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Comparative energy-economic analysis of the maize agroecosystem under conventional and conservation practices in the Frailesca region, Chiapas, Mexico


Comparative energy-economic analysis of the maize agroecosystem under conventional and conservation practices in the Frailesca region, Chiapas, Mexico



Revista de la Facultad de Agronomia de la Universidad Del Zulia 35(3): 343-364



Given the need for scientific information to make better decisions to counteract pollution and environmental degradation, this research aimed to compare the maize-agroecosystem from an energy and economic perspective under two management practices: conservation and conventional in the Frailesca region of Chiapas, Mexico. Qualitative and quantitative variables were related through a factorial analysis of principal components. An interdisciplinary research methodology with socio-agronomic and economic approaches was used. Semistructured interviews were applied in 75 communities to 300 maize farmers who were grouped according to the type of practices implemented in the maize system: conventional or conservation agriculture. The variables analyzed for energy efficiency were: grain yield (t.ha(-1)), consumed energy (MJ), produced energy (MJ.ha(-1)), energy intensity and energy efficiency. Economic variables analyzed were net income, net outflow and income/cost ratio. Additionally, some land use variables were also analyzed. In the economic aspect, it was found that the main difference between both practices is the costs arising from soil preparation and stubble management which are higher for conventional maize management. In the energy aspect. conservation management differs from the conventional one by a more energy-use of efficiency expressed in the total energy required for production (5,854.55 MJ and 6,422.19 MJ, respectively). This efficiency comes mainly from the inputs used in the maize production process.

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