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Deliverable 2.1. Report on the estimated spatial distribution and key characteristics of small farms in Europe - Synthesis and short note on main implications for SALSA

Synthesis

Deliverable 2.1 aims to describe the analytical process which enabled the development of the European-level map with the estimation of the distribution of small farms at the NUTS-3 level. This process considered all types of small farms through the combination of different datasets, from EUROSTAT and national statistics, and data obtained from key experts in different countries. These experts were identified based on the territorial, social and economic expertise needed. The expert consultation process was developed to overcome the limitations of the available data to obtain the best estimate of the small-scale farms at the NUTS-3 level, as well as in identifying complex patterns in the distribution of small farms. The major constraints to the development of this analysis at this scale and with this particular complexity are related to the quality of the data, to the subjects that are considered relevant in each country, and to the general access to the data. 

Main implications of the deliverable for SALSA

The main relevance of this Deliverable is the Map of small farms distribution in Europe, with a resolution at NUTS-3 level. This map reflects a totally novel approach, both in the level of detail and in the combination of variables utilized.  Small farms have been selected both according to their structural size (< 5 ha) and economic size (< 8 ESU). This map shows the relative importance of small farms in the regions of Europe, in terms of the territory characteristics in terms of the particular agricultural context of the region. After cluster analysis, six different classes of regions were considered. They reflect the distribution pattern of small farms in Europe. The classification produced allow to clearly grasping the differentiation of NUTS-3 regions in Europe in relation to the importance of small farms. Besides bringing new insights into this reality, the map also allowed for a significant selection of regions to be studied in SALSA, through a combination between regional land cover with data on the farm structure. These regions will cover the diversity of small farms contexts and are expected to bring light into the small farmers’ role, in many diverse situations in Europe. 

Comments

Just a first comment, to thanks the authors for this interesting analysis. It's intyeresting in tislef to have all these maps displayed and explained togheter, and I think it will enrich further SALSA analyses by giving elements for better grounded comparisons of different case-studies.