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Crop-livestock integration and agroecological performances of mixed farming systems

Abstract : Agricultural systems are expected to face new challenges: producing more and better in a changing world. Finally, farming systems are expected to meet agroecological goals: productivity by producing more; efficiency by producing with less; resilience by adapting them; and self-sufficiency to be less dependent. Nowadays, agriculture is supported by a majority of familial small-scale mixed farming systems (MFS), which produce half of the world food. These MFS are characterized by the diversity of their agricultural productions and especially by crop-livestock integration (CLI) which corresponds to interactions and complementarities between crop and livestock systems. By developing effective CLI, MFS would be relevant to meet agroecological goals. Even if many studies deal with such interest, very few of them take into consideration its complexity. In fact, CLI is discussed either very broadly or too specifically. In this work, we offer to illustrate the complexity of CLI and the hypothetical agroecological performances associated with this complexity. We propose a theoretical conceptualization of CLI situations as corresponding flows network configurations. CLI is function of three components: the diversity of productions, CLI flows, i.e. flows between these productions, and flows between the farming system and its environment, i.e. inflows and outflows. Similarly, four agroecological performances are conceptualized in function of these three components relations: productivity, efficiency, self-sufficiency and resilience. Then, we analyze the performances of four CLI configurations, from specialized and nonintegrated MFS to diversified and integrated MFS. Finally, we try to understand the complex relationships between CLI and the agroecological performances. Diversification of MFS is a step toward more agroecological farming systems. However, fully agroecological systems will be achieved through both diversification and CLI of MFS. Finally, this conceptualization of CLI, based on flows network characterization, allows modeling various configurations of MFS for further analysis. CLI is in fact the whole set of relationships between crop and livestock subsystems but also between MFS and its environment.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 10:00:39 AM
Last modification on : Friday, October 8, 2021 - 4:26:43 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-01506364, version 1
  • PRODINRA : 280911


Fabien Stark, Harry Archimède, Eliel González García, Livia Navegantes-Alves, Audrey Fanchone, et al.. Crop-livestock integration and agroecological performances of mixed farming systems. 3. Convención Internacional Agrodesarrollo 2014. Por una agricultura familiar sostenible, Oct 2014, Varadero, Cuba. 5 p. ⟨hal-01506364⟩



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