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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1020: VI International Cherry Symposium

DERIVING SOCIO-ECONOMIC INDICATORS FOR SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT OF SWEET CHERRY FARMING SYSTEMS IN SOUTH PATAGONIA

Authors:   C.A. Mundet, N. Baltuska, D. Córdoba, C. Sanz, E.D. Cittadini
Keywords:   investors, managerial aspects, employer, MESMIS, multi-disciplinary approach, operative cost, labour availability and efficiency
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2014.1020.70
Abstract:
Sweet cherry production is a new activity in South Patagonia and its develop-ment has carried out profound changes in the local agrarian structure and in the regional economy. New actors, such as growers or investors, have emerged and specific demands of labour and services (with different degrees of specialization) have been brought out. Adaptation to these emerging changes requires evaluation of cherry system sustainability on three dimensions: productive-economic, environmental, and social. Managerial aspects (different producers and levels of technology) and employer-labour relations are normally beyond a traditional farming systems analysis. In this study, the MESMIS evaluation framework for sustainability assessment [which considers five basic attributes (productivity, stability, resilience, reliability, and adapt¬ability) that can be operationalized by defining several criteria and subsequently assessed through indicators], was used as a base to derive (socio-economic) sustain¬ability indicators (under a multi-disciplinary approach) for the sweet cherry produc¬tion sector of South Patagonia. The methodology used to measure and monitor these indicators is described and some results and conclusions derived from this survey are presented. Socio-economic indicators related to labour show, for example, that more than 60% of the total operative cost is labour. The annual distribution is concentrated in one month (December) and availability and efficiency, as described by two quali¬tative indicators, are scarce and low, respectively.

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