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The role of domestic livestock systems in rural development in disadvantaged areas

Contract nr: FAIR-CT95-0114
Project nr: 114
Project type: CA
Starting date: 01/03/1996
Duration: 36 months
Total cost: 280,000 EUR
EC Contribution: 280,000 EUR
Scientific Officer: Veronica SABBAG
Research topic: Development of rural areas
Acronym: LSIRD network

Livestock farming remains the cornerstone of agricultural activity throughout much of the less-favoured and lagging regions of the EU. Livestock products are vitally important as a component of rural income and employment, and as a supply of raw materials for added-value processing at the local level.
The objective is to establish a European network of researchers studying the role of livestock production systems in disadvantaged areas, in relation to rural development/agricultural policy, economic activity, animal/environment interactions and landscape ecology.

The proposal is to establish a European network of researchers studying the role of Livestock production systems in disadvantaged areas in relation to rural development/agricultural policies, economic activities, animal/environment interactions and landscape management.
The objectives of the network are to:
- integrate livestock systems research with research on agricultural policy and socio-economic changes related to livestock in disadvantaged areas;
- generate information on the economic outcome of diversification;
- exchange information and disseminate results.

There are four sub-groups:
1. Livestock production systems;
2. Rural development & agricultural policy;
3. Adding value to livestock products;
4. Environment interactions.

The network has helped improve the integration of research activities in these areas, and promote the prospects of further research relevant to the objectives. It has also generated information on the economic significance of diversifications in rural development systems through a series of agreed feasibility studies.

Current situation/results:
The LSIRD project has demonstrated that there is broad agreement within the research community on the importance of maintaining the family farm as the basic unit of agricultural communities. The key to maintaining these businesses as viable units post Agenda 2000 lies in their ability to realise the diverse opportunities offered by quality on-farm food processing and retail, regional and speciality marketing schemes, tourism-related activities, and integrating agri-environmental measures into farm system. Within the LFA, the increased efficiency offered by economies of scale, and its associated shedding of labour, is a transitory benefit, often accompanied by undesirable social consequences and a breakdown in the environmental management role of traditional farm management systems.
The project terminated in March 1999.



John Alexander MILNE
Macaulay Land Use Research institute
UK-AB9 2QJ Aberdeen
Tel.: +44 1224 31 86 11
Fax: +44 1224 31 15 56
E-mail: /

    Centro de Investigacion y technologia
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  • Brian REVELL
    Harper Adams University College
    School of Management
    UK-TF10 8NB Shropshire
    Tel: +44 1952 81 52 37
    Fax: +44 1952 82 53 40

  • Thierry LECOMPTE
    Parc Regional de Brotonne
    Maison du Parc
    F-76940 Notre-Dame de Bliquetuit
    Tel.: +33 2 35 37 23 16
    Fax: +33 2 35 37 39 70

  • George ZERVAS
    Agricultural University of Athens
    Animal Production
    Iera Odos
    GR-11855 Votanikos-Athens
    Tel: +30 1 529 44 15
    Fax: +30 1 529 44 13
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