Agricultural intensification, monocultures, and economic failure: The case of onion production in the Tipajara watershed on the eastern slope of the Bolivian Andes

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This article documents and analyzes the historical process of agricultural intensification in Bolivia's Tipajara watershed. There is a particular focus on the recent rise and decline of a commercial onion monoculture. An econometric model indicates altered livelihood patterns as an outcome of the combination of rising costs for pesticides and declining yields from disease. Reliance on pesticides and a failure to rotate crops has led to an increase in the incidence of disease-causing organisms, which has resulted in a collapse of the onion economy in the Tipajara watershed. Emigration is currently the primary strategy employed by smallholder farmers as a response to the collapsing agricultural economy. Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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Journal of Sustainable Agriculture