Is there a future for small farms in developed countries? Evidence from the French case
AbstractThis research aims to identify the specific characteristics of small farms in developed countries and the factors which influence their survival and growth. Using the case of France, we employ statistical and econometric analysis of data from the Farm Structure Survey (N=70,000) for the period 2000-2007. The principal findings suggest that small farms are no more likely than other farms to employ “alternative” strategies to the predominant model of increasing farm size, nor are they more likely to diversify on-farm activities or operate under quality-labelled production systems, with the notable exception of organic agriculture. However, where small farms do adopt or practice these activities, they are seen to have a favourable effect in ensuring their survival and growth. In contrast, we are unable to conclude that pluriactivity of farm households has a positive impact on the survival of small enterprises. The effect of geographic location on small farms is largely expressed in their concentration in mountainous or disadvantaged regions. Overall, the trajectory of small farms is marked by farm exit, principally as the result of farmers retiring at the end of their careers. The small farm sector is also revitalised by both larger farms declining and thus being reclassified as small farms, as well as the progressive entry into agriculture of small farm holders whose income was previously derived largely off-farm.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by European Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 111th Seminar, June 26-27, 2009, Canterbury, UK with number 52855.
Date of creation: 20 Aug 2009
Date of revision:
Research Methods/ Statistical Methods;
Other versions of this item:
- Magali Aubert & Philippe Perrier-Cornet, 2009. "Is there a future for small farms in developed countries? Evidence from the French case," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 40(s1), pages 797-806, November.
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- Deininger, Klaus & Byerlee, Derek, 2011.
"The rise of large farms in land abundant countries : do they have a future ?,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
5588, The World Bank.
- Deininger, Klaus & Byerlee, Derek, 2012. "The Rise of Large Farms in Land Abundant Countries: Do They Have a Future?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 701-714.
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