Historical Paths In The Market Insertion Of Forest Communities In South Eastern Mexico: First Insertion (1900 To 1944)

Rene A Forster, Francisco Guemez-Ricalde, Jose Luis Zapata

Abstract


The southern state of Quintana Roo, Mexico has been, for almost a century, stage of a colonization strategy based on community forestry. To consolidate this initiative, forest product marketing is of central importance. To understand related problems, it has proven useful to see them as embedded in value chains. The present study aims at understanding the main determinants in the changes in value chains that imply improvement or deterioration in the position of forest communities. To this purpose, a historical approach has been chosen. Based on archival studies and bibliographical research, four aspects of value chain development – land uses, governmental action, value chain actors, and external demand – have been analysed for the first half of the 20th century. Two major value chains were identified for this period. The first concerned the production of chewing-gum base, elaborated from the sap of Manilkara sapota, a tree species very common in the region. The second concerned mahogany logs. While communities were able to insert themselves in the first value chain, mahogany log production remained in the hands of private companies throughout the time analysed. The insertion of communities was made possible due to a bold governmental effort and the relative negotiating weakness of international buyers, which were exposed to strong competition in a quickly concentrating market. The insertion in the chewing-gum value chain brought significant income increases for forest communities and its members. It also implied a clearer “interface”, in which negotiations became more market driven, and less dependent on factors like state financing or political will.

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European Scientific Journal (ESJ)

 

ISSN: 1857 - 7881 (Print)
ISSN: 1857 - 7431 (Online)

 

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