Smallholder agriculture plays a key role to promote food security in Brazil. Population ageing together with fertility decline and expanded educational opportunities for youth present challenges for the continuation of family agriculture across generations, and those challenges are especially difficult for smallholder farmers. This paper examines farm succession decisions in Western Paraná, Brazil using survey data collected through face-to-face interviews with 205 soybean farmers chosen randomly to be representative of the region's soybean farmers. Approximately 64% of the soybean farmers reported planning to pass on their farm business to the next generation. Traditional gender norms hinder succession plans. The empirical analysis using linear probability models shows that the probability of succession decreases by 37 ppts if the households do not have any male children. Farms with more than 72 ha are more likely to have a family successor than smaller farms. Farmers with college education are less likely to pass on their farms to their children than farmers with less education. Participation in federal government programs that provide subsidized credit such as Pronaf, which is aimed at smallholders, is associated with a higher probability of succession to a son or daughter. Government programs that provide subsidized credit and encourage families to make succession plans might increase succession rates. In an environment of decreasing fertility, adhering to traditional gender roles limits the probability that a farm will be continued successfully across generations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105453
JournalLand Use Policy
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Brazil
  • Family farm succession
  • Gender roles in agriculture
  • Latin America
  • Youth migration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Gender, education, and farm succession in Western Paraná State, Brazil'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this