Sustainability of Family Production of Pigs to Field

a Multiple Case Study


  • Gabriel Oyhantçabal Servicio Central de Extensión y Actividades en el Medio. Núcleo Interdisciplinario Biodiversidad y Sociedad. Universidad de la República.
  • Humberto Tommasino Servicio Central de Extensión y Actividades en el Medio. Universidad de la República.
  • Nelson Barlocco Facultad de Agronomía. Universidad de la República.



family farms, outdoor pig production, sustainability indicators


In Uruguay the commercial production of pigs is going through a concentration process dominated by largescale confined systems, intensive in technology and capital, with the consequent expulsion of small and medium family farms, due to the reduction of profitability. In this scenario family farms have tended to adopt, in particular for the breeding of pigs, minimum investment and low cost outdoor production systems. The outdoor production is proposed in the national and international literature as the technological, environmental and economical alternative for the production of pigs, because it is more environmentally friendly and it is economically feasible for family farms. However, there are no studies nor methods to assess the sustainability of these systems in Uruguay. For this reason, it is proposed a quick sustainability assessment tailored method, consisting of 31 indicators covering the social, economical and agro-ecological dimensions. Moreover the method is implemented in six cases in the southern region of Uruguay. The main results show that the critical points of the systems are the low income and the high risk of environmental impact. On the contrary, strengths of the sustainability strategy are in most cases the presence of family labor to continue handling the system in the medium-long term, security in land tenure and absence of debt.


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How to Cite

Oyhantçabal G, Tommasino H, Barlocco N. Sustainability of Family Production of Pigs to Field: a Multiple Case Study. Agrocienc Urug [Internet]. 2011 Dec. 1 [cited 2024 Jun. 14];15(2):144-57. Available from:



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