It was taken as an antecedent the systematic primacy of the poverty of the rural population over the urban population, validated by the national statistics, to analyze how the natural aptitude of land use,inconsistent with the current productive use, influences in poverty and undernourishment of the population of the rural parishes of Cotopaxi province; under the premise that the main productive activity of this population is agriculture. The Spearman statistical method of correlation was applied to determine the relationship between the natural aptitude of land use and current land use, with poverty and undernourishment of the rural population. The correlation analysis was applied to the 33 rural parishes, excluding urban, since their productive activities are not the primary production. The results show that poverty and undernourishment of the rural population are directly correlated with the main activity of the population in primary production and the inappropriate use of land, contrary to the natural aptitude of use, which is not agriculture. In consequence, the highest rates of poverty and undernourishment are concentrated in areas with lowest natural aptitude of land use for agriculture, but at the same time, most of those areas are dedicated to agricultural activities (more than 60% in average). The main conclusion was that the primary production activities at majority of the rural areas of the Cotopaxi province, do not generate enough income to improve the life of the involved families and simultaneously cause environmental degradation, putting in threat the food security of the population and increasing their poverty and undernourishment.
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Author Name: Nieto C., C., Lescano R., M. B., & Mejía S., M.
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Keywords: Natural aptitude of land use, current land use, primary production, rural poverty, rural undernourishment