بخشی از مقاله انگلیسی:
Between 2000 and 2005 Brazil’s soybean area expanded from 13.6 to 23.4 million hectares. Mato Grosso State, on its own, accounted for nearly four million hectares of this expansion . The environmental costs of this growth have been carefully documented. Soybean production in Mato Grosso has been widely tied to deforestation, directly, via the conversion of forest areas to cropland, and indirectly, through the sector’s impact on regional land markets and investment decisions [2–5]. In this article we consider the impact of soybean production not on the regional environment, but on regional economic development. Specifically, our objective in this research is to estimate urban socioeconomic change as a function of local agricultural production. Here we show that over the past decade, in Mato Grosso, soybean agriculture has led to rapid growth in formal sector employment outside of agriculture (services, commerce, construction and public administration, education and health), in non-agricultural GDP, in urban population, and in nighttime light emissions, a proxy measure for economic activity. We also show that this growth is closely tied to returns to soybean production. Consequently, we argue that while export oriented agriculture may pose a viable channel for broader economic growth in non-agricultural sectors, this growth will remain dependent on exogenously determined input costs and market prices. This research directly engages with ongoing discussions over the potential of agricultural systems built on exports to serve as drivers of local economic development [6–11]. In Mato Grosso, or in Brazil more broadly, evidence increasingly suggests that soybean agriculture, which is largely producing for international markets, has had an important impact on regional development. Most notably, previous research has suggested that while soybean producing areas exhibit increasing levels of inequality, they also exhibit higher median incomes, higher human development indices, lower poverty rates, and better schools [12–14]. Our work builds on these past studies by not only recognizing and measuring the impact of soybean agriculture on a series of socioeconomic indicators, but by examining the effect of soybean production on employment and non-agricultural economic activity. To conduct our analysis we draw on methods from both econometrics and spatial analysis, and from a spatial dataset of biophysical and social indicators. Specifically, we focus on the influence of agriculture on changes in (1) nighttime light emissions (a measure of urban economic activity); (2) urban population; (3) non-agricultural GDP; and (4) non-agricultural employment. Our results suggest that not only is soybean production leading to positive gains in these socioeconomic variables, but that the year by year magnitude of change closely tracks regional returns to production. While we show that commercial agricultural systems can have an impact on non-agricultural sectors, we nevertheless caution that institutional and natural conditions for agriculture in Mato Grosso may have amplified the economic impact. However, in an appropriate context, we suggest that policymakers seeking to promote economic development may wish to focus on developing high-return, market-oriented crops, in addition to supporting widely distributed improvements in productivity among small farmers.