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The effects of Minimun Crop Unit in the low profitability agricultural lands: the case of olive grove

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Authors: M. Perujo‑Villanueva y S. Colombo
Issue: 114-1 (78-94)
Topic: Agricultural Economics
Keywords: Small farming, profitability, GIS, olive orchard

The concept of Minimum Crop Unit (MCU) was created to avoid the excess of land fragmentation and to ensure the quality of life for rural families. Previous research analyzed the MCU in a juridical point of view, being almost inexistent studies about the socioeconomic and productive factors for the correct definition and application of the MCU. In this study, the concept of MUC of the autonomous community of Andalusia is analyzed and discussed to propose a redefinition of it, in order to achieve its aim: farms must have a sufficient size that guarantees a satisfactory income. Results show that, in the case of a symbolic farming system such as traditional olives farms, the current definition of MCU in the Andalusian region doesn´t fulfill its aim, because it establishes a MUC much smaller than the necessary to obtain satisfactory income. Therefore, on the one hand, it is necessary to adapt the MCU limits to the different crops, stopping the excess of land fragmentation, and on the other to establish public or private mechanisms to guarantee a property system that allows managing farms in an adequate and profitable way. Amongst them, fee exemption in the land transmission where neighboring plot are transmitted, land consolidation projects or the cooperation of farmers are suitable alternatives to consider.

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