Last October, the CREDA team was in the Spanish case study area in the Pallars county undertaking a survey to obtain data about the financial dimensions of the farms involved. The questionnaires corresponded to the first task of WP3, coordinated by the University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) in Greece, and aimed at measuring economic sustainability indicators on the basis of calculating revenues, expenses, and gross margins, which permits the comparative analysis of the financial performance among case studies.
Similarly to as in previous occasions, the CREDA team spent some days travelling around the territory to interview farmers about the management of their farms. The survey collected data about their livestock, farm infrastructure, human capital, agro-pastoral supply chains, and costs of production, as well as more information about the history of the farm and their opinions about their current situation.
Again, the results called attention to the large investments required to be able to carry out their activities, and overall to the risks involved in starting activities in a context characterized by increasingly poorer returns. The results will serve to address the financial performance of agro-pastoral systems (APS) and the productive rationality of these communities (considering the different pastoral farm typologies) as a main factor in their economic sustainability. This enables us to compare the situations of shepherds and farmers between the different regions involved in the project, which widens our understanding of APS in the Mediterranean region.
As in previous visits, we were welcomed to the farmers’ homes, where we saw the cattle and shared good times with the families, talking and sharing experiences about their common practices. We really enjoyed the fieldwork and greatly appreciate their enthusiasm toward participating in the project.