minifundia

minifundia
   Very small farms (minifundia) are a common feature of the size structure of agricultural holdings throughout Spain (see also land tenure). Under intensive agriculture (horticulture or the factory farming of livestock) they can offer a reasonable or good livelihood, but a few head of cattle or a few hectares of arable land are entirely inadequate to support a full-time family farm. The best they can offer is a source of part-time employment, a complementary income or a leisure opportunity. In areas of activity other than agriculture, the term minifundismo has come to be applied to all very small businesses.
   Small farms are often fragmented into numerous dispersed plots (although fragmentation is also present on large farms), giving a variegated aspect to the landscape. In addition, there may be multi-ownership of single plots and different use-rights in the same plot. Efficiency is precluded by limitations on economies of scale: difficulties of mechanization, the loss of land in field boundaries, the restrictions placed on raising loans to finance improvements and the time lost in moving from one plot to another. However, the possession of plots on different types of land (irrigated land, land on south facing slopes, etc.) allows for a range of crops to be produced.
   Minifundia have their origins partly in land tenure systems which have allowed for the division and sub-division of land on inheritance (partible inheritance), common under Roman law and customary law, and upheld in the Napoleonic Code. They have also arisen from population pressure on available agricultural land, with large swathes of productive land being occupied by latifundia.
   The survival of small farms has been made possible by the extension of irrigated areas and by various forms of protectionism, including that offered by the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union. The latter, while encouraging land consolidation and early retirement, has viewed support to farmers with small farms as part of the mechanism for ensuring the survival of rural communities and managing the rural environment.
   Progress in reducing the number of farm units has been slow, barely reflecting the enormous decline in labour from the agricultural sector in the twentieth century. Programmes designed to improve the size structure of holdings through the consolidation of farms and dispersed plots of land have been in operation since the early 1950s and are now supported by the Common Agricultural Policy. The aims and scope of these programmes have varied from the limited rearrangement of properties to wholesale rural development. Most progress has been made in the grain lands of the central plateau (the Meseta), but even here consolidation has frequently left farms too small to support a family. There is some evidence that apart from intensive farming (where the number of farms has been increasing), the number of small holdings is declining, but the process is slow. While people have moved to towns, families have been reluctant to sever their rural roots, modest rural homes being transformed into modern second homes with accompanying land.
   Further reading
   - Guedes, M. (1981) "Recent Agricultural Land Policy in Spain", Oxford Agrarian Studies, 10: 26–43.
   - Naylon, J. (1959) "Land Consolidation in Spain", Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 49: 361–73.
   —— (1961) "Progress in Land Consolidation in Spain", Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 51: 335–8.
   - O'Flannagan, P. (1980) "Agrarian Structures in North Western Iberia. Responses and their Implications for Development", Geoforum 2, 157–69 (on the problems of small farms and the process of consolidation in Galicia).
   —— (1982) "Land Reform and Rural Modernization in Spain: a Galician Perspective", Erdkunde, 36: 48–53 (on the problems of small farms and the process of consolidation in Galicia).
   KEITH SALMON

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

Игры ⚽ Нужно сделать НИР?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Minifundia — Une Minifundia est un petit domaine agricole par opposition aux latifundias. Le terme désigne généralement des exploitations de moins de 5 hectares, exploité par une famille. Les minifundias étant de toutes petites parcelles peu productives,… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Minifundio — Minifundia Une Minifundia est un petit domaine agricole par opposition aux latifundias. Le terme désigne généralement des exploitations de moins de 5 hectares, exploité par une famille. Les minifundias étant de toutes petites parcelles peu… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • МИНИ-ФУНДИЯ — (minifundia) см. Латифундия …   Большой толковый социологический словарь

  • land reform — any program, esp. when undertaken by a national government, involving the redistribution of agricultural land among the landless. [1840 50, Amer.] * * * Deliberate change in the way agricultural land is held or owned, the methods of its… …   Universalium

  • BRÉSIL - Le Brésil contemporain — Avec la Constitution démocratique promulguée en 1988 et, pour la première fois depuis 1960, l’élection au suffrage universel direct de Fernando Collor de Mello à la présidence de la République en 1989, le Brésil met formellement fin au processus… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • land tenure —    Land tenure is a crucial factor in the operation of rural land markets, influencing the pace and direction of agricultural development. Since land tenure systems govern access to the means of production in agriculture, they have also been an… …   Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture

  • Albuñuelas — Infobox City official name = Albuñuelas, Spain | nickname = | | image | map caption = Location of Albuñuelas subdivision type = Country | subdivision name = Spain | subdivision type1 = Province | subdivision name1 = Granada | subdivision type2 =… …   Wikipedia

  • Cambrousse — Campagne Pour les articles homonymes, voir Campagne (homonymie). Paysage rural en Lorraine …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Espace rural — Campagne Pour les articles homonymes, voir Campagne (homonymie). Paysage rural en Lorraine …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Esprit rural — Campagne Pour les articles homonymes, voir Campagne (homonymie). Paysage rural en Lorraine …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”