Peasant farming

Date last updated: 02/04/2019

Peasant farming

Date last updated:

Foreign equivalent(s):

agriculture paysanne (fr)

Peasant farming is an agricultural mode of production, defined by ten interconnected rules, such as seeking self-sufficiency in all of the farm’s operations, respecting the surrounding environment (including local communities), and sparing scarce resources such as gas and water. This agricultural mode looks to provide producers with a decent income on a lasting basis, through volume allocations of high-quality goods produced with full disclosure.

Farmers want to give meaning to their work, preferring a labour-intensive model to a highly mechanised one. They aim for a reduction of the average farm size, while increasing financial independence and transferability.

As opposed to the industrial agricultural model, peasant farming is conducted as a political project, whose stakeholders want to create an alternative agricultural system.

Supply routes are reconceived inside the territory, in order to reduce intermediates, and goods are sold in local food systems that aim to be self-sufficient inside the territory. Territorialisation of the agriculture is, thus, an essential value.

Maintaining biodiversity within the farm is also crucial, and farmers chose to use and develop local animal and vegetal species, and peasants’ seeds.

This type of farming is committed to a long-term global consideration of a system that preserves the environment, develops rural stakeholders’ solidarity, and allows the economic viability of the productions. Like sustainable farming, this agriculture aims at respecting all aspects of sustainable development, and is, therefore, one form of alternative agricultures. The approach used in this production model leans towards agroecological actions, implying traditional practices and skills.

Crédit photo : Pierre Prakash, EU/ECHO, 2012, Flickr CC BY SA

References to explore

Fédération Associative pour le Développement de l’Emploi Agricole et Rural (FADEAR). 1998. Translations of the French Charter for peasant agriculture. 1p.

Answer. What is peasant farming? Consulted on 1st april 2019.

Harsh A. Peasant Farming: Advantages and Disadvantages. Consulted on 1st april 2019.

Espinel R. 2008. Multifunctionality in Peasant Agriculture: a means of Insertion into Globalization., 14p.

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