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Abstract

This study aimed to analyze the pattern of agricultural environmental degradation of the cities in Rio Grande do Sul State in Brazil and verify how this pattern is affected by the factors of rural development in these same cities in two different periods of time. In this sense, the methodology used was the Agricultural Environmental Degradation Index (IDAA) as a proxy for agricultural environmental degradation and the technique of factor analysis was used to find the determinants of rural development. In order to study the impact of these factors on agricultural environmental degradation of Rio Grande do Sul, a regression model with panel data was estimated by the method of Fixed Effects. The values of agricultural environmental degradation for the mesoregions in Rio Grande do Sul shown to be high and the central-eastern mesoregion presented the greatest degradation averages. In the relationship between IDAA and the factors, all coefficients were statistically significant. The factors Conditions of Housing and Rural Education, Leverage and Correction of Rural Production and Rural Electricity presented a positive relationship with degradation and Structure and Performance of the Agricultural Sector, Agricultural Production Area and Economic and Financial Rural showed a negative relationship. This aspect demonstrates divergent effects between the areas studied.

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