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The role of rememberment in the structural mutation of French agriculture

Fondation Jean-Jacques Lafont - Toulouse School of Economics - TOULOUSE - 2017

We aim to produce an impact assessment of this rememberment by completely redrawing the communal acreage, the land consolidation aimed to reduce the breaking up of the lands to increase tractor use and modernizing farms. Between 1942 and 2008, over 50% of French agricultural land was subjected to land consolidation. The number of tractors had jumped from 0,3 million to 1,3 million from 1955 to 1997 and the number of farmers from 27 to 4% of the active population. Of course other phenomenon have to be factored in than merely land consolidation, so to isolate its effect, we will use the fact that it was a continuous process both in time and space. We will namely compare the evolution of similar farms (geographically close) in an area which has undergone land consolidation and in those in areas which have not. Our preliminary results show that (despite what was expected) land consolidation seems to have rather followed (instead of preceding) the great changes in agriculture. If confirmed, our results could have implications for third world countries facing farm fragmentation and thinking about solutions such as land consolidation.