Diversity in family farming: Theoretical and empirical approaches to its many forms

Diversity in family farming: Theoretical and empirical approaches to its many forms – Rethinking development

Diversity in family farming: Theoretical and empirical approaches to its many forms
By Jean-Michel SOURISSEAU, Pierre-Marie BOSC, Sandrine FREGUIN-GRESH, Jean-François BELIERES, Philippe BONNAL, Jean-François LE COQ, Ward ANSEEUW, Sandrine DURY
Working paper No. 2014/2 September 2014

Diversity in family farming: Theoretical and empirical approaches to its many forms Abstract
The transformations occurring in family-based agricultural structures are raising questions in the academic and political worlds. The questions being asked span the history of agricultural representations over the last century. The ways of perceiving and representing the different forms of agriculture relate to these transformations. Family farming has acquired an international legitimacy but is presently being questioned by agricultural evolutions in developed countries, as well as in developing or emerging
countries. The Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (SRL) approach enables a global comprehension to be formed of the agricultural entity as a constituent of an activity system that has become multi-sectorial and multi-site, relating to market and non-market regulations. The relative significance and the nature of the mobilized capitals led us to schematically present six organizational forms of family agriculture in New Caledonia, Vietnam, Mali, South Africa, France and Brazil. Lastly, a more generic characterization, which our proposed agriculture representation framework outlines, is presented and raises further methodological challenges.

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The Rethinking Development working paper series has been designed to push conventional boundaries in development research and public discourse. This series engages academics, policy makers and development practitioners to critically reflect on old and new development alternatives and how they impact the society we all live in.