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Soil resource, at the core of competitiveness and sustainability issues in agriculture: an economic approach


  • Alice Issanchou


Agriculture is facing an expected increase in food production demand, caused by an increased global population of 9 billion people by the middle of this century. At national scale, competitiveness and economic growth issues are at stake. To insure this increase in production, there are two solutions: extend the proportion of agricultural lands at the expense of natural ecosystems; and increase agricultural productivity. Through a review of agronomic and economic articles, we show the importance of considering soil quality in the productivity and sustainability of farms. However, farming practices preserving soil quality are not widely adopted, particularly in France. An economic analysis of these issues provide an understanding of farmers' decision making process, and indicate what the optimal strategies can be to cope with these challenges. We propose an optimal control model that illustrates the links between farming practices and soil quality when soil quality is considered as an endogenous production factor. The interest and originality of this article is to associate different disciplines to investigate the role of soil quality in the sustainability and profitability of farms.

Suggested Citation

  • Alice Issanchou, 2016. "Soil resource, at the core of competitiveness and sustainability issues in agriculture: an economic approach," Working Papers SMART - LERECO 16-01, INRA UMR SMART-LERECO.
  • Handle: RePEc:rae:wpaper:201601

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    soil quality; sustainability; competitiveness; endogenous production factor;

    JEL classification:

    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General
    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land

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