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Development prospects and challenges for organic farming in the Midi-Pyrénées region of France

MONDY, B. ; TERRIEUX, A. ; GAFSI, M. and HEMPTINNE, J.L. (2009) Development prospects and challenges for organic farming in the Midi-Pyrénées region of France. [Enjeux et perspectives de développement de l’Agriculture Biologique en Midi-Pyrénées.] Carrefours de l'Innovation Agronomique, 4, pp. 377-388.

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Document available online at: http://www.inra.fr/ciag/revue_innovations_agronomiques/volume_4_janvier_2009


With 67,000 ha and 1,200 organic farms (OF), the Midi-Pyrénées region is the biggest agricultural area in France and second only to the Pays de Loire region in number of farms.
Organic farming has developed rapidly over the past 15 years due to the steep increase in the demand for organic products. However, this was not always the case due to several factors linked to technical difficulties: market access, wide use of imports, a trend towards industrialisation, difficulties in mastering techniques, particularly for the production of high quality durum wheat, the ineffectiveness or absence of organisations intended to help producers, etc. As a result, the Midi-Pyrénées Regional Council, which had supported organic farming for a long time, sponsored several studies to assess the sector’s development potential and future prospects (Demeter Conseil, 2005; Mondy, 2006). The conclusions of these studies will be used as a basis for our reflection on the means necessary to coordinate stakeholders in the field.
The difficulties involved in the development of organic agriculture are real, but the importance of organisation requires particular attention.
To address this issue, two research hypotheses were explored: the first one considers that the development of organic farming is not simply a question of technique or commercial advancement. The organisational dimension includes three elements that link the interactive dynamics between OF stakeholders in the region, the development of a regional governance network, and the enhancement of regional social capital.
The second hypothesis clarifies the nature of the organisational dimension. It is not possible to apply a development plan similar to the one used for mainstream agriculture to organic farming. On the contrary, a new plan must be developed that takes the specificities of OF into consideration.

Summary translation

Si l’AB a connu ces quinze dernières années un développement important, notamment avec la forte croissance de la demande des produits biologiques, son développement en matière de production marque le pas depuis quelques années. A cela plusieurs raisons liées à des difficultés d’ordre technique, économique, financier, et organisationnel. Si l’ensemble de ces difficultés est réel, l’importance de la question organisationnelle attire particulièrement l’attention.
Ce texte traite cette question organisationnelle de l’AB, en partant des conclusions de cette étude régionale réalisée en partenariat avec le Conseil Régional de Midi-Pyrénées. Il analyse les modes de coordination des acteurs en intégrant trois composantes qui renvoient aux dynamiques interactives entre acteurs de l’AB dans la Région, à l’élaboration d’un dispositif de gouvernance, à la valorisation du capital social régional.
L’objectif, est de pousser la réflexion et l’analyse prospective en matière de développement de l’AB, en évitant d’appliquer à l’AB un schéma de développement et d’accompagnement similaire à celui qui a présidé au développement de l’agriculture conventionnelle.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:organic farming; complex system; regional governance; coordination agreement; knowledge in action; legitimised knowledge; effort agreement, triple helix.
Subjects: Food systems > Community development > Networks and ownership
Research affiliation: France > Other organizations
Related Links:http://www1.montpellier.inra.fr/dinabio/
Deposited By: PENVERN, Servane
ID Code:15501
Deposited On:02 Mar 2009
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:39
Document Language:French/Francais
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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