Access To Land

The Monts d’Or municipalities preserving local farming

The Monts d’Or is an area located in the vicinity of Lyon, the second largest city of France. This hilly area, characterised by hedged farmland, is considered the green lung of Lyon. However local agriculture is faced with major challenges: farm abandonment, brownfields development and land speculation linked with the proximity of the city, and limited profitability due to a complex hilly landscape.

The local Monts d’Or municipalities decided to cooperate in order preserve their natural and agricultural areas, and to address low farm transmission and the difficult access to land due to land speculation.

In one emblematic example, in Limonest municipality, a retired farmer handed over part of its farm to a vegetable gardener and the other part (a dozen of hectares of grasslands) is made available for extensive breeding. To facilitate the installation of a goat breeder, the Monts d’or municipalities decide to invest in building a barn and a cheese-making unit matching health and safety standards. This operation cost 254 000 Euros. The buildings are leased to the farmer. This operation allowed the entry into farming of a goat breeder, which soon had 80 goats and started processing their milk to produce cheese sold on the farm, on the local market, in organic shops and in a CSA.

In another operation, in Curis-au-Mont-d’Or, the grouping of Monts d’Or municipalities supported the entry into farming of 3 young growers. The municipalities owned three hectares of land and a house, which they had bought few years earlier with a view of using it to facilitate entry into farming. They rent the land and building to the growers’ cooperative, and realised irrigation works on one hectare of land. The growers could soon start producing, and selling their vegetables to three CSA groups.

To support local agriculture, the Monts d’Or municipalities thus opted to directly control of land and buildings and make them available to farmers. This continuous and long-term mobilisation has enabled the development of several farming projects, in particular organic ones, as well as the capacity to seize opportunities as they arise locally.

Terre de liens, Agir sur le foncier agricole: un rôle essentiel pour les collectivités locales, 2015

Scope of the initiative:: Single farm or site ; Regional ; National ; Local ; International

Types of activities: Land stewardship ; Support for farmers ; Policy/ advocacy ; Ethical finance ; Land acquisition/ ownership ; Public education ; Farming ; Awareness raising ; New entrants

Types of agriculture: CSA, AMAP, consumers co-operative ; Local supply chains ; Organic ; Peasant ; Biodynamic

Types of agricultural activities: Agriculture (plants) ; Mixed farming ; Breeding (animals)

Types of landowners: Other Land Trusts ; Ethical companies ; Other non-profit organisations ; Churches ; Public owners ; Private owners ; Commons ; Other ; Community Farm Land Trusts

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