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Abstract

The adoption of sustainable agriculture and other sustainable forestry methods that can help to reduce tropical deforestation have received a great deal of attention in the literature (Adesina and Zinnah 1993, Akinola and Young 1985, Feder and Slade 1984, Holden 1993, Kebede et al. 1990). Although results from different studies can be compared in an absolute sense, there are very few individual studies that compare results and determine, through empirical analysis, whether policy can be universally applied. This paper uses farm-level data to determine whether some universal conclusions can be drawn about the adoption of agroforestry by peasant farmers in developing countries by comparing the land use choices of farmers in Rondônia, Brazil and Campeche, Mexico. The empirical results indicate that education level and the degree of exposure to information about agroforestry significantly influence the adoption of agroforestry and that deforestation levels for farmers in both nations are influenced by the size of the farm lots. The two communities used in the analysis differ in terms of tradition, history, geography, and economics but both experience a link between deforestation and imperfect information. Policies that address imperfect information in developing countries are likely to decrease deforestation as well as improve the well being of residents.

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