Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Espaces marginalisés et développement : systèmes d’élevage et améliorations pastorales dans le Gard

BOYER, Philippe (1984): Espaces marginalisés et développement : systèmes d’élevage et améliorations pastorales dans le Gard. Published in: Espace rural No. 6 (1984): pp. 1-52.


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Marginalized areas and development: breeding systems and pastoral improvements in the Gard

From 1976 to 1985, in order to strengthen agricultural activity, the breeders of the hinterland of the French “department” of Gard (agricultural regions of Causses, Cévennes and Garrigues) have had access to a system of public equipment subsidies to carry out land improvements intended to reintegrate into a more productive process the underexploited territories (rangelands, barrens). Called “pastoral improvements”, the subsidized land improvements works consisted essentially of the creation of temporary meadows by land-clearing and seeding in order to secure the feeding of herds (mainly sheep meat and dairy goats in the Cevennes and Garrigues, dairy sheep in the Causses) and in the laying of wire fences to intensify and rationalize pasture. On the basis of a survey of farmers benefiting from this procedure, the study analyses the integration of this technical offer into the diversity of production systems and socio-economic trajectories of farms. The nature (type of land improvement work) and the importance (length of fences laid, area cleared and sown) of the use of «pastoral improvements» are thus placed in a typological grid combining, on the one hand, the modes of use of fodder areas (importance and nature of the “base surface”, land anchorage of farms and location of forage intensivity) and pastoral (use of fencing instead of herding) and, on the other hand, the stage of development of farms (narrow, simple, or extended renewal). The technical offer seems to be particularly suitable for dairy sheep farms, which, compared with the more marginalised farms in other regions, benefit from natural and socioeconomic conditions more favourable to its adoption.

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