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Agrociencia (Uruguay)

Print version ISSN 1510-0839On-line version ISSN 2301-1548


ALVAREZ, Jorge; PEDEMONTE, Ana; ABEDALA, Camilo  and  MARISQUIRENA, Gustavo. Management Systems of Family Vegetable Farms in the South of Uruguay: a case study. Agrociencia Uruguay [online]. 2011, vol.15, n.1, pp.125-136. ISSN 1510-0839.

To understand the changes that improve the sustainability of horticultural systems in Southern Uruguay, new methodologies and tools for the characterization of farm management systems are needed. To achieve this, 16 vegetable and mixed vegetable-cattle farmers established in Montevideo and Canelones were interviewed. The following aspects of the farm management system were considered: management team members, identification of management activities, information management, and management styles. There were differences according to the specialization of each property: conventional horticulture, organic, and mixed horticulture-cattle. In all cases there was a disbelief of farmers in planning tools and book-keeping, associated to the high uncertainty of horticulture production. They usually base their decisions on experience and intuition. The sustainability of the systems depends on several factors including the diversification of items –to reduce uncertainty- and off-farm relationships, which involve for some farms the contribution of external grants. Farmers who had been previously involved in similar projects where they received technical assistance, showed a greater willingness to use planning tools and keep records.

Keywords : decission making; information systems; horticulture farmers.

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