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Short Communicaton on Farm demographic and Structural Changes across Europe

Farm demographic and structural change across Europe

Farming systems are resilient if they have the capacity to adapt to changing circumstances and challenges while maintaining their core functions, including the delivery of vital goods and services. Multiple internal and external processes influence the resilience of farming systems. One of these processes influencing the resilience of farming systems comprise farm demographic dynamics.

In SURE-Farm, we explored major trends in farm demographic and structural change in 11 case-studies. Demographic trends, across EU agricultural landscape, highlighted in the report: constant decrease in the number of farms, an increase in average farm size, a decrease of overall work force in agriculture, an increase in average age of farmers and majority are family farms and/or are specialized.

However, a study across a diversity of European farming systems shows that these general trends and their future direction depend on regional specificities related to agro-ecological zoning, socio-economic characteristics, environmental challenges, institutional and cultural embedding and embedding in the value chain.

The obtained similarities/contrasts in sector and regional specificities from the cross case-study comparison can help local governments to tailor their policies to specific situations.

Read the short communication in Short communication on Farm demographic and structural change across Europe 

More information in D3.1 Report on current farm demographics and trends 

Corresponding authors:

Jo Bijttebier- Isabeau Coopmans – Franziska Appel – Ilkay Unay Gailhard – Erwin Wauters

Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food & Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies