• Jean-Michel SourisseauEmail author

Typologies of farms help clarify and explain a complex reality, give a form, and sometimes a political existence, to ‘invisible’ categories.1They also help reveal and evaluate transformation processes, from one state to another, from one form of agriculture to another. Family farming, whose definition is not without ambiguity or ideological and technical presuppositions, is thus often characterized by what it is not as much as by what it is, as also by references to categories whose criteria may themselves include ambiguities and presuppositions. Thus, family farming can be delineated as follows: by its surface area, herd size or level of capitalization in the typologies based on farm structure; by its turnover, productivity or income in the typologies that differentiate on the basis of technico-economic performance; by its legal status in the typologies that differentiate according to farms or farmers’ rights; by its degree of specialization or dependence on upstream and downstream...


  1. Bélières J-F, Bonnal P, Bosc P-M, Losch B, Marzin J, Sourisseau J-M, Baron V, Loyat J (2013) Les agricultures familiales du monde. Définitions, contributions et politiques publiques. Cirad/AFD, January 2013, 276 pGoogle Scholar

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© Éditions Quæ 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CIRADUMR ART-DEVMontpellierFrance
  2. 2.ART-DEVUniv Montpellier, CIRAD, CNRS, Univ Montpellier 3, Univ Perpignan Via DomitiaMontpellierFrance

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