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Original Article

Typology and characterization of the agricultural productive units in the NE Amazonian region of Ecuador

Armando Vinicio Paredes Peralta, Santiago Alexander Guamán Rivera, María Gabriela Tobar-Ruiz, Marcelo Eduardo Sánchez-Salazar, Pablo Danilo Carrera Oscullo, Leonardo Fabio Medina Ñuste.


Objective: Many studies have observed different characteristics among productive systems in the rural territories of Latin America. Therefore, understanding and characterizing them while they function plays an essential role in determining their relationship between development and environment. A study has been conducted in the Orellana province of NE Ecuador to determine their typology and then classify them according to the variables that describe their main traits or attributes using cluster analysis (CA).
Materials and Methods: A survey was structured to investigate physical, productive, environmental, as well as socioeconomic character variables, which were subsequently applied to a random sample of the 5,963 agricultural productive units (APUs) through face-to-face contact with producers during an in situ visit to their farms.
Result: The CA allowed us to identify three typologies of APUs in the Orellana Province. The first has been Type 1, which is denominated as the most conventional (40%), while Type 2 uses more efficient natural resources but represents an amount of only 9.4%. In contrast, type 3 (50.6%) depends on a significant part of local or national development programs.
Conclusion: All groups indicated some peculiarities in common, as there were marked differences in the use and distribution of land as well as production methods among them. Consequently, this pioneering study allowed us to identify different production methods. Therefore, we encourage local and national governments to establish policies for natural resource conservation in such high-diversity zones.

Key words: Amazonian region; productive units; productive system; smallholders.

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