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Wednesday 4 April 2018 8.30 - 10.30
G-1 - RUR11 : Specialisation or Diversification? Income Strategies of Farmers in Times of Economic Downturn
MAP/OG/017 Maths and Physics
Networks: Labour , Rural Chairs: -
Organizer: Pieter De GraefDiscussants: -
Elisa Botella-Rodríquez : Inward-looking Development in Cuba (1990-2008): Income and Employment Opportunities for Small Farmers
In the early 1990s Cuba was forced to shift to inward-looking development to face the worst crisis of the island. During the Special period, the alternative model provoked important transformations in the country’s agriculture sector. It revolutionised production patterns and decentralised land structures and commercialisation. But did ... (Show more)
In the early 1990s Cuba was forced to shift to inward-looking development to face the worst crisis of the island. During the Special period, the alternative model provoked important transformations in the country’s agriculture sector. It revolutionised production patterns and decentralised land structures and commercialisation. But did these changes create spaces for private small farmers during the 1990s and early 2000s? And if so, what particular spaces were created?

This paper particularly focuses on the sources of agricultural income and employment generated by inward-looking development for small farmers. The article discusses to what extent private small farmers received higher incomes and speculates that this may have been the result of better access to markets and higher efficiency. The analysis also shows that private farms increased significantly in numbers and enhanced their contribution to national food production from 1990 to 2008. (Show less)

Christiane Cheneaux-Berthelot : Vegetable Growers on the Outskirts of Paris during the 19th Century: Competition or Emulation between Small-scale and Large-scale Agriculture?
The study by the Department of the Seine in the nineteenth century is particularly revealing adaptations of family agriculture in the urban market close, the capital, Paris, in a context of increased competition and lower prices. Indeed, after the Treaty of 1860 British free trade, while the rail network brought ... (Show more)
The study by the Department of the Seine in the nineteenth century is particularly revealing adaptations of family agriculture in the urban market close, the capital, Paris, in a context of increased competition and lower prices. Indeed, after the Treaty of 1860 British free trade, while the rail network brought the food of the France and the colonies, that competition from products across the Atlantic was more difficult, farmers of the Paris region, and particularly the Department of the Seine, had to resist. They also had to withstand the urban and industrial pressure which might amputate the agricultural spaces. However, in this Department of the Seine, the farms were of micro-exploitations, unlike the Department which surrounded him, the Seine-and-Oise, devoted to large farms. What were the solutions found by farmers of the Department of the Seine to continue to live from their work? What alternative crops have been developed to provide decent incomes for farmers? What was the role of mechanization, in the face of manual labor to make this transition?
In French: L’étude du département de la Seine au XIX° siècle est particulièrement révélatrice des adaptations de l’agriculture familiale au marché urbain proche, la capitale, Paris, dans un cotexte de concurrence accrue et de baisse de prix. En effet, après le traité de libre-échange Franco-britannique de 1860, alors que le réseau ferré apportait les denrées de toute la France et des colonies, que la concurrence des produits outre-Atlantique se faisait plus ardue, les agriculteurs de l’Ile-de-France, et particulièrement du département de la Seine, devaient résister. Ils devaient également résister à la pression urbaine et industrielle qui risquaient d’amputer les espaces agricoles. Or, dans ce département de la Seine, les exploitations étaient de micro-exploitations, contrairement au département qui l’entourait, la Seine-et-Oise, dévolue aux grandes fermes. Quelles furent les solutions trouvées par les agriculteurs du département de la Seine pour continuer à vivre de leur travail ? Quelles cultures alternatives ont été développées pour assurer des revenus décents aux paysans ? Quel fut le rôle de la mécanisation, face au travail manuel pour réaliser cette transition ? (Show less)

Omar Mazzotti : Sharecroppers and Farmers of Romagna facing Agricultural Invasion: Income or Survival Strategies?
The Agricultural Depression of the last quarter of the 19th century turned out to be particularly acute in Italy not only because of the fall in cereal prices, but also in flax, silk and hemp prices, while the spread of viticulture disease and persistence silkworm disease contributed to further collapsing ... (Show more)
The Agricultural Depression of the last quarter of the 19th century turned out to be particularly acute in Italy not only because of the fall in cereal prices, but also in flax, silk and hemp prices, while the spread of viticulture disease and persistence silkworm disease contributed to further collapsing farmers’ income. For Northern Italy, a few scholars have noted a sort of “sales duty” of a growing part of wheat as a crisis-induced economic mechanism to offset the contraction in gross annual income; the consequence resulted in a compression of the already very low level of food consumption and, hence an increase in the cases of pellagra (already deeply widespread). Some initial investigations I carried out show that this aspect is not reflected in the Romagna area with sharecropping prevalence (southeastern part of Po valley).
This paper intends to shed light on a more elaborate mechanism of transformation of production, merchandising and consumption in the Romagna area: how and in which forms the transition from wheat and maize-based agricultural rotation (widespread cultivation up to the seventies of the nineteenth century) to that of the forage cultivation (as was the case in other parts of the Padan plain) started and continued; how the hemp production strategies – widespread traditional cultivation in a part of Romagna (in the Cesena countryside) – evolved, in the context of a decline in market prices from the end of the seventies; how several crop innovations, such as new types of maize more suitable for feeding and fattening animals, and technical innovations such as new tools or machinery for hemp processing or new chemical fertilizers, operated in this context; what was the role of sharecropper - in its dual role as a producer and a consumer - in choices connected to crop rotation, in a context of growing spread of livestock and rising meat prices on the market; which were the consequences on farmers' diet in a context that seems to have pushed for a "substitution effect" of corn in favour of a return to the consumption of wheat flour; what was the role of the local agrarian associations in such a dynamic environment and how it engaged the communication and promotion of agricultural knowledge towards farmers and sharecroppers and their income strategies (Show less)

Mats Morell : Smallholders’ and Large Estates’ Reaction to Changed Market Conditions in the Late 19th Century
Reduced transport costs, urbanization and income increases for some strata of populations in industrialized/industrializing European countries drastically changed the market conditions for many European farmers. In short grain prices fell while dairy prices rose. It is well known that, on a national level, European countries and their farm sectors made ... (Show more)
Reduced transport costs, urbanization and income increases for some strata of populations in industrialized/industrializing European countries drastically changed the market conditions for many European farmers. In short grain prices fell while dairy prices rose. It is well known that, on a national level, European countries and their farm sectors made distinctly different choices. Many countries imposed tariffs to protect their grain farmers, a few, with Denmark in the lead, stayed free trading and managed to transform the structure of the farm sector to specialize in dairy products and pork. Tariffs or not, this re-structuration happened, albeit more reluctantly, in most of the continental countries. It is also well known that the relative price changes hit large grain farmers with vested interests in grain trade particularly hard, while in many cases small farmers and pure smallholders faired good and – in some cases with help of developing cooperative associations – came out of the process as commercial agriculturalists. The picture is not to be simplified, some large estates managed to switch to dairying and take the lead in producing butter and consumption milk for urban centers, within or outside national borders. This paper focus on the micro level and how farms of different size transformed their land use, in response to this change in market demand and prices. Using enclosure act land survey material from ca 1840-50 and primary data collected for the regional agricultural statistics for Uppsala County, east central Sweden from the 1870s to the late 1890s the land use on individual farm level in a number of parishes can be scrutinized. In this area, farmers were previously specialized on rye and barley for the Stockholm and the close-by mining area markets. They used a rudimentary two-field system with much fallow, and rye as the most important grain. On a regional level it is already clear that this was from circa 1870 to 1900 replaced by a system with much fodder cropping and with fodder grains and grasses as the foremost crops on the arable. The new dataset makes its possible in a much more distinct way than before, to study how different types and sizes of farms managed this process. (Show less)