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Article

Characterizing Agricultural Diversity with Policy-Relevant Farm Typologies in Mexico

Department of Geography, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, USA
Academic Editor: Gaetano Pandino
Agriculture 2022, 12(9), 1315; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12091315
Received: 27 July 2022 / Revised: 19 August 2022 / Accepted: 24 August 2022 / Published: 26 August 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Economics, Policies and Rural Management)
The effective targeting of agricultural policy interventions across heterogenous agricultural landscapes requires an integrated understanding of farm diversity. One pathway to this understanding is through farm typologies—classification systems that synthesize farm complexity into a limited number of ‘types’. Farm typologies are typically constructed at local or regional levels and seldom demonstrate policy relevance through example. This study has two objectives: (1) to construct a policy-relevant farm typology that characterizes agricultural diversity in Mexico, and (2) to demonstrate, through case study example, how the typology could be used to target policy interventions. Hierarchical agglomerative cluster (HAC) analysis is used to group municipalities (n = 2455) based on farm characteristics (n = 10) and cropping patterns (n = 10). Two clustering solutions were chosen based on statistical goodness-of-fit measures and topical relevance. The first set of clusters (Typology A) grouped municipalities into one of three types: (A1) southern lowland farms, (A2) northern midland farms, and (A3) southern-central highland farms. The second (Typology B) grouped municipalities into 12 sub-types illustrating lower-order distinctions. Each typology was described, validated, and mapped at the national level. The typologies were then used to illustrate the targeting soil erosion interventions across Mexico. Here, multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) was used to examine relationships between the typologies and two priority targeting criteria. Farms of the southern lowland region (Type A1) and two of its subtypes (B1 and B12) were identified as priority areas for interventions. In sum, this study: (1) creates a series of new, typology-based conceptualizations of regional agricultural diversity in Mexico, and (2) demonstrates how such typologies can serve as actionable tools for agricultural policy. View Full-Text
Keywords: agrodiversity; farm characteristics; hierarchical agglomerative clustering; interventions; multiple correspondence analysis; Mexico; spatial targeting agrodiversity; farm characteristics; hierarchical agglomerative clustering; interventions; multiple correspondence analysis; Mexico; spatial targeting
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MDPI and ACS Style

LaFevor, M.C. Characterizing Agricultural Diversity with Policy-Relevant Farm Typologies in Mexico. Agriculture 2022, 12, 1315. https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12091315

AMA Style

LaFevor MC. Characterizing Agricultural Diversity with Policy-Relevant Farm Typologies in Mexico. Agriculture. 2022; 12(9):1315. https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12091315

Chicago/Turabian Style

LaFevor, Matthew C. 2022. "Characterizing Agricultural Diversity with Policy-Relevant Farm Typologies in Mexico" Agriculture 12, no. 9: 1315. https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12091315

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