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Agriculture ; 13(3), 2023.
Article in English | CAB Abstracts | ID: covidwho-2319823


Food supply has been a constant source of concern for mankind. In the present context, with food security a priority of European and national policies, an analysis of pig farming in a representative NUTS2 administrative level of Romania that emphasizes the proportion of households raising at least one pig and the main factors influencing farmers to adopt or give up swine breeding could allow a much clearer understanding of this phenomenon that lies at the border between cultural tradition and socio-economic necessity. This study uses mixed methods that complement each another to help reveal this complex phenomenon in the analyzed territory. Cluster analysis shows the concentration of swine breeding and maps its spread in terms of both subsistence and larger farms, and qualitative interviews prove the motivation of farmers to continue in this occupation. As a primary result, the study visualizes the spatial distribution of pig farming in the rural environment of Valcea county, Romania, from a diachronic perspective in the post-communist period. It also reveals areas of differing concentrations of both very small-sized farms, which prioritize meeting their own food needs, and larger farms, which prioritize commercial production to supplement their revenue streams. Both categories, but particularly the latter, are of particular interest in a period in which the socio-economic environment after 1990 - marked by economic restructuring, unemployment, population migration, the economic crisis of 2008-2010, the pandemic of 2020-2021, and the most recent energy crisis - periodically highlights the importance of rural areas in ensuring food security and sufficiency at both the local and regional levels.