structural changes in
informing policy dialogue

July 2012: 10th IFSA Symposium

On the occasion of the 10th Symposium of the International Farming System Association (IFSA), which was held on the 2-4th of July 2012 in Denmark, the WAW Secretariat organized a workshop entitled Understanding agricultural structural changes and their impacts, to support inclusive policy dialogue and formulation. It was supported by 7 voluntary researcher colleagues from WAW secretariat, FAO, CIRAD, INRA and ENSAT.

The IFSA – European Group is a network of researchers concerned with sustainable development of agriculture from a systemic perspective. Every two a year, a symposium is organized along a specific theme and sub-workshop.

The theme of the 10th IFSA Symposium was the challenges facing European family farms and the impacts on ongoing transformations on global challenges, as their mode of organisation is under pressure from modernisation and structural development.

Considering the proximity of the symposium theme with WAW concern, the Secretariat proposed to organize a workshop in order to encourage and collect contributions worldwide to enable comparative analysis and common understanding of current transformations.

The main results of this workshop were to increase knowledge on transformations, to highlight inputs on methodological framework, and to show the high interest raised and confirmed for such “comparative symposium” on transformations and requests to start a database to compile case studies.

For more information, consult the WAW detailed summary of the Symposium and the detailed agenda. An attendance list is also available.

Moreover, the French magazine « Les cahiers de l’Agriculture » (website) will valorize some papers from this workshop, in collaboration with the WAW Initiative, into a special issue mixing French and English articles.


            AGENDA :

This workshop brought together 23 authors who presented their papers across 6 sessions. Contributions were discussed with 47 participants from different parts of the world. They are available below :


Session 1 : Introduction of workshop: toward a better understanding of agricultural transformations, global overviews, common stakes and objectives of sessions. (Presentation)

Agricultural structural transformations and contributions to sustainable development. Pierre-Marie Bosc, Jean-Francois Belieres, Hubert George and Marie-Aude Even. (PaperPresentation)

The future of the food system: cases involving the private sector in South Africa. Laura M. Pereira (Oxford, FAC). (PaperPresentation)

The industrialization of animal agriculture: Implications for small farmers, rural communities, the environment, and animals in the developing world. Chetana Mirle (Humane Society International). (PaperPresentation)


Session 2 : Consequences of agricultural transformations at farm and market level: case studies.

Collective actions and the dynamic of agrifood system from the perspective of the Romanian small vegetable producers. Cornelia Alboiu (Institute of Agricultural Economics, the Romanian Academy). (PaperPresentation)

(Semi)Subsistence Agricultural Systems in Sierra Leone: Present and Future Challenges. Sylvia L. Saravia Matus, Szvetlana Acs and Sergio Gomez y Paloma (European Commission – Joint Research Centre – IPTS). (PaperPresentation)

Use of relevant economic indicators for the evaluation of farming systems in terms of viability, resilience, vulnerability and sustainability: the case of the Lake Alaotra region in Madagascar. Eric Penot (CIRAD), Marie Bar and Hélène David-Benz. (PaperPresentation)


Session 3 : New production models and agrarian change.

Large scale foreign land acquisitions in Madagascar: what interactions, opportunities and risks for different local farming systems? Katy Medernach, P. Burnod and H. Rakotomalala (master thesis ISTOM). (PaperPresentation)

From Investment funds and Asset Management Companies to questions about Africa’s farmers. Ward Anseeuw and Antoine Ducastel (CIRAD and University of Pretoria). (PaperPresentation)

Integrating Smallholders into the Global Economy: Agri-businesses, Contracts and Public Policy in South Africa. Sandrine Freguin-Gresh and Ward Anseeuw (CIRAD). (Paper)

The emergence of “firm” agriculture in France: Characteristics and coexistence with family farms? G. Nguyen and F. Purseigle (University of Toulouse, INP-ENSAT). (PaperPresentation)


Session 4 : Policy and structural changes

Rural Transformation and Structural Change: insights from Developing Countries facing Globalization. Sandrine Freguin-Gresh, Eric White and Bruno Losch (CIRAD). (PaperPresentation)

Shifting practices or shifting discourses?: The role of small-scale agriculture in sustainable food systems past and present. Susan Machum (Canada Research Chair in Rural Social Justice). (PaperPresentation)

Do political changes regarding livestock farming, beef supply chain and Amazonian forest protection, contribute to ecological intensification? Nathalie Cialdella, S. A. de Carvalho, V. Vaz, T. Barbosa, M. C. Thales, M. Mourão, E. Coudel, R. Poccard-Chappuis and J.F. Tourrand. (PaperPresentation)

Heterogeneity and vulnerability of livestock farming in forest plantations in Uruguay. R. Carriquiry, H. Morales, P. De Hegedus and Tourrand J.F (Instituto Plan Agropecuario). (PaperPresentation)


Session 5 : Tools to support policy making.

DIALECTE, a comprehensive and rapid tool to assess the agro-environmental performance of farms. Philippe Pointereau, B. Langevin and M. Gimaret. (PaperPresentation)

Impact on erosive runoff and costs for local communities of usage scenarios of agricultural soils: the case of Pays de Caux (France). P. Martin (AgroParis Tech), C. Ronfort, D. Laroutis, V. Souchère and C. Sebillotte. (PaperPresentation)

How to design a pro-poor payments for environmental services (PES) mechanism in the forest frontier? Lessons from action research in Madagascar. Aurelie Toillier and G. Serpantié. (PaperPresentation)


Session 6 :Methodologies to assess current transformations to inform policy making.

Understanding farmers’ land rationales in the context of urban sprawl. Christine Léger and Françoise Alavoine-Mornas. (PaperPresentation)

The activity system. Pierre Gasselin, Michel Vaillant and Benjamin Bathfield. (PaperPresentation)

WAW proposed methodological framework to assess agricultural structural transformations and their contributions to sustainable development: monitoring and assessment better to inform policy. Pierre-Marie Bosc, Jean-Francois Bélières, Hubert George and Marie-Aude Even. (PaperPresentation)


Conclusion (Presentation)


IFSA Symposium