Improvement of pasture management
Topic of the practice
management of the resources according to the natural cycle of resources
Good Practice Information
In the Restonica Valley, in spite of a relevant estrangement from agriculture, summer pasture is an activity still practiced. It is essentially concentrated in the Alzu plain, a place that is very animated during the summer period. Grouped around the grazing lands, the activity is characterized by a goat and sheep rearing on the plain, and a free range cattle in the valley.
The livestock raising inherits very ancient traditions about the development of the lands and the pastures that take into account seasonal cycles and climate constraints.
This farming method, that requires a high mobility of livestock and of the people that look after it, is closely related to a geographical area.
The herds graze over large areas in the mountains, and they are displaced according to the seasons (the transhumance phenomenon, « di a piaghja à a muntagna ») to look elsewhere for the grass to feed them.
The Corsican shepherds also had to face the environment narrowness and they set on fire the vegetation in order to dispose of tender shoots for livestock.
The trail system, once created and maintained by shepherds and their herds in transhumance, is now mainly used by hikers.
The Environment Office, in partnership with the Laboratory on Livestock Research and Development of INRA Corte and the City of Corte, aims to improve pasture management in the Restonica Valley.
The period of the intervention run from 15 June to 15 September.
The transhumance, associated with the practice of subsistence farming, in the past enabled the shepherds to purchase the elements that former Corsican people considered to be necessary and sufficient for their existence (wheat, chestnuts, meat and milk from their herds).
Evidence of success
An intensive pastoral activity is registered : 10 herds of small dairy ruminants (sheep and goats) and 6 breeders have been clearly identified. There is also a second group of 8 breeders going up with dry animals (no production of milk and cheese).
The gross product gained from the transhumance of this breeder is therefore of 11 500 € for 2 months. Operating expenses during the transhumance were evaluated to be 2000 €.
The added value of transhumance for this breeding system can be estimated at € 9 500.
The added value of transhumance can be estimated at € 10 000.
TRANSFERABILITY OF THE PRACTICE :
It should be a mountainous area. It should be conducted a study (diagnostic study) on the pastoral situation of the site, on the relaunching of the pastoral commission.
We could bring new ideas for the relaunching, but we do not have the sufficient experience in experimentation. Transferability is possible on sites with the same type of configuration:
Land of transhumance in mountain areas, communal land, traditional production.
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
Charles Antoine Pasqualini
Corsica Region Environment Office
Annex completed on: 11-15-2010