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Territorial management contracts as a tool to enhance the sustainability of sloping and mountainous olive orchards: Evidence from a case study in Southern Spain

Rocamora-Montiel, Beatriz, Glenk, Klaus, Colombo, Sergio
Land use policy 2014 v.41 pp. 313-324
Common Agricultural Policy, case studies, cultural environment, farmers, issues and policy, olives, orchards, organic foods, production technology, risk, rural areas, surveys, topographic slope, traditional farming, Spain
The continuity of farming in traditional sloping and mountainous olive production systems (SMOPS) is at risk, especially in marginally productive areas. The abandonment of olive production on sloping lands would have adverse economic, social, environmental and cultural effects. To tackle this risk of abandonment and to improve the sustainability of traditional SMOPS, we propose the Territorial management contracts (TMC) of rural areas. The potential of this instrument to be specifically applied to organic olive production systems on sloping lands is assessed. The paper then summarises the results of a survey of Andalusian farmers in sloping and mountainous areas aimed at identifying key characteristics of the TMC with the potential to enhance its uptake in target farming communities. Results show that farmers are well-disposed towards TMC, and that issues such as flexibility and external advice need to be considered for its successful implementation. From a policy perspective, the instrument is well aligned with the objectives of the last reform of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).