Crop diversification in the west of France (Pays de la Loire area): collect and spread experiences of farmers

2020 Zenodo  
Over the last 50 years, there has been a trend towards specialisation and intensification to increase the efficiency of production. In Western France, farms are more and more specialised in livestock production and cropping systems are more and more simplified (only 4 crops occupy more than 80% of the useful arable surface of the Pays de la Loire area). Despite the availability of many crops and species for diversification, farmers have to face different barriers and locks in at technical,
more » ... mical and organisational levels to develop these new crops. Thus, the main challenge of this study is to explore different strategies for crop diversification, dedicated to feed at farm level or to sell at value chain level, in order to identify solutions to support farmers involved in diversification of rotations. The results of the study are displayed through different types. Each type has been described: the farm characteristics, the sociological profile of farmers, the diversification drivers, the mobilized resources and the farmers support. Choices have been done to create homogeneous farmers groups. So, even if this type construction can be discussed, the results are very interesting and a good working base to more precisely understand the diversification process in the Pays de la Loire area. The farmers support has a significant influence on their trajectory. Indeed, all the farmers interviewed belong to an exchange group, but with more or less autonomy. To enhance sustainable crop diversification, it seems necessary to encourage farmers to take autonomous decision through peer exchanges. Furthermore, it also seems that in case of individual advices, they should take account of the farming system (or cropping system) to stimulate a lasting crop diversification.
doi:10.5281/zenodo.3890990 fatcat:2xkaiypforenlnvj7cujmrfpce