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Pathways of incorporation of young farmers into livestock farming
- Góngora, R., Milán, M.J., López-i-Gelats, F.
- Land use policy 2019 v.85 pp. 183-194
- agroecology, decision making, educational status, farmers, labor force, livestock, livestock farming, Spain
- The livestock sector in Europe is currently undergoing multiple transformations. The challenges posed by these changes must be faced by an increasingly aged workforce. Promoting the incorporation of young farmers into the livestock sector would be crucial for ensuring that these challenges are met in the best possible way. It is generally agreed that young farmers face these challenges with greater dynamism, flexibility and adaptability. In spite of this, young people have to face many difficulties when trying to join the livestock sector. This study analyses different ways young farmers experience the process of incorporation into the livestock sector in one of the main livestock regions in Spain (Catalonia). The Q-Methodology was used to identify five pathways: the Traditional pathway, the Neo-rural pathway, the Business pathway, the Industrial pathway and the Agroecological pathway. The fact that these five pathways coexist evidences the complex and multidimensional nature of the process of incorporation of young livestock farmers into the sector. Finally we also observed that the incorporation of young livestock farmers, its possibility or impossibility, and the pathway followed by them, are largely conditioned by five main drivers: (i) the presence or absence of an agrarian family tradition; (ii) the capacity to access adequate land; (iii) the education level; (iv) the degree of innovation in livestock activities; (v) the degree of autonomy in decision-making.