Dispelling the Myths
Chapter 6: Colonization Projects: Field Work
INTRODUCTION The data for this study were collected from surveys of colonization projects in the Brazilian Amazon that were carried out in 1981 and 1991, under the auspices of the federal government’s Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA) in Brazil and the National Institute for Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA). The partnership established in 1980 between IPEA and INCRA turned into a project called ‘Internal Migrations and Small Agricultural Production in Amazonia: An Analysis of INCRA’s Colonization Policy’. The project lasted for four years, from 1980 until 1984, and is summarized in six volumes that are currently held by IPEA in its Rio de Janeiro branch. The 1991 data set was an undertaking by IPEA alone. From 1992 until 1995, the data set was maintained by the World Bank’s Poverty and Social Policy Department (PSP), where research and analysis continued with updating (which included further ﬁeld visits). At IPEA, the data were mostly used for cost-beneﬁt analysis of public versus private colonization. At the World Bank, the purpose of the work was to study the frontier’s rural poor with respect to their dependence and impact on the natural resource base. Figure 6.1 shows the locations surveyed. Surveys were carried out in the states of Pará and Mato Grosso, in the eastern and western Amazon, respectively. Frontier farmers, merchants and institutions were interviewed to establish a broad picture of economic, social, political and institutional conditions of directed colonization in the Amazon. In this study, only the agricultural surveys on farmers...
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