Soil Health and Sustainable Agriculture in Brazil

Chapter 11

Macroscale Economic and Policy Influences on the Sustainability of Tropical Agriculture

Clyde F. Kiker

Clyde F. Kiker

Food and Resource Economics Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

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First published: 01 December 1993
Book Series:ASA Special Publications


This chapter considers elements of importance to the practice of agriculture originating in the socioeconomic and political systems. It introduces broad aspects of the microscale influences on the sustainability of tropical agriculture. Economic conditions, within which farmers in tropical countries produce, result from policy actions by their governments, global market forces, policies of the developed countries and actions by international organizations as well as immediate local market conditions. The policies of the governments of developed countries can greatly influence conditions faced by farmers in tropical countries. Prices of products and prices of inputs are by far the most prevalent signals farmers receive from the world of commerce, trade and government beyond their communities. Macroscale influences on the sustainability of farmers' activities in the Tropics will continue. Macroscale influences on the sustainability of tropical agriculture are very real. They can, however, be greatly moderated by appropriate agricultural technologies, community organization and policies.