After completion of the fieldwork conducted last year (2018) in the Spanish case study region (El Pallars), involving in-depth interviews of 100 extensive livestock farmers, we are excited to share the first descriptive results of the surveys!
Small and family-run farms thriving on agro-pastoral functions are predominant in the region, where farm labour is still very much linked to the territory. Traditional livestock-rearing practices such as transhumance are widely followed among the farmers, and there is a high prevalence of autochthonous races (Bruna dels Pirineus, Xisqueta and Cavall Pirenaic català).
As is common in other mountainous regions, the farming lifestyle in El Pallars is dominated by a characteristic ageing and male-dominant demographic. The sector is changing rapidly, and the tendencies identified in our work point towards intensification of farming activities, abandonment of arable lands, as well as an increase in the number of people working in the tertiary sector.
Moreover, a strong dependence on public subsidies and limitations to the commercialization of their products is making it increasingly difficult for farmers in this region to thrive under this lifestyle. However, the farmers express an overall proactive attitude and a predisposition towards social participation and professional training, optimistic indicators which predict enhancements to the pastoral lifestyle and in pastoral communities in this region in the near future.
Stay tuned to this page for further updates from the project!