Shared environment, diversity of pathways: Dynamics of family farming in the Saïs Plain (Morocco)

Baccar Mariem, Bouaziz Ahmed, Dugue Patrick, Le Gal Pierre-Yves. 2017. Shared environment, diversity of pathways: Dynamics of family farming in the Saïs Plain (Morocco). Regional Environmental Change, 17 (3) : 739-751.

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Thème(s) HCERES des revues (en SHS) : Géographie-Aménagement-Urbanisme-Architecture

Résumé : The sustainability of family farming and its capacity to respond to global changes are widely debated. Based on a survey of 40 farms on the Saïs Plain in Morocco, this article shows how family farms which implemented similar rainfed crop–livestock production systems 45 years ago have evolved differently based on farm characteristics and the variety of natural, economic and political changes they have faced over that time. The survey sample was constructed to cover the wide diversity currently found with regard to the structure, production choices and access to resources (water, land, capital) of local family farms. Four initial farm types were identified based on their access to land, which ranged from private property to collective land tenure. These farms may be grouped today into three main types based on their production activities: mixed rainfed crop–livestock farms, diversified farms combining rainfed and irrigated crops (vegetables and fruit orchards), and specialized irrigated farms. Seven types of development pathways leading farms from their initially similar to their currently diverse situations were identified. The critical determinants were whether and how farms were able to access water and capital resources to acquire land and innovate with high-value crops. This study illustrates that most family farms have capacity to evolve in different ways. However, competition over access to resources (ground water, labour, land) and markets, both between family farms and with locally based agribusiness firms, are a source of uncertainty weighing upon the development dynamics and future of family farms. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Exploitation agricole familiale, Typologie, Irrigation, Diversification, Adaptation, Changement technologique, accès à la terre, Propriété collective, Propriété privée, Terre agricole, Approvisionnement en eau, Polyculture élevage, Culture irriguée, Culture pluviale, Culture fruitière, Culture maraîchère, Élevage, Durabilité, Développement durable, Enquête sur exploitations agricoles

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Maroc

Mots-clés complémentaires : Inégalité

Mots-clés libres : Typologie, Exploitation agricole, Irrigation, Diversification, Déterminants du changement

Classification Agris : E14 - Economie et politique du développement
E80 - Economie familiale et artisanale
F06 - Irrigation
E20 - Organisation, administration et gestion des entreprises ou exploitations agricoles
E11 - Economie et politique foncières

Axe stratégique Cirad : Axe 1 (2014-2018) - Agriculture écologiquement intensive

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Bouaziz Ahmed, IAV Hassan II (MAR)

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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