Hernández Díaz-Ambrona, Carlos Gregorio
Indicators of sustainability of agriculture and livestock in Spain - Indicadores de sostenibilidad de la agricultura y ganadería española.
In: "Multifuncionalidades sustentaveis no campo: agricultura, pecuária e florestas", 18/10/2013 - 20/10/2013, Viçosa, Brasil. pp. 114-148.
Sustainability is an adjective used to characterize agriculture according to the degree of fulfillment of goals. Those goals are related to agro-ecological, environmental and socio-economic dimensions. Sustainability is a dynamic and temporal character. In absolute terms there is not an ending value because it changes as its dimensions make it. Spain is one of the main agricultural countries of the European Union both in terms of crop land and value of productions. The object of this study is to present a methodology of sustainability account to be incorporated into national statistical and to assess their performance in the course of the years. For that reason the data sources used have been the statistics of the Department of Agriculture and from others database. We presented a set of indicators of sustainability and its evaluation in a time series of at least 30 years. The trend analysis offers the evolution of the numerical values of the indicators in terms of efficiency, physical units used for a unit of product or its value in euros. The analyzed crops have been: wheat, barley, maize, sunflower, sugar beet, wine grape, olive oil, citrus, melon and tomato. Physical indicators were: land, water, energy, erosion, soil organic matter, and carbon balance; socio-economic indicators were: agricultural final production, prices, income, employment and use of fertilizers. In general, all crops increased their productive efficiency, higher in irrigated than on dry land. Spanish agricultural carbon sequestration capacity has multiplied by five in the last seventy years, as a result of the increase in the productivity of crops, in terms of total biomass and the modification of the soil management techniques. Livestock sector presents data of pork, broilers and laying hen. Those showed an improvement in efficiency and economic indicators. Overall we can say that Spanish agriculture and livestock subsector have a tendency towards sustainability, being its main threats extreme meteorological factors and the instability of todays markets.