DOI: 10.1111/joac.12571 ISSN: 1471-0358

Agricultural intensification increases farmers' income but reduces food self‐sufficiency and bee diversity: Evidence from southeast Mexico

Eric Vides‐Borrell, Pierre Gasselin, Bruce G. Ferguson, Luciana Porter‐Bolland, Tiffany Dangla‐Pelissier, Simon Ayvayan, Rémy Vandame
  • Archeology
  • Anthropology
  • Archeology
  • Global and Planetary Change


The tropical region of Hopelchén, southeastern Mexico, is a place of high contrasts in terms of the agricultural intensity of production systems and landscape configuration: It presents enormous areas of conserved forest and at the same time the highest rate of deforestation in Mexico. The consequences of agricultural intensification in this region are the subject of our research. We surveyed 80 farmers, whom we grouped into seven types, and developed an index of agricultural intensity based on sowing intensity, frequency of pesticide application and frequency of tractor use. We evaluated the economic potential and added value for farmers, such as food security and self‐sufficiency, as well as bee diversity in the agricultural intensification gradient. Our results show that agricultural intensification generates higher annual value, but not economic potential, and does not necessarily lead to higher food security. However, it does negatively affect bee diversity and pollination potential, which compromises the sustainable development of the region.

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