Current Trends in the Transhumant Cattle Sector in Greece

Athanasios Ragkos, Anna Siasiou, Vasiliki Lagka, Ioannis Mitsopoulos, Zaphiris Abas

Abstract


Bovine transhumance is characterized by the seasonal movement of livestock between winter and summer pastures. The system is well-known for Mediterranean countries, including Greece, where its role is multifunctional, because of its complex interactions with the environments and local societies. Unlike the dairy farming sector in Greece, whose salient features are the emergence of large-sized farms which are heavily dependent on fixed capital endowments and the provision of feedstuff, the transhumant system is much more flexible, by taking advantage of excessive family labor and by reducing feeding costs through grazing. The total number of transhumant farms in Greece has diminished during the last decades this farming system remains an essential activity in less favored areas of the country; the bovine cattle transhumant system, in particular, provides an efficient alternative to the capital-intensive dairy farming system. The purpose of this study is to provide a presentation of the current condition of the transhumant bovine cattle farming system in Greece. Through a survey of all relevant public services, data concerning the number of transhumant farms and animals as well as their movements in 2011 are presented. The survey reveals that the larger amount of transhumant farms is present in the lowlands of Thessaly and of East Macedonia-Thrace and move towards the mountainous rangelands of less favored areas, particularly those of West Macedonia. The mean transhumant bovine farm size does not exceed 100 animals, as nearly 76.1%, of the total rear less than 100 cattle. Thessaly is the region which accommodates the major part of transhumant farming in Greece; this is also the case for transhumant cattle, as 51.4% of all transhumant farms in the country have their winter domiciles in Thessaly.


Keywords


bovine transhumant herds, bovine farming system, Greece, transhumance

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Scientific Papers Animal Science and Biotechnologies publish open access articles under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence (read full legal code).


LUCRARI STIINTIFICE ZOOTEHNIE SI BIOTEHNOLOGII (SCIENTIFIC PAPERS ANIMAL SCIENCE AND BIOTECHNOLOGIES)

ISSN print 1841 - 9364
ISSN online 2344 - 4576
ISSN-L  1841 - 9364
(former ISSN 1221-5287, E-ISSN 1841-9364)

PUBLISHER: AGROPRINT Timisoara, Romania
PAPER ACCESS: Full text articles available for free
FREQUENCY: Semiannual
PUBLICATION LANGUAGE: English
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Banat´s University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine "King Michael I of Romania" from Timisoara
Bioengineering Faculty of Animal Resources
300645, Timişoara, Calea Aradului 119, Romania

E-mail: spasb [at] animalsci-tm.ro
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