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Positive outcomes between crop diversity and agricultural employment worldwide

Lucas A. Garibaldi and Néstor Pérez-Méndez

Ecological Economics, 2019, vol. 164, issue C, -

Abstract: Understanding the links between biodiversity-friendly landscapes and human wellbeing is key for supporting policy agendas from local to global scales. United Nations Sustainable Development Goals propose full employment (SDG 8) and crop diversity (SDG 2), but it is unclear if there are trade-offs between these goals across rural landscapes worldwide. We tested this idea with agricultural and socio-economic data for 44 countries from all continents during a 15-year period (1999–2013). We show that countries where crop diversity increased also supported more agricultural jobs. Such effects were independent of differences among countries in the size of the agricultural sector or fertilizer use (a proxy for the investment in external inputs and technology incorporation). Greater crop diversity was also compatible with improved crop yields and was not confounded with changes in socio-economic development or economic growth. In general, we found no evidence that the jobs lost in the rural areas were incorporated into other sectors of the economy. Unemployment is a major concern affecting livelihoods all over the world; policies to enhance crop diversity and prevent the loss of associated agricultural jobs are urgently needed.

Keywords: Agriculture; Employment; Diversity; Human wellbeing; Rural development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2019.106358

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