Artemisia annua is an important medicinal crop used for the production of the anti-malarial compound artemisinin. In order to assist in the production of affordable high quality artemisinin we have carried out an A. annua breeding programme aimed at improving artemisinin concentration and biomass. Here we report on a combining ability analysis of a diallel cross to identify robust parental lines for hybrid breeding. The parental lines were selected based on a range of phenotypic traits to encourage heterosis. The general combining ability (GCA) values for the diallel parental lines correlated to the positive alleles of quantitative trait loci (QTL) in the same parents indicating the presence of beneficial alleles that contribute to parental performance. Hybrids generated from crossing specific parental lines with good GCA were identified as having an increase in both artemisinin concentration and biomass when grown either in glasshouse or experimental field trials and compared to controls. This study demonstrates that combining ability as determined by a diallel cross can be used to identify elite parents for the production of improved A. annua hybrids. Furthermore, the selection of material for breeding using this approach was found to be consistent with our QTL-based molecular breeding approach.
The history of agricultural and rural development in Aubrac reviewed from 1947 to 1992 shows clearly the importance of the development choices made by the local society in this small region of the French Massif Central. These people who are deeply attached to the essence of their country, ever reaffirmed and rejuvenated by integrating the changes occurring in modern society, chose to strengthen the links between i) the territory with its inherent constraints and handicaps as well as potential assets; ii) types of production and activities consistently seeking to achieve a profitable added value (rom local resources and iii), the total quality of agricultural products produced' locally and of services offered. With the help of specifie local ageneies charged with both agricultural and rural development, they were able to negotiate periods of economic crisis avoiding irretrievable losses. In the face of uncertainty and of the interrogations surfacing in 1993 Europe, the country and its people have managed ta maintain dynamic projects and evolution possibilities for the future.
Ce rapport décrit les différentes utilisations possibles du logiciel programmé avec le langage de commande du progiciel SAS, implantant le modèle input/output FACEPA pour estimer les coûts de production agricole sur la base emprique du RICA européen.
Sustainability standards are flooding global agricultural markets. Standards however, are not recent: standards for the exchange of grain and tropical products emerged in the 19th century. The objective of this article is to analyze, in a historical perspective, the implications of the transition from traditional standards to sustainability standards on the commoditization/de-commoditization process. We show how early standards and grades contributed to the construction of the category of products called primary commodities and how, after a short attempt at de-commoditization (with the early fair trade and organic standards), sustainability standards tend towards re-commoditization.
In the current context of market fluctuation on agricultural products prices, European agriculture is endangered. In hilly areas, the orientation of CAP policy promoting specialization added to an always increasing lack of work forces challenges the future of farms. Nevertheless, farmers found how to adapt to local context to last on the long term. In this study, we try to assess the diversity of the adaptative strategies developed by farmers to last in analyzing their trajectories of change. Our study aims to understand the variety in trajectories of farms from 1950 up to now. We applied an integrated approach to the farm population of a case-study site, in the Coteaux de Gascogne. In this hilly region of south-western France, agriculture maintained with a limited specialization of production. We made a survey of the history of every farms working land in an area of about 4000 ha. We used a two steps-analysis including : (i) a manual assessment of the trajectory of each farm and (ii) a typology of farm trajectories build on a combination of multivariate analysis on a set of data composed by 20 variables for 50 farms on 10-year steps. The interpretation of the types was based on the results of the manual assessment. The resulting 6 types of trajectories reflect different objectives and strategies. Farmers found different “paths to last” in a same local context (environmental, political and economic). In two types of trajectories, farmers became specialized, in the other ones, farmers maintained more traditional systems, based on a crop-livestock association. This typology was validated by local farmers. Our results stress out the importance to understand the systemic functioning of farms to study local change in agricultural systems. In a next step of our study these results will be used in a participatory future process with local stakeholders, through co-constructed prospective scenarios.
From some work on experimental economy carried out in several European countries (Portugal, France, Greece and the Netherlands), we assess the willingness to pay (WTP) of consumers for various levels of environmental certification of food products (particularly organic farming and Integrated Pest Management production strategies). With the help of this assessment we are able to define a multi-criterion procedure for the public authorities with the aim of securing the participation of consumers in a collective effort to reduce pesticides in agriculture. We show how European consumers may have relatively uniform expectations vis-à-vis the reduction of pesticides in the fruit and vegetable sector. When this reduction is publicly certified, consumers’ willingness to pay increases as a function of the level of reduction. Organic farming is clearly approved in all the countries and very often enables a doubling of the consumers’ WTP. On the other hand, partial reduction via public or private Integrated Pest Management is, other things being equal, only accorded low value. As part of a multi-criterion approach to public policies, we show how the simultaneous use of several regulatory instruments (information, taxation, subsidy) favours responsible environmental behaviour on the part of consumers.