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A new analytical framework to assess on-farm integration in diversified agricultural systems

Steinmetz, Lucille; Martin, Guillaume; Dumont, Bertrand; Veysset, Patrick; Ulukan, Defne; MOERMAN, Marie and Benoit, Marc (2021) A new analytical framework to assess on-farm integration in diversified agricultural systems. Agricultural systems. [Submitted]

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Summary

CONTEXT
Agricultural science has mainly focused on specialized farming systems, so understanding the management of more diversified systems remains a challenge. Several analytical frameworks have been proposed to assess on-farm integration, i.e., the management of spatial and temporal interactions among farm enterprises (crops, pastures, and animals). However, they rely on a vision centered on farming practices, whereas farmers’ decisions regarding this integration largely depend on the available workforce, worker skills, range of products, and distribution channels.
OBJECTIVE
Here, we propose a new analytical framework to assess farm integration according to farming practices, work organization, and sales management and apply this framework to a case study.
METHODS
We iteratively conducted a review of the literature and brainstorming among experts to develop a set of indicators for assessing integration on these three dimensions. The integration of farming practices is assessed through interactions between crops, pastures, livestock, and on-farm processing enterprises. Integration of work organization is assessed through the versatility of workers and the temporal distribution of farming activities. The integration of sales management is assessed based on the use of short distribution channels, customer behavior, the range of products, and the temporality of sales from the different farm enterprises. We applied this analytical framework to a case study with ten organic and multispecies livestock farms and performed a hierarchical clustering analysis to compare different ways of assessing farm integration.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS
Our analytical framework includes 54 integration indicators, including 23 related to farming practices, 16 to work organization, and 15 to sales management. The application of this framework to ten organic livestock farms highlights consistency among hierarchical clustering based on work organization and sales management indicators. For instance, selling farm products on short distribution channels to customers buying several farm products and spreading sales over the year were related to an increased overlap of activities due to the processing and on-farm sales that add to agricultural activities. Conversely, the level of farming practice interactions was variable within each cluster. This demonstrates the need to extend the assessment of integration beyond farming practices to provide a holistic description of on-farm integration.
SIGNIFICANCE
This framework provides a tool to better understand how diversified agricultural systems operate and how farm enterprises are managed in time and space. It will improve our understanding of how farm integration can enhance farm performance and reveal the most promising management options for diversified agricultural systems.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Indicator; organic; livestock; management; sales; work organization
Agrovoc keywords:
Language
Value
URI
English
indicators
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_330058
English
organic farming -> organic agriculture
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_15911
English
livestock
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_4397
English
management
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_16086
English
sales
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_25816
English
work organization
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_8440
Subjects: Farming Systems
Research affiliation: European Union > CORE Organic Cofund > Mix-Enable
France > INRAe - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement
Horizon Europe or H2020 Grant Agreement Number:727495
Deposited By: Benoit, Mr Marc
ID Code:40154
Deposited On:29 Oct 2021 13:04
Last Modified:29 Oct 2021 13:04
Document Language:English
Status:Submitted
Refereed:Submitted for peer-review but not yet accepted

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