Agricultural spaces in the basque autonomous communiy
AGRICULTURAL SPACES IN THE BASQUE COUNTRY
Primary sector in the Basque Country• It has lost its economic weight: • Smaller production • Reduction of the number of people working in this sector• Main activities of rural spaces: • Industry • Housing • Spare time
Primary sector in the Basque Country• Primary sector is less important nowadays considering: • Number of jobs created • Reduced role in the GDP
Primary sector in the Basque Country• In Continental Basque Country (North Basque Country) tourism has developed.• In the Peninsula industry has expanded, even when some agricultural works are done.• In the Mediterranean slope there is an intermediate situation with modern activities.
Atlantic agricultural landscape• Atlantic slope.• Eco-geographical characteristics: • Abundant rain fall • Stepped relief • Lack of flat surfaces • Devoted to livestock, prairies are abundant.
Atlantic agricultural landscape• Population is old, with high masculinity rate due to the rural exodus of the 60s, and it is not qualified• Property is direct and it is small• Each owner has more than one plot of land• Mechanization is difficult due to the stepped terrain• Bocage• Direct exploitation
Atlantic agricultural landscape• Traditional productive system with scarce productivity• There has been a certain mechanization and some innovations such as culture under plastic have been introduced.• Habitat is disperse or intercalar.• The most common habitat is the bolck house, isolated from others, this is, the baserri.
Atlantic agricultural landscape• Agrarian policy was affected by the reforms of disentitlement and Second Republic• CAP has influenced, and this area receives aids of the Leader funds.• Products have been promoted and the brand Euskal Baserri may be found in several of them. This policy is guaranteed by the Basque Government.
Atlantic agricultural landscape• Agriculture is not sustainable due to the quality of the soil and it is devoted to livestock.• Some products are of small productivity but high quality: • Tolosaa’s black beans • Getaria’s and Biscay’s txakoli • Gernika’s peppers• Product of baserri are popular, such as vegetables, many of them obtained under plastic.• In greenhouses tropical products are obtained• Products well expanded are: • Apples (for cider) • Forage for animals
Atlantic agricultural landscape• Livestock is extensive for meat• Races have been improved• Milk is produced with selected races• Cooperatives were created for milk commercialisation• Other species are sheep, mainly the latxa, for milk that offers the opportunity of producing cheese of origin brand Roncal and Idiazabal• Poultry is common in baserris as a complementary activity• New species have been introduces such as ducks, ostriches and deers.
Atlantic agricultural landscape• Soil is also used for other purposes: • Forestry: species of rapid development have been introduced instead of the autoctonous vegetation in areas where the economic benefit is an objective • Rural tourism • Endogen industry (for instance, furniture in the Urola valley).
Atlantic agricultural landscape• Baserria is the exploitation unity: • Small surface • The property is formed by the plots around the house • Devoted to the production of grass and other products • Mountainous spaces, separated, devoted to forestry.
Atlantic agricultural landscape• Near cities and industries part time agriculture has appeared.• Full time agriculture is oriented to intensive exploitation (vegetables and dairy products’ production).
Atlantic agricultural landscape• In the mountains livestock is dominant• It is specialised in the use of high mountains’ prairies for the breed of an autochthonous sheep race: latxa.• This activity is expanded in the Atlantic- Mediterranean watershed (Gorbeia, Aizkorri, Aralar) and in the area of Pyrenees.
Atlantic agricultural landscape• In the Encartaciones and other areas the properties are surrounded by autochthonous vegetable formations constituting a bocage landscape.• These formations has become an ecological corridor because they have autochthonous spices and they are the habitat for local fauna.
Mediterranean agricultural landscape• To the South of the watershed, in the region of Mediterranean climate.• Eco-geographical characteristics: • Dry summer • Topography is not difficult easier for agricultural activity.
Mediterranean agricultural landscape• Modernization: • Land concentration • Mechanization• Cereal production in open land (Openfield) • Based on wheat and other cereals • High profitability • Industrial products: sunflower, sugar beet…
Mediterranean agricultural landscape• Two regions may be distinguished: • Cereal area: • in Alava’s plain • flat areas of scarce humidity • Vine area: • near Ebro river • area limiting with Rioja
Mediterranean agricultural landscape: Alava’s plain• The exploitations are between 9 and 20 Has, normally of direct ownership• There has been a policy of land concentration• Production techniques include technological advances such as grain selection and others.• The dominant habitat is disperse.
Mediterranean agricultural landscape: Alava’s plain• Reforms during Second Republic and during Franconism had an effect in the properties.• Dams were built so irrigation expanded and parcels concentration was organised.• The CAP has made of this area destiny for the aids of the Leader programme.• Origin brands have been created to promote products of these regions (supported by both, the EU and the Basque Government).
Mediterranean agricultural landscape: Alava’s plain• Agriculture is extensive, and it uses aspersion• Productions are limited: • cereals, wheat and barley • Legumes such as quality beans (spotted bean from Alava) • Vegetables such as quality potatoes • Industrial products: Sugar beet (alcohol), sunflower (biodiesel) • Few forage products
Mediterranean agricultural landscape: Alava’s plain• Livestock is industrial• Forestry exploitation similar to the Cantabric region• Other uses of soil: • Rural turism • Second residences • Furniture industry
Mediterranean agricultural landscape: Rioja• Population of the area is old and with a marked masculinity due to the rural exodus of the 60s• Qualification is scarce (only 1 per cent are qualified)• The average age is near 60 year• Land is of direct ownership in a majority of the cases (90 per cent).
Mediterranean agricultural landscape: Rioja• Exploitation size 9-20 Has, with predominium of small property. There has been an attempt of concentration• Property: direct ownership• Partial agriculture and land rented are common• Production techniques: • Open field • Excessive mechanization • Technological advances (selection, new ways of production).• Habitat: concentrated
Mediterranean agricultural landscape: Rioja• Predominium of vine• Cereals are not very productive, and legumes are not extended• Origin brand vines are devoted to exports and they compete with other countries with especialities such as tempranillo, merlot, cavernes, avillon, reserve, great reserve, aging.• Olive tree has reduced production and is of medium quality• Fruits and vegetables for industry.
Mediterranean agricultural landscape: Rioja• Soils are uses for other purposes as well: • Endogen industry (related with tinned food) • Ecological tourism • Touristy promotion.
Mediterranean agricultural landscape• Agriculture directed to production is subject to several problems: • Biodiversity losses, • Contamination of the land and water due to the use of pesticides and other chemicals • Soil can become salty in case of excessive irrigation.