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Abstract

Approximately 80% of the world’s agricultural land presents moderate levels of erosion. In Chile, the risks related to soil erosion are greater in the pre Andean mountain areas or coastal dry-lands. However, there are also indications of low levels of erosion in the Central Valley which, given the importance of this region for the country’s agricultural sector, should be taken seriously to avoid a worsening of the situation. This article examines the association of natural, social, human and fi nancial capital variables with the adoption of soil conservation practices in Linares, Chile. The total numbers of practices implemented is analyzed using a Poisson model which is appropriate when estimating multiple and joint technology adoption. The data comes primarily from a survey conducted between October and December 2005 to a total of 319 small scale farmers located in 32 water communities. The econometric results confi rm that participation in social activities, access to credit, farm size and production system are important variables associated with the adoption of conservation practices. This study generates relevant information to encourage and support peasant farmers in the context of sustainable and conservationist agriculture.

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