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The impacts of soy production on multi-dimensional well-being and ecosystem services: A systematic review

The impacts of soy production on multi-dimensional well-being and ecosystem services: A systematic review
The impacts of soy production on multi-dimensional well-being and ecosystem services: A systematic review

International trade in soybean has been increasing exponentially over the last 30 years, stimulating agricultural expansion and intensification, primarily in South America. Trade in soybean has been promoted by national and international agencies to stimulate economic development in low- and middle-income countries. Trade in soybean has generated an increase in GDP and average income in producing countries, but soybean production is also linked to negative effects on the well-being of local populations, such as land appropriation and increased social conflicts among communities. In addition, soybean production is linked to extensive deforestation and clearance of natural vegetation as well as water pollution due to intensive agricultural practices, which in turn has negative impacts on human well-being. As such, more information is needed to understand the range of negative and positive impacts of soybean production on people and the environment. This study presents a systematic literature review of the direct and indirect social-economic impacts of soybean agricultural production for trade. We employ the concept of multi-dimensional well-being to classify the various direct social impacts that have been found in the literature and the concept of ecosystem services to classify indirect social impacts, as the contribution of natural ecosystems to human well-being. The main finding of the review is that the empirical evidence for direct social impacts of soy production is scarce and mixed in terms of direction of impact. More tangible dimensions such as income, nutrition and living standards are more often positively impacted by soy trade, while more intangible dimensions such as freedom of choice and cultural value are found to be negatively affected. The empirical evidence for impacts on ecosystem services is more comprehensive and shows a clear picture of negative impacts associated with soybean production due to land use changes and deforestation, and agricultural intensification. There is hardly any evidence for the effectiveness of sustainable value chain policies.

0959-6526
130182
Dreoni, Ilda
11da5e18-f24e-41c9-94c7-c21f3ca3ab5b
Matthews, Zoe
ebaee878-8cb8-415f-8aa1-3af2c3856f55
Schaafsma, Marije
937ac629-0fa2-4a11-bdf7-c3688405467d
Dreoni, Ilda
11da5e18-f24e-41c9-94c7-c21f3ca3ab5b
Matthews, Zoe
ebaee878-8cb8-415f-8aa1-3af2c3856f55
Schaafsma, Marije
937ac629-0fa2-4a11-bdf7-c3688405467d

Dreoni, Ilda, Matthews, Zoe and Schaafsma, Marije (2022) The impacts of soy production on multi-dimensional well-being and ecosystem services: A systematic review. Journal of Cleaner Production, 335, 130182, [130182]. (doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.130182).

Record type: Article

Abstract

International trade in soybean has been increasing exponentially over the last 30 years, stimulating agricultural expansion and intensification, primarily in South America. Trade in soybean has been promoted by national and international agencies to stimulate economic development in low- and middle-income countries. Trade in soybean has generated an increase in GDP and average income in producing countries, but soybean production is also linked to negative effects on the well-being of local populations, such as land appropriation and increased social conflicts among communities. In addition, soybean production is linked to extensive deforestation and clearance of natural vegetation as well as water pollution due to intensive agricultural practices, which in turn has negative impacts on human well-being. As such, more information is needed to understand the range of negative and positive impacts of soybean production on people and the environment. This study presents a systematic literature review of the direct and indirect social-economic impacts of soybean agricultural production for trade. We employ the concept of multi-dimensional well-being to classify the various direct social impacts that have been found in the literature and the concept of ecosystem services to classify indirect social impacts, as the contribution of natural ecosystems to human well-being. The main finding of the review is that the empirical evidence for direct social impacts of soy production is scarce and mixed in terms of direction of impact. More tangible dimensions such as income, nutrition and living standards are more often positively impacted by soy trade, while more intangible dimensions such as freedom of choice and cultural value are found to be negatively affected. The empirical evidence for impacts on ecosystem services is more comprehensive and shows a clear picture of negative impacts associated with soybean production due to land use changes and deforestation, and agricultural intensification. There is hardly any evidence for the effectiveness of sustainable value chain policies.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 17 December 2021
e-pub ahead of print date: 22 December 2021
Published date: 10 February 2022

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 454256
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/454256
ISSN: 0959-6526
PURE UUID: cf4eefcb-e0f5-474a-be4d-1a744419541e
ORCID for Ilda Dreoni: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8420-522X
ORCID for Zoe Matthews: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1533-6618
ORCID for Marije Schaafsma: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0878-069X

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Date deposited: 03 Feb 2022 17:53
Last modified: 09 Aug 2022 02:02

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