Styles of Farming, landscapes and biodiversity (Part 1

Jan Douwe van der Ploeg Rural Sociology Baeza, Curso de Agro-ecología Enero 2009

Diversity and agrarian policy: 1969

Enlarged diversity: 1981

Four level definition of farming style:
Specific cultural repertoire Specific patterning of technical, economic and social relations within the farm Specific patterning of interrelations with markets and suppliers of technology (specific set of transaction and governing costs) Specific response to agrarian policies (and, increasingly, to Food Empires)

Farming Styles
Agricultural entrepreneurs


Farming Styles
Tres (o cuatro) niveles de definición Agricultural
entrepreneurs 1) Repertorio cultural 2) Prácticas específicas 3) Relaciones específicas 4) Respuesta política Peasants

Umbria, the green heart of Italy

Monte Subasio

Grazing herd of Chianina cattle

Economic impact of high quality food production (∆ NVA; EU-7, 1998 data)
HQ €2.3 billion

Total additional NVA € 5.2 billion

Organic €0.4 billion

Short supply chains €2.5 billion

The hidden miracles

The explanation of the Umbrian ‘miracle’
+ Resistenza contadina (peasant resistance) + Food culture (longing for quality) + Regional authority + Embedded in the local

- EU-policy (but changing)
- ‘Global’ science (but increasingly focusing on

Contributing to the quality of life

Local self-regulation
NFW (Northern Frisian Woodlands) Territorial Cooperative 40,000 hectares 850 members North East of Friesland

Historical continuity



Elevated cost levels

Typical hedgerow

Maintenance of the landscape:

Increasing biodiversity Additional income flow:€4 million/year

Finetuning of the processes of production: strong decrease of N-emissions

Food-web: the invisible part of biodiversity

Interacting with the surrounding ‘regime’

Adapted Technology: illegal

The construction of quality
Outdoor grazing Fresh grass

Fresh and healthy milk Containing high CLA-levels

Introducing new qualities into the area
Increased quality of life Improved food quality Increased biodiversity

Strengthened Increased quality of the landscape Improved quality of natural resources rural economy

New research: Interaction and optimalization


New research: Repeated Pareto Optimalization
70 60 50 Nature value

40 30

100 1000 12000



0 1500 2000 2500 3000 Profit (eur/ha)

New research: Improving connectivity

New policy approach: Strategic niche management
“world” institutional analysis multi-actor multi-level multi-aspect

Institutionalization of practices

evolving landscape

3 2

3 = transition

patchwork of regimes 1 = no break through of novelties

2 = system innovation & regime shift


niches “local” past present

niche formation & novelty creation future


A dynamic multi-actor, multi-level and multi-aspect perspective on the coevolution of technical and institutional change (Roep & Wiskerke, 2004)


Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful