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Diachronic analysis of farmers' strategies within a protected area of central Italy

Author(s): Nicola Silvestri | Chiara Pistocchi | Tiziana Sabbatini | Rudy Rossetto | Enrico Bonari

Journal: Italian Journal of Agronomy
ISSN 1125-4718

Volume: 7;
Issue: 2;
Start page: e20;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: farming systems | agri-environmental indicators | agricultural trajectories | stakeholders analysis

The farm can be considered as the decision unit in the agricultural land management, therefore it is the most suitable scale to analyse the farmers’ strategies of production. In this paper we describe the results of a comparison between two enquiries carried out in 1992-93 and 2009-10 on more than 30 farms, corresponding to about 1500 ha of utilised agricultural area (UAA), within the boundaries of the San Rossore, Migliarino, Massaciuccoli Regional Park (central-western Italy). We calculate a set of agri-environmental indicators both at territory and farm scale in order to point out the changes occurred over almost twenty years in the farms’ structure, management and production features. The results showed that the major differences were related to fertilisers management (clearly decreasing), to the reduction of some crop types (industrial crops) and to the strong decrease of the gross marketable production. Furthermore, apparently stable indicators, such as the utilised agricultural area and the farm tractors’ power, were actually the result of the compensation of contrasting trends. Farmers’ behaviours were substantially homogeneous within the same typology of farm, highlighting common evolution strategies. The desirability of the occurred changes was also evaluated, underlining the improvement of environmental sustainability of the current cropping systems and a greater social acceptability of agricultural activities, while the evaluation from the farmers’ point of view was less satisfactory.

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