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Assessing sustainability of different forms of farm organization: Adaptation of IDEA method to rubber family farms in Thailand

Biret C., Buttard C., Farny M., Lisbona D., Janekarnkij P., Barbier J.M., Chambon B.. 2019. Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement, 23 (2) : 14 p..

Description of the subject. With increasing concerns on the sustainability of agricultural systems, many tools have been developed to assess farm sustainability. Objectives. The main objective of this study was to assess and compare the sustainability of different forms of family farm organization. A second objective was to test the relevance of the IDEA method (Indicateurs de Durabilité des Exploitations Agricoles or Farm Sustainability Indicators) to compare tree-crop-based family farms in tropical areas. Method. Percentages of sustainability were calculated based on individual interviews conducted with 25 rubber farmers representing three different types of farm (typology based on the labor used for farming activities), using three scales and 10 components. Results. The socio-territorial scale was the weak point of the rubber farms. In contrast, the economic scale was relatively the best asset on all farms. The factor that most differentiated the three types of farm was the agro-ecological scale followed by the socio-territorial scale. The economic scale did not discriminate. Moreover, only the diversity of production and efficiency components showed a notable difference between the different types of farm. Conclusions. Overall, the three types of farm with contrasting forms of farm organization were not much different in terms of sustainability performance. Family business farms with managerial family labor appeared to be the least sustainable. Thus, as family business farms are becoming more and more important in Thai agriculture, if these results are confirmed on a broader scale, this represents an issue for the sustainability of the Thai rubber sector that would require government intervention.

Mots-clés : Évaluation; culture d'arbre; durabilité; exploitation agricole familiale; agriculture familiale; caoutchouc; hevea brasiliensis; asie du sud-est; thaïlande

Thématique : Economie familiale et artisanale; Systèmes et modes de culture; Production forestière

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