Socioeconomic Determinants of Homegardening in the Southeast of Mexico: An Endowments-Based Livelihoods Framework

Abstract / Resumen / Resumo

In the vast literature on homegardens, most of the studies have focused on describing their properties and functions, while there is scant knowledge about the socioeconomic determinants of homegardening patterns. This paper contributes to fill this gap by assessing the planned agrobiodiversity of homegardens in Yucatán, Mexico and studying the association between homegardening patterns and contextual and household characteristics. In doing so, the paper draws upon key elements of the Capability Approach and the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework. Data collection took place in four Yucatecan communities showing different urbanisation levels and thus, heterogenous presence of Mayan indigenous population and diverse attachment to traditional agricultural livelihoods. A mixed-methods approach was followed, involving household surveys and interviews, and quantitative analysis informed by qualitative insights. Principal components analysis, cluster and regression analyses were applied to develop a homegarden typology and identify associations between four homegardening patterns and five relevant household characteristics: (i) the household structure and family life cycle; (ii) ethnicity; (iii) rural-urban interactions; (iv) wealth; and (v) government-led development interventions. The paper contributes to broader debates on the nexus between agrobiodiversity and sociocultural and economic interactions and on how these influence alternative pathways to the dominant agrobiodiversity loss trend.