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Abstract

In Tunisia, small and medium-sized family farms dominate agriculture. From the early 80s, with the introduction of the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP), the conditions of production and reproduction of small farms have radically changed. In addition to the unfavorable trend of the prices, these farms are increasingly excluded from credit, land and support services. The ultimate consequence is a tendency in real incomes to decline, particularly sharp for small farms in the arid regions of the country. Faced with this degradation, small farms have developed mechanisms of adaptation or regulation allowing them to survive and, even in certain cases, to ensure more than a simple reproduction. But, it seems that the limits of these mechanisms of resistance have already reached or almost. All the indications suggest that the changes observed will lead the majority of these farmers to abandon their land and to undertake the path of proletarianization. However, other factors must be taken into account. The absence of any alternative of employment and stable income, in other activities, condemns small farms to remain in poverty and insecurity.

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