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Assessment of the natural resource base of Nicaragua and case studies of its use in agricultural production and export

Cuadra, Margarita (2005). Assessment of the natural resource base of Nicaragua and case studies of its use in agricultural production and export. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2005:25
ISBN 91-576-7024-2
[Doctoral thesis]

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This is a study of the natural resource base of Nicaragua with special emphasis on some agricultural crops. The objectives of the study were: 1) To assess whether the export of refined instead of green coffee would make coffee exports more favourable for Nicaragua, and 2) to assess the economic profitability and ecological carrying capacity for important crops in tropical agriculture. Emergy synthesis (ES) methodology was used together with Cost and Return Analysis (CAR) and Ecological Footprint (EF), in order to investigate how the results differed as regards the different aims, theoretical backgrounds and differences in system boundaries of these methods. The emergy exchange ratio (EER) of coffee exports between Nicaragua and the more economically developed trading nations indicated that the trade was not in favour of Nicaragua because the country exports much more real wealth (measured in emergy) in the coffee than it imports in the money received for the coffee, i.e. it is thereby depleting its indigenous natural resources. These findings were supported by the emergy indices calculated at the national level (percent renewable, ratio of imports to exports, emergy to money ratio, environmental loading ratio and emergy sustainability index). Regarding the use of emergy synthesis, cost and return analysis and ecological footprint, the study indicated that cabbage and tomato were the most profitable crops, both in economic and emergy terms, and that coffee was the least profitable crop to grow. When sustainability was measured as ecological carrying capacity, beans, coffee and maize were the most sustainable crops. Comparison of the results from ES, CAR and EF indicate poor coherence between short-term economic profitability and long-term ecological sustainability. No single method or index was enough to answer all questions and to include all aspects. However, emergy synthesis and its theoretical perspective was found to be a more comprehensive tool that gave more information on the balance between the long-term ecological sustainability and economic profitability than the two other methods used. Emergy synthesis could be used to assess overall sustainability for a country and trade. It may also provide a basis for proposing changes in trade policies.

Authors/Creators:Cuadra, Margarita
Title:Assessment of the natural resource base of Nicaragua and case studies of its use in agricultural production and export
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :2005
Number of Pages:51
ALLI. Cuadra, M. and Rydberg, T. 2000. Emergy evaluation of the environment and economy of Nicaragua. In: Emergy synthesis. Theory and applications of the emergy methodology. Proceedings of the first biennial emergy synthesis research conference. Gainesville, FL, September 1999. The Centre for Environmental Policy. Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences. University of Florida. Gainesville, FL. II. Cuadra, M. and Rydberg, T. Emergy evaluation on the production, processing and exports of coffee in Nicaragua. Submitted to Ecological Modelling. III. Cuadra, M. and Björklund, J. Using cost and return analysis, ecological footprint and emergy analysis to assess economic and ecological carrying capacity of agricultural crops – are the results a useful basis for decision? Submitted to Ecological Indicators.
Place of Publication:Uppsala
ISBN for printed version:91-576-7024-2
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:P Natural resources > P01 Nature conservation and land resources
E Economics, development, and rural sociology > E10 Agricultural economics and policies
Subjects:Not in use, please see Agris categories
Agrovoc terms:carrying capacity, tropical crops, coffea, exports, imports, trade policies, ecology, sustainability, nicaragua
Keywords:emergy evaluation, sustainability indicators, Nicaragua
Permanent URL:
ID Code:783
Department:(NL, NJ) > Institutionen för ekologi och växtproduktionslära (fr.o.m. 990101)
Deposited By: Margarita Cuadra
Deposited On:17 Mar 2005 00:00
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:07

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