What are the strategies and steps to build-up a dairy system in a harsh environment? The case of smallholder dairy farmers of Unaí - Brazil.

De Oliveira Marcelo Nascimento, Triomphe Bernard, Cialdella Nathalie, Ingrand Stéphane. 2012. What are the strategies and steps to build-up a dairy system in a harsh environment? The case of smallholder dairy farmers of Unaí - Brazil.. In : Producing and reproducing farming systems. New modes of organisation for sustainable food systems of tomorrow : 10th European IFSA Symposium, July 1-4, 2012, Aarhus, Denmark. IFSA. Vienne : IFSA, 8 p. European IFSA Symposium. 10, Aarhus, Danemark, 1 July 2012/4 July 2012.

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Abstract : In the district of Unaí (Minas Gerais, Brazil), smallholder farmers face numerous challenges such as restricted access to land, capital and labor, weak collective organization and climatic constraints. Yet, they are eager to access local markets to sustain their livelihoods and are ready to adapt their production systems in different ways to overcome the above constraints and achieve their place in existing productive supply chains. The dairy sector offers them a unique opportunity to achieve their goals. To understand how small holder farmers in Unaí took their place themselves in the dairy sector, we interviewed 24 smallholder farmers that deliver milk for the local cooperative. Our aim was to analyze the trajectories they followed from installation up to now in order to build specialized dairy production systems. Trajectories differ in terms of the feeding strategies and sources of feed for cows in the dry periods; of the breeds used for milk production; of the sources of financial resources for investment in the production system; of the relative synchronization of milk production in dry and wet periods, among others. This variability is related to how much smallholder farmers try to provide security to their systems, and in doing so, decrease its vulnerability both to internal and external events. (Résumé d'auteur)

Classification Agris : L01 - Animal husbandry
E80 - Home economics, industries and crafts
E20 - Organization, administration and management of agricultural enterprises or farms

Auteurs et affiliations

  • De Oliveira Marcelo Nascimento, EMBRAPA (BRA)
  • Triomphe Bernard, CIRAD-ES-UMR INNOVATION (FRA)
  • Cialdella Nathalie, CIRAD-ES-UMR INNOVATION (BRA)
  • Ingrand Stéphane, INRA (FRA)

Source : Cirad - Agritrop (

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