Sebastian Villagra, Clemens Wollny, Manfred Zeller:
Does Diversification of Smallholder's Animal Production Systems Contribute to Sustainable Development in Northern Patagonia, Argentina?


1 Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Animal Breeding and Husbandry in the Tropics and Subtropics, Germany
2 Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Institute of Rural Development, Germany

In Río Negro Province, Northern Patagonia, more than 4,000 producers practice extensive small livestock farming. Approximately 80% are smallholders, mainly fiber production oriented. The production system faces an environmental and socio-economic crisis due to high production costs, grassland degradation and widespread poverty. Ecological sustainability, economic feasibility and socio-political acceptability are the three dimensions of sustainable development. The main objective of this study is to evaluate the impact of diversification on the socio"=economics and range condition of the farms, under the following hypothesis: "An increasing degree of product diversification increases the incomes without increase grassland degradation in smallholder livestock systems of Southern Río Negro".

Field studies will be conducted between December 2002 and April 2004. An exploratory survey is currently implemented to investigate effects of natural and socio-economics factors on the development of livestock systems. Standardized interviews will be applied on a representative sample of 100 farms involving diversified and non-diversified farms. Through an economic analysis at farm level, the impact of the different degrees of diversification on farm household income will be evaluated. The impact of diversification on range condition will be analyzed.

The following results are expected:

Keywords: Diversification, Patagonia, smallholder production systems, wool production


... [*]
Contact Address: Sebastian Villagra, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Institute for Crop and Animal Production in the Tropics and Sub-Tropics, Kellnerweg 6, 37077 Göttingen, Germany, e-mail:
Andreas Deininger, 2003