Access To Land

Spain / Focus on Catalonia

Spain, like other EU countries, has experienced rapid intensification and specialisation of agriculture. Due to national history and late accession to the European Economic Community (1986), this process took place very fast, and with devastating effects on peasant farming, with the disappearance of many farms, the replacement of family labour by waged labour, and the decline of rural areas and population.

On a policy level, Spain has failed to deploy effective access to land policies. In some regions, egional governments established public land banks but their actual impact is rather anecdotal. Land market regulations are little developed and ineffective. They do not counter the current tendency of a loss of 83 farms per day. Environment policies relating to farmland and rural areas are still focused on preserving biodiversity in a way disconnected from the farm activity.

This analysis provides a special focus on Catalonia, as it is the area of practical experience and knowledge of the organisations engaged in this network. The situation in Catalonia is very similar to the overall Spanish situation. One of the key feature is the prevalence of middle-size livestock farms, very integrated in industrial agrofood chains. Another big difference is the increasing entrepreneurship around organic farming, including agroecological forms. Besides, an agricultural stewardship strategy linked to some protected areas started very recently (2013) in Catalonia.

>> Background: Agriculture >> Background: Land >> Policy environment >> Resources

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News from country
Spanish Ministry of Agriculture publishes report on access to land
Spanish Ministry of Agriculture published a summary report on the question on access to land after a consultation process including a wide range of actors from various sectors.
New film: Land for our food
Just released! Our film The Land for our Food is a very concrete introduction to the challenge of land access in Europe and the power of communities.

In this section
Background: Agriculture
Background: Land
Policy environment
Good Practices

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