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Drivers of change in mountain farming in Slovakia: from socialist collectivisation to the Common Agricultural Policy

Bezak, P. and Mitchley, J. (2014) Drivers of change in mountain farming in Slovakia: from socialist collectivisation to the Common Agricultural Policy. Regional Environmental Change, 14 (4). pp. 1343-1356. ISSN 1436-378X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s10113-013-0580-x


The transformations in Slovak agriculture from the 1950s to the present day, considering both the generic (National and EU) and site-specific (local) drivers of landscape change, were analysed in five mountain study areas in the country. An interdisciplinary approach included analysis of population trends, evaluation of land use and landscape change combined with exploration of the perceptions of local stakeholders and results of previous biodiversity studies. The generic processes active from the 1950s to 1970s were critical for all study areas with impacts lasting right up until the present day. Agricultural collectivisation, agricultural intensification and land abandonment had negative effects in all study areas. However, the precise impacts on the landscape were different in the different study areas due to site-specific attributes (e.g. population trends, geographic localisation and local attitudes and opportunities), and these played a decisive role in determining the trajectory of change. Regional contrasts in rural development between these territories have increased in the last two decades, also due to the imperfect preconditions of governmental support. The recent Common Agricultural Policy developments are focused on maintenance of intensive large-scale farming rather than direct enhancement of agro-biodiversity and rural development at the local scale. In this context, local, site-specific attributes can and must form an essential part of rural development plans, to meet the demands for management of the diversity of agricultural mountain landscapes and facilitate the multifunctional role of agriculture.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
ID Code:37454

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