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versión On-line ISSN 2477-8850


NIETO C, Carlos  y  VICUNA, Azucena. Las tierras y territorios rurales como escenarios funcionales para la práctica de la Economía Popular y Solidaria en Ecuador: algunos elementos sobre su uso y aprovechamiento. Siembra [online]. 2015, vol.2, n.1, pp.1-13. ISSN 2477-8850.

This paper is an analytical revision and characterization of the usefulness and productive potential of rural lands and territories in Ecuador, as a scenery to apply the Popular and Solidary Economy model, (PSE, in Spanish). The study was developed under the following research hypothesis: “The ownership and use of agricultural land, in rural areas, where there is prevalence of the Popular and Solidary Economy actors, could perhaps facilitate their daily surviving, but it is not a guarantee for a suitable family reproduction or a worthy living style”. Based on the research results, the hypothesis was accepted as being true. One of the primary findings was the direct relationship between poverty of the populations and its main income activity, which is farming done in lands apt for forestry and conservation, but not for agriculture. Additionally, it was found that the agricultural productive systems of PSE groups are constantly at risk, in reference to adverse climate threats combined with the vulnerability of their geographic location in fragile ecosystems. The study also showed that the average size of an Agricultural Land Productive Unit, (UPA, in Spanish), is considerably below the minimum required to obtain profitable family incomes and there is an increasing tendency to split up it, even more. However the micro size of UPA, the families do not cultivate the whole available land, or they change the land use, from crops to grasses; this is mainly to liberate labor from a not profitable labor demanding crops and to devote this labor to remunerated extra farm activities. The main conclusions were: i) Because of both, the quality of agricultural land (natural aptitude of use) and for the availability of land (insufficient UPA size), the ownership and usufruct of an UPA means no guarantee for the reproduction and to assurance quality of life in the majority of the rural families in Ecuador. This is especially true for the communities and indigenous groups who supposedly are PSE groups; ii) In many cases, the land, either as a private or collective ownership, has become the main and even the only family or community asset instead of being the mean of production; and iii) It is evident that the type of agriculture known as “family agriculture”, “self-sustaining agriculture” or “Self-surviving agriculture”, still claimed by several researchers and rural develop promoters, does not have a promising future anymore.

Palabras clave : popular and solidary economy; land and territories; land natural aptitude of use; land usefulness; size of UPA.

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