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Does land fragmentation affect farm performance? A case study from Brittany. Factor Markets Working Paper No. 40, April 2013

Latruffe, Laure and Piet, Laurent (2013) Does land fragmentation affect farm performance? A case study from Brittany. Factor Markets Working Paper No. 40, April 2013. [Working Paper]

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    Agricultural land fragmentation is widespread and may affect farmers’ decisions and impact farm performance, either negatively or positively. The authors investigated this impact for the western region of Brittany, France, in 2007, regressing a set of performance indicators on a set of fragmentation descriptors. The performance indicators (production costs, yields, revenue, profitability, technical and scale efficiency) were calculated at the farm level using Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) data, while the fragmentation descriptors were calculated at the municipality level using data from the cartographic field pattern registry (RPG). The various fragmentation descriptors enabled the authors to account for not only the traditional number and average size of plots, but also their geographical scattering. They found that farms experienced higher costs of production, lower crop yields and lower profitability where land fragmentation (LF) was more pronounced. Total technical efficiency was not found to be significantly related to any of the municipality LF descriptors used, while scale efficiency was lower where the average distance to the nearest neighbouring plot was greater. Pure technical efficiency was found to be negatively related to the average number of plots in the municipality, with the unexpected result that it was also positively related to the average distance to the nearest neighbouring plot. By simulating the impact of hypothetical consolidation programmes on average pre-tax profits and wheat yield, the study also showed that the marginal benefits of reducing fragmentation may differ with respect to the improved LF dimension and the performance indicator considered. The analysis therefore shows that the measures of land fragmentation usually used in the literature do not reveal the full set of significant relationships with farm performance and that, in particular, measures accounting for distance should be considered more systematically.

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    Item Type: Working Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > agriculture policy
    Countries > France
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for European Policy Studies (Brussels) > Factor Markets Working Papers
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2014 13:19
    Number of Pages: 24
    Last Modified: 18 Dec 2014 13:19

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