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Policy change or values change? The evolution of the environmental behavior of large-scale soybean producers in Mato Grasso, Brazil

Abstract : Commodity production keeps expanding around the world. Past areas of commodity production have provided economic opportunities, but mixed social and environmental outcomes. In 40 years, Mato Grosso state has turned into the largest Brazilian soybean producer, representing a quarter of the country’s and 9% of the world’s production. Criticism of deforestation outcomes abounded. Much of that production was the result of smallholder farmers who migrated from southern Brazil in the 1970s and turned today into large-scale soybean producers. While environmental policies since the mid-2000s contributed to deforestation reduction in the region, the interplay between these policies, market conditions, technology and changing farmers’ values is unclear. What constitutes the environmental behavior of these producers and what explains that it evolves over time? To examine this evolution, I used a multi-methods approach based on extensive field research, 104 semi-structured interviews with producers, and quantitative data (land-use change and statistical analysis). Although the behavioral change of large-scale soybean producers has partly to do with market conditions and environmental policies, I demonstrate that their evolution in that regard is the result of a particular techno-cultural identity and pro-environmental values developed over time. This dissertation holds valuable lessons for understanding the complex mechanisms that could limit the environmental impact of future commodity frontiers.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, October 23, 2019 - 3:58:10 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-02329556, version 1

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Martin Delaroche. Policy change or values change? The evolution of the environmental behavior of large-scale soybean producers in Mato Grasso, Brazil. History. Université Sorbonne Paris Cité; Indiana university, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019USPCA038⟩. ⟨tel-02329556⟩

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