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For at least the last sixty years, the number of French farms has been decreasing and their size increasing. Using the non-salaried contributing farmers’ database (COTNS) of the ‘Mutualité Sociale Agricole’, the French authority for farmers’ healthcare and social security, the processes underlying these trends are studied over the 2003-2014 period, enabling to project the population of French farms at the 2025 horizon. To do so, the method used to consolidate the COTNS database at the farm level and the “mover-stayer” model used to estimate entry, exit and size change transition probabilities are first presented. Projections show that, if the observed trends hold for the next decade, the number of French farms could drop to 328,000 in 2025, meaning a 22% decrease with respect to 2014 figures.


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