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Open AccessArticle

Competitiveness of Portuguese Montado Ewe Production Systems among the European Ewe Production Systems

MED—Mediterranean Institute for Agriculture, Environment and Development, Universidade do Algarve, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Campus de Gambelas, Edf. 8, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
CEFAGE—Centre For Advanced Studies in Management and Economics, Universidade de Évora, Departamento de Gestão, Largo dos Colegiais, 2, 7000 Évora, Portugal
Agralys GbR, Meistersingerstr. 18, 14471 Potsdam, Germany
Thünen Institute of Farm Economics, Bundesallee 50, 38116 Braunschweig, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agriculture 2020, 10(5), 184;
Received: 26 March 2020 / Revised: 29 April 2020 / Accepted: 19 May 2020 / Published: 22 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animal Production)
The number of ewes in Portugal registers a decrease since 1998. This decrease is felt particularly in the south of the country, which concentrates almost half of the existing ewes, mainly for meat production. One of the most important ewe production systems is the Montado, a High Nature Value ecosystem, occupying ca. 1.2 million ha in Portugal. The competitiveness of this system among the European ewe production systems is an important issue for the future of the Montado ecosystem. So, the objective of this paper is to analyze the ewe production systems in the Montado, using the agri benchmark database, and compare these systems with other European countries’ systems, ranking their competitiveness and efficiency among other systems in the European Union. We concluded that this methodology facilitated an in-depth understanding not only of the competitiveness and efficiency of ewe production systems in Portugal but also of their positioning regarding other systems in the European Union. The pattern of returns assures that these farms are competitive in the sense that they depend on the market on their decisions, and thus it is important that market values sheep products. Nevertheless, the diversification to other income sources would be a good option for the future sustainability of these farms and the opportunities and risks that these systems will deal with in a new green economy, with probable new functions and new opportunities for land, will be a challenge for the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: efficiency; agro-silvo-pastoral systems; sustainable ewe production systems; benchmark efficiency; agro-silvo-pastoral systems; sustainable ewe production systems; benchmark
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Costa Freitas, M.B.; Ventura-Lucas, M.R.; Izquierdo, L.; Deblitz, C. Competitiveness of Portuguese Montado Ewe Production Systems among the European Ewe Production Systems. Agriculture 2020, 10, 184.

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