Assessment of farm-level sustainability indicators for Moroccan sheep farming systems using an adapted IDEA approach analysis
By: A. Boughalmi, A. Araba
Key Words: Sustainable sheep farming systems, IDEA method, Middle Atlas, Morocco.
Int. J. Agr. Agri. Res. 8(4), 143-155, April 2016.
Intensification of livestock farming during the last decades has raised many issues including ecological impacts and food security. In the Middle Atlas of Morocco, extensive sheep production systems are facing changes and constraints that may influence their sustainability. In this paper we present an adapted approach from IDEA (Indicateurs de la Durabilité des Exploitations Agricoles) method to evaluate the sustainability of sheep farming systems in the Eastern Middle Atlas, Morocco. For this purpose, 75 farms were selected from three production system in the area i.e. Agro-silvo-pastoral, Pastoral and Olive-grave based oasis systems. The assessment of sustainability of farms showed that agro-silvo-pastoral and pastoral ones presented higher score for sustainability compared to the olive-grave based oasis ones (P<0.05). Regarding the three sustainability dimensions, i.e. agro-ecologic, socio-territorial and economic, the comparison showed that farming system affects the agro-ecologic and socio-territorial scales (P<0.05) but not the economic one (P >0.05). Analyze of sustainability scores demonstrated that the sustainability of agro-silvo-pastoral farms is limited by the economic characters, while the agro-ecological aspects seem to be the weakness points of the olive-grave based oasis farms. Pastoral farms presented balanced scores for the three scales of sustainability. Consequently, improving these aspects could, on one hand, improves the global sustainability of the three sheep farming systems and, on the other hand, guaranties the continuity of this sector in the Moroccan Middle Atlas area.