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Evaluating innovative scenarios to enhance mixed crop-livestock farms sustainability : A partnership methodology based on long-term farmers’ strategies

Ryschawy, Julie and Joannon, Alexandre and Gibon, Annick Evaluating innovative scenarios to enhance mixed crop-livestock farms sustainability : A partnership methodology based on long-term farmers’ strategies. (2014) In: The 11th European IFSA Symposium, 1 April 2014 - 4 April 2014 (Berlin, Germany). (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Mixed crop-livestock farms are again attracting worldwide interest, as they are considered to be a good way for sustainable intensification of agriculture, by limiting environmental problems while allowing a productive and economically viable agriculture. The incentives of the Common Agricultural Policy and decreasing work force availability nevertheless marginalized these farms in Europe since 1970. Ensuring the survival of sustainable mixed crop–livestock systems is therefore a challenge for European agriculture. This study aims at developing a methodology to evaluate innovative scenarios to enhance mixed crop-livestock farms sustainability. As research studies evidenced continuity and consistency in long term farm changes, we assumed that past farmers’ strategies should be the basis for relevant future studies. Analysis of farming system dynamics should thus allow defining innovations relevant according to farmers’ choices, more likely to be adopted. A partnership group with farmers, mayors and technical advisers has been formed to develop the innovative scenarios through collective meetings. The study has been led in the French Coteaux de Gascogne, a less favoured area of south-western France, where farmers have limited specialisation. Currently, half of the farms use mixed crop–livestock systems. As a first step of the analysis, we analysed farm trajectories from 1950 to 2005 to assess types of farmers’ long term strategies to maintain mixed-crop livestock farming. Four “paths to last” in mixed crop-livestock farming were enlightened. In view of the current evolution of the driving forces, the partnership group selected “maximizing autonomy” and “diversification of production units” as suitable paths to maintain mixed crop–livestock systems in Europe. On the basis of these two types of trajectories, we have co-constructed with local actors two technical prospective scenarios. In line with the type “maximizing autonomy”, forage legume intercropping enabled to autonomously feed the bovine herd while maintaining soil fertility. In line with the type “diversification of production units”, fattening heifers allowed a commercialization through short circuit. These scenarios have been simulated on local farms and the simulation results were discussed in collective meeting. This methodology allowed to i) strongly involve local actors through collective meetings and ii) an original future study based on a retrospective study integrating long time changes.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
ProdINRA Id:307722
Audience (conference):International conference proceedings
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - INRA (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - INPT (FRANCE)
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Deposited By: INRA INRA
Deposited On:07 May 2018 08:29

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