Agriculture and Deforestation in the Tropics: A Critical Theoretical and Empirical Review

Ambio, Vol. 35, No. 1, pp. 9-16, February 2006

Posted: 14 Apr 2006

See all articles by James K.A. Benhin

James K.A. Benhin

University of Pretoria - Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy for Africa (CEEPA)

Abstract

Despite the important role that tropical forests play in human existence, their depletion, especially in the developing world, continue relentlessly. Agriculture has been cited as the major cause of this depletion. This paper discusses two main theoretical underpinnings for the role of agriculture in tropical deforestation. First, the forest biomass as input in agriculture production, and second, the competition between agriculture and forestry underlined by their relative marginal benefits. These are supported by empirical evidence from selected countries in Africa and South America. The paper suggests a need to find a win-win situation to control the spate of tropical deforestation. This may imply improved technologies in the agriculture sector in the developing world, which would lead both to increased production in the agriculture sector, and would also help control the use of tropical forest as an input in agriculture production.

Suggested Citation

Benhin, James K.A., Agriculture and Deforestation in the Tropics: A Critical Theoretical and Empirical Review. Ambio, Vol. 35, No. 1, pp. 9-16, February 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=895661

James K.A. Benhin (Contact Author)

University of Pretoria - Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy for Africa (CEEPA) ( email )

Pretoria 0002
South Africa

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