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How is agriculture reproduced? Unfolding farmers' interdependencies in small-scale Mediterranean olive oil production

Moragues Faus, Ana 2014. How is agriculture reproduced? Unfolding farmers' interdependencies in small-scale Mediterranean olive oil production. Journal of Rural Studies 34 , pp. 139-151. 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2014.01.009

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In some regions, small-scale low productivity farms persist despite modernisation pressures and policy pitfalls. This phenomenon calls for a deeper understanding of the dynamics at play which are largely bypassed in current academic debates, but are regaining momentum given the complex challenges faced by the agricultural sector. Some Mediterranean areas represent a particular case, characterised by a landscape of small farms, managed part-time, extending through high nature value areas, and producing reputable quality products. This research aims to unveil how this type of agriculture is reproduced. Through an enlarged notion of embeddedness this study explores the distinct farmers' strategies and their interdependencies in Alto Palancia County (Spain). For that purpose, semi-structured interviews were conducted in three municipalities that sought first to unveil the role of social and territorial embeddedness in reproducing the system, but also revealed the necessary contribution of capital flows from the local and regional economy as well as welfare state transfers. These findings shed light on the nature of part-time farming, which needs to be considered as part of a broader agricultural system. Furthermore, this paper calls for a more place-based and relational analytical framework in order to understand the reproduction of agricultural dynamics. This approach is paramount to assess public policy impacts – which go beyond agricultural policy measures – and improve the design of future interventions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mediterranean agriculture; Small farms; Sustainability; Embeddedness; Part-time farming
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0743-0167
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2020 11:30

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