is often a critical period. Since income from FM can help farmers cultivate productive crops and pastures, it improves resilience to hazards (sickness and accident) that are frequent in the Amazon. In addition, since PFAC is an intensification technique, it has positive effects but only when adopted after the installation phase. In that case, it provides some additional profits by recovering degraded pastures. Considering a scenario with hazard probability and where 50% of smallholders' lands have to be dedicated to forest protection, adopting FM and PFAC appears to be a win-win solution for smallholders. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Petite exploitation agricole, Modèle de simulation, gestion des ressources naturelles, protection de la forêt, Pratique culturale, Foresterie, Aménagement forestier, Ressource forestière, Développement durable, Utilisation des terres, agriculture alternative, Revenu

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Amazonie, Brésil

Mots-clés complémentaires : Système multiagents, Agriculture de conservation

Classification Agris : K01 - Forestry - General aspects
F01 - Crop husbandry
U30 - Research methods
E11 - Land economics and policies

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 1 (2014-2018) - Agriculture écologiquement intensive

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Bommel Pierre, CIRAD-ES-UPR GREEN (BRA) ORCID: 0000-0002-7776-9075
  • Piketty Marie-Gabrielle, CIRAD-ES-UPR GREEN (FRA)
  • Sist Plinio, CIRAD-ES-UPR BSef (FRA)
  • Burlamaqui Amaury Bendahan
  • Barbosa Tienne

Source : Cirad - Agritrop (

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