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Does land fragmentation affect farm performance?A french Breton case study


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  • Laure Latruffe

    (Structures et Marchés Agricoles, Ressources et Territoires, INRA
    Institut Supérieur des Sciences Agronomiques, Agroalimentaires, Horticoles et du Paysage (Agrocampus Ouest))

  • Laurent Piet

    (Structures et Marchés Agricoles, Ressources et Territoires)


Agricultural land fragmentation is widespread and may affect farmers’ decisions and therefore have an impact on the performence of farms, wheter in a negative or in a positive way. In this paper we test whether the relationship is positive or negative for French western region of Brittany in 2007. The relationship between land fragmentation and farm performance is investigated with correlation coefficients applied to several performance indicators (production costs, yields, financial results and technical efficiency) calculated with Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) farm-level data, and several fragmentation descriptors calculated at the municipality level using datafrom the cartographic field pattern registry. The various fragmentation descriptors enable to account not only for the traditional number and mean size of plots, but also for their scattering in the geographical space. Our analysis highlights that the measures of land fragmentation usually used in the literature revael less signifant relationships with farm performance than mor complex measures accounting for distance. Our results indicate that farmsexperience higher cost of production and lower crop yields where land fragmentation is more pronouced, but that this does not impede those farms from generating higher financial results. However, further investigations based on sound econometric estimations are needed before causal conclusions could be drawn.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France in its series Working Papers with number 205547.

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Length: 15 p.
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:inr:wpaper:205547

Note: Financial support from FP7 projet Factor Markes, grand agreemen n°245123-FP7-KBBE-2009-3 is acknowledged.
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Keywords: exploitation agricole; morcellement du parcellaireperformancefrance; bretagne;


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  1. A. Parikh & K. Shah, 1994. "Measurement Of Technical Efficiency In The North-West Frontier Province Of Pakistan," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(1), pages 132-138.
  2. Guang Wan & Enjiang Cheng, 2001. "Effects of land fragmentation and returns to scale in the Chinese farming sector," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 183-194.
  3. Kawasaki, Kentaro, 2010. "The costs and benefits of land fragmentation of rice farms in Japan," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 54(4), December.
  4. Charnes, A. & Cooper, W. W. & Rhodes, E., 1978. "Measuring the efficiency of decision making units," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 2(6), pages 429-444, November.
  5. Jabarin, Amer S. & Epplin, Francis M., 1994. "Impacts of land fragmentation on the cost of producing wheat in the rain-fed region of northern Jordan," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 11(2-3), pages 191-196, December.
  6. Jabarin, Amer S. & Epplin, Francis M., 1994. "Impacts of land fragmentation on the cost of producing wheat in the rain-fed region of northern Jordan," Agricultural Economics: The Journal of the International Association of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 11(2-3), December.
  7. Wilson, Paul W., 2008. "FEAR: A software package for frontier efficiency analysis with R," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 247-254, December.
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