International Journal of Agricultural Sciences

International Journal of Agricultural Sciences ISSN 2167-0447 Vol. 11 (6), pp. 001-010, June, 2021. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Exploring family farm development in dryland agricultural areas: A case study of the Laghouat region of Algeria

Khaled Laoubi1*, Melkhir Boudi2, Moulay Adel2 and Masahiro Yamao1

1Graduate School of Biosphere Science, Hiroshima University, Japan.

2University of Amar Telidji, Laghouat, Algeria.

Accepted 13 February, 2021

Abstract

Family farming is the predominant agricultural system of dryland agriculture in Algeria. The National Agricultural and Rural Development Program (PNDAR) was implemented in the last decade to enhance the development of family farms in drylands. The objective of the present study was to explore family farm development in Algerian dryland agricultural areas. Specifically, we were interested in the behavior of farmers and stockbreeders toward various institutional and agricultural development policies. To this end, surveys were conducted on 35 randomly selected stratified farmers using closed structured questionnaires in 5 municipalities, which were used to represent the three bioclimatic zones in the Laghouat prefecture. The results showed that the main form of organization at family farms depends on the bioclimatic zone, which affects the production systems, public support and conservative adaptation strategies. Constraints related to production factors are widespread, affect farm operations and challenge public policy. Agricultural diversification such as the introduction of livestock farming and non-agricultural activities occurred on the majority of the farms, and two primary strategies for achieving food security were observed. Namely, food crops were prioritized and diversified on family farms, and speculative crops and livestock were raised simultaneously. Nevertheless, the acquisition of subsidies and farming intensification did not yield significant results due to the non-continuity of actions in time and space. The results of the present study indicated that family farm development policies in drylands should be adaptable and account for the heterogeneity of agriculture, especially bioclimatic factors.

Key words: Family farm, dryland, agricultural policy, agricultural development, bioclimatic.