Non-Traditional Crops, Traditional Constraints: The Adoption and Diffusion of Export Crops Among Guatemalan Smallholders

Policy Research Working Paper 4347, 2007

44 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2019

See all articles by Calogero Carletto

Calogero Carletto

World Bank; World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Angeli Kirk

World Bank

Paul Winters

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Benjamin Davis

UNICEF South Africa

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Date Written: September 2007

Abstract

This paper uses a duration analysis based on adoption data spanning more than 25 years from six communities in the Central Highlands of Guatemala. The analysis explores how household characteristics and external trends play into both the adoption and diffusion processes of non-traditional exports among smallholders. Adoption was initially widespread and rapid, which led nontraditional exports to be hailed as a pro-poor success, reaching all but the smallest landholders. However, over time more than two-thirds of adopters eventually dropped out of production of nontraditional exports. Based on the analysis, production of nontraditional exports appears to have delivered less prosperity to adopters than initially promised. Although smallholders may be enticed into entering into nontraditional exports markets when conditions are favorable, they may lack the capacity to overcome the difficulties that inevitably arise in complex types of cultivations and in highly variable global agricultural markets. Governmental and non-governmental organizations can attempt to mitigate these difficulties, but market forces may overwhelm their efforts, with some adopters still unable to compete in global markets.

Suggested Citation

Carletto, Calogero and Kirk, Angeli and Winters, Paul and Davis, Benjamin, Non-Traditional Crops, Traditional Constraints: The Adoption and Diffusion of Export Crops Among Guatemalan Smallholders (September 2007). Policy Research Working Paper 4347, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3307431 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3307431

Calogero Carletto

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Angeli Kirk

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Paul Winters (Contact Author)

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) ( email )

Via Paolo di Dono
Rome, 00142
Italy

Benjamin Davis

UNICEF South Africa ( email )

P. O. Box 4884
Pretoria
South Africa

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