The evolution of farm size and land use are important determinants of the efficiency and profitability of agriculture and the configuration of the territory. In this paper, a conceptual framework of the evolution of the number of farms and land use is presented, arguing that a major determinant of the change in the number of farms is the presence or absence of successors to ageing farmers and that these socio-demographic variables shape the evolution of the sector in terms of farm size, while they do not significantly affect the changes in the farmed area. This hypothesis was empirically tested with data drawn from individual farm records of the Italian Agricultural Censuses of 2000 and 2010—aggregated at the municipality level for an Italian region—by estimating regressions on the decrease rates of the number of farms, the utilised agricultural area and the total agricultural area. The results support the conclusion that the change in the number of farms was largely determined by the absence of successors in family farms and by the average operators’ age, unlike the change in the farmed area, for which natural land conditions were the main drivers.

What drives farm structural change? An analysis of economic, demographic and succession factors

Corsi A.
First
;
Frontuto V.;Novelli S.
Last
2021

Abstract

The evolution of farm size and land use are important determinants of the efficiency and profitability of agriculture and the configuration of the territory. In this paper, a conceptual framework of the evolution of the number of farms and land use is presented, arguing that a major determinant of the change in the number of farms is the presence or absence of successors to ageing farmers and that these socio-demographic variables shape the evolution of the sector in terms of farm size, while they do not significantly affect the changes in the farmed area. This hypothesis was empirically tested with data drawn from individual farm records of the Italian Agricultural Censuses of 2000 and 2010—aggregated at the municipality level for an Italian region—by estimating regressions on the decrease rates of the number of farms, the utilised agricultural area and the total agricultural area. The results support the conclusion that the change in the number of farms was largely determined by the absence of successors in family farms and by the average operators’ age, unlike the change in the farmed area, for which natural land conditions were the main drivers.
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https://www.mdpi.com/2077-0472/11/5/438
Family farm; Land use; Structural change; Succession
Corsi A.; Frontuto V.; Novelli S.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1789887
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