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This paper presents the first results of the initial stages of a three years research project on optimization of the use of agricultural lands subject to risk of abandonment. After devising a physical marginality index for olive cultivation based on soil quality and slope, we estimate an approximate area of 200,000 hectares of marginal olive plantations in Andalusia. The risk of abandonment of these farmlands increases with the decoupling of the CAP subsidies and with the socio-economic characteristics of the production. The probable abandonment of these areas implies the negative consequences of wild forestation. We present some actions to minimize the negative effects of this process, being the use of grass cover and hedgerows, on an initial qualitative analysis, the most positive measures.


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