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Communication dans un congrès

Neo-farmers: drivers of farming systems innovation and of the transition to agro-ecology? The case of Alentejo (Portugal)

Abstract : Over the last decade in Western Europe, increasing numbers of city dwellers have left the town for the countryside to start farming. In Portugal, this “back-to-the-land” movement takes place in the dual context of a crisis of the agricultural sector, and, at the same time, the rise of environmental concerns and of the demand for sustainable and quality food. This paper aims to analyze the role of newcomer farmers on farming system innovations. It is based on a two-months long field work in Southern Portugal’s Alentejo region. The analysis of 27 interviews with farmers and members of agricultural organizations reveals neo-farmers’ contribution to farming system innovations at three scales: the farm scale, the scale of professional networks, and the territorial scale. Neo-farmers’ socio-cultural background and their will to live off the land while preserving the environment drive their adoption of innovative farming and sale practices, often in line with the principles of agro-ecology. Most of them farm organically. They learn through virtual communities and long-distance exchanges with peers, but also exchange knowledge and practical know-how with local farmers. For this reason, they are significant actors of the transition towards agro-ecology, adopting and spreading innovative farming techniques. However, their impact remains often invisible. Neo-farmers are few, scattered, and poorly integrated into food supply chains. Many encounter difficulties to live off the land and achieve an economic viability in the first years of their farming projects.
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Communication dans un congrès
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Déposant : Migration Prodinra <>
Soumis le : mardi 2 juin 2020 - 18:52:29
Dernière modification le : jeudi 2 juillet 2020 - 17:23:02


2018_Dolci Perrin_ISFA_1.pdf
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  • HAL Id : hal-02737192, version 1
  • PRODINRA : 435462


Paola Dolci, Coline Perrin. Neo-farmers: drivers of farming systems innovation and of the transition to agro-ecology? The case of Alentejo (Portugal). 13. European IFSA Symposium, International Farming Systems Association (IFSA). AUT., Jul 2018, Chania, Greece. ⟨hal-02737192⟩



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