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Master Thesis

La transmission des exploitations agricoles : stratégies des cédants et freins à l'installation-transmission : étude de cas en Bretagne

Abstract : The 2010 French agricultural census reveals that one out of two farmers will retire over the next fifteen years. This Master thesis aims at studying farm transfer process and identifying the main constraints which occur for a farmer passing the holding on to the next generation, and for a newly settled farmer. Constraints identified by a literature review were compared with the opinions of private professional experts accompanying farm transfers in the French region Brittany. The lack of preparation, the lack of actions to make farmers aware of their future farm transfer, the risk of farm disinvestment, farm land fragmentation, overestimation of the value of on-sale farm disregarding the farm economic profitability and resulting settling costs, are the main difficulties which are shared by the literature and the surveyed experts. We completed this work with a survey of forty farmers and semi-structured interviews in the four Breton sub-regions (“départements”): newly settled farmers and future transferors. Our objective was mainly to identify the difficulties encountered by newly settled farmers and future giving-up farmers and to understand future transferors’ investment strategies. For this, we carried out a cluster analysis of the future transferors on the one hand, and of the newly settled farmers, on the other hand, according to the difficulties which they encountered. We compared and characterized the behavior between investors and non-investors within the future transferors. We hypothesized that investing future transferors would be more likely to know their successor and would prepare the future farm growth, unlike the non-investing ones.
Our main results indicate that there are two groups in our sample of future transferors: one group for which the major difficulty is to find the person that will take over the farm; this group cannot be further characterized by the information collected during the survey. No major difficulties in farm transfer were revealed for the other group; this finding may be linked to the fact that future transferors of this group knew their successor for most of them. Two groups were obtained by cluster analysis for the newly settled farmers. These groups include few respondents and are weakly characterizable. It can nevertheless be noted that the group indicating administrative complexity as the main issue of difficulty to settling down, found that help and support actions from the State are not sufficient. By contrast the other group finds them as sufficient and encounters various difficulties such as lack of autonomy in legal and financial arrangements, lack of advice and lack of flexibility in managing their farm business plan, as well as administrative complexity and neighborhood reluctance for their settling project to a lesser extent. The future transferors who continue to invest in their farm do so to favor farm transfer and to ensure the continued existence of the farm after succession. They have high financial farm returns and the farm legal status is a partnership for most of them, unlike the non-investors. On the other hand, the non-investors know their farm value and feel well informed about the farm transfer procedures unlike the investors. Our case study remains limited as to the number of individuals who were surveyed and who could be included in the statistical analyses. Nevertheless, this work allows suggesting a few ideas for future research and some recommendations to help farmers during the transfer process.
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Master Thesis
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Romain Gaté. La transmission des exploitations agricoles : stratégies des cédants et freins à l'installation-transmission : étude de cas en Bretagne. Sciences agricoles. 2014. ⟨dumas-01131152⟩

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