This paper examines the effects of international migration from two regions of Canar Province in Ecuador to metropolitan New York on agricultural production and land-use. Thousands of farmers from the highland provinces of Canar and Azuay, Ecuador, have immigrated to metropolitan New York, where they work in menial jobs and remit, as a group, millions of dollars annually. A small agricultural survey was administered in two communities to determine land-use and agricultural production of migrant and nonmigrant households. The results suggest that migration has neither led to agricultural abandonment nor have remittances been dedicated to agricultural improvements – refuting the two opposite hypotheses that predominate in the literature. Agriculture was not significantly affected by the large labor loss and the significant inflow of remittances. Semisubsistence agriculture remains an important riskaverse economic and cultural activity, but cultivation is a poor investment. A large investment in housing and land has converted much of the region into a peri-urban landscape of cultivated real estate.
With kind permission of Springer Science and Business Media