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Castile—La Mancha: A once traditional and integrated cereal—sheep farming system under change

  • Rafael Caballero (a1)

Abstract

Farming systems are often complex elaborations of the human societies to which they belong, with many traditional and social implications. Untangling the main social and structural constraints may improve productivity without an increase in environmental costs. Integration of cereal and sheep farming throughout the Mediterranean basin has been traditional. Mutually beneficial relationships between the sheep industry and cereal farming, and the vital role of forage legumes in meeting the modest needs of sheep for nitrogen, are stressed. This agropastoral system, however, is endangered in central Spain mainly because the pastoralist (sheep owner) is land-less, while the cultivator (land owner) has little interest in enforcing the law; fees for grazing rights are very low. Farmers, particularly young farmers, reject the current sheep operation because of the harsh working conditions. Restructuring of the grazing system would require a new policy scenario that would link European Union farm subsidies to structural reforms and would stress cooperative behavior.

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Castile—La Mancha: A once traditional and integrated cereal—sheep farming system under change

  • Rafael Caballero (a1)

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