Addressing misperceptions about land conflicts and quinoa: the case of Bolivia

Addressing misperceptions about land conflicts and quinoa: the case of Bolivia

  • Ana Garcia-Hernandez ,
  • Mayra Arauco Berdegué ,
  • Carl Kelly ,
  • Francesc Masdeu Navarro ,

Abstract

The increasing popularity of quinoa for its culinary and nutritional value has unintended consequences in the main producer countries. While it could provide communities with revenues, it can also trigger desires to control the land which produces it. We analyse whether the increase of quinoa’s price increases land conflicts in Bolivia, one of the leading quinoa producer countries. We compare the fluctuation of this staple price to the price of other primary export goods in Bolivia: minerals. We do not find an increase in the quinoa’s international price changes conflicts in the producer areas. However, we find that the relationship between price changes and conflicts in the case of minerals is consistent with the rapacity and opportunity cost effect described in the literature. While the prices of labour-intensive minerals like silver and copper are associated with a decrease in conflicts, consistent with an opportunity cost effect, fluctuations do not affect tin and other income-intensive exports.

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