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Rural Policy, Governance and Sustainable Rural Development

A topical collection in Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This collection belongs to the section "Sustainable Agriculture".

Viewed by 24858

Editors

Department of Agriculture, University of Naples “Federico II”, Via Università, 80095 Portici, NA, Italy
Interests: agricultural knowledge and innovation systems; consumer behavior; innovation in rural areas; rural development policies; organic farming
Department of Economics and law, University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, 03043 Cassino, FR, Italy
Interests: sustainable rural development; rural entrepreneurship; agricultural knowledge and innovation systems; alternative food networks and rural development
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, BO, Italy
Interests: agri-food policy fisheries; aquaculture innovation adoption agricultural economics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Recent documents concerning rural development (Green Deal, From Farm to Fork Strategy, CAP 2023–2027) have depicted an innovative scenario to address sustainable rural development by calling for new place-based approaches to support agricultural transition and more resilient development of agriculture in rural areas. As emphasized in the long-term vision for rural areas, diversified trajectories may characterize future development of rural contexts, depending on the different variables to be taken into account. From a theoretical point of view, the analysis of sustainable rural development is influenced by multiple interrelated dimensions making up the so-called “rural web” (Marsden, van der Ploeg, 2008), such as the capability of exploiting endogenous resources, the relevance of social capital and collective action, new approaches to innovation based on novelties, market governance and new institutional arrangements. Against this background, dramatic change affects the evolution of the agrifood systems, which can be synthesized by three keywords, as identified by Klerkx (2020):

  • Transformation and transition towards more agroecological systems, grounded on sustainable farming upgrading resilience capability;
  • Disruption of previous agricultural models replaced by new “disruptive” technologies (for instance, digitalization), bringing about new visions of innovation in farming activities and rural areas;
  • Plurality of agricultural worlds and diversified paths of rural development.

As a consequence, more reflexive and disruptive rural governance may emerge, drawing on multiple actors and multiple levels of perspectives. How to shape future rural systems to obtain a safe operating space is becoming a key question for researchers and policy makers. Knowledge and innovation are identified as priority tools to facilitate the transition. New networks of actors from science, business, civil society, and government co-produce technological, social, and institutional innovations that co-shape these future agricultural and rural systems. More specifically, more complex Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKIS) seem able to facilitate the transition.

The Special Issue aims to explore the complexity of rural evolution, the role of rural policies in addressing rural change and the capability of agriculture to tackle agroecological transition, with the goal of supporting more resilient farming systems.

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but not limited to) the following:

  • The role rural policies as tool to support sustainable rural development Green Deal, From Farm to Fork, CAP 2023–2027:
  • Agroecological transition
  • Rural and agricultural resilience
  • Smart rural areas
  • Multifunctional agriculture
  • Rural entrepreneurship
  • Networks and rural stakeholders’ evolution

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Teresa Del Giudice
Prof. Dr. Marcello De Rosa
Dr. Yari Vecchio
Collection Editors

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Keywords

  • rural development policies
  • rural governance
  • rural and agricultural innovation
  • agroecological transition
  • resilience of the farming systems
  • quality agrifood products
  • digitalization of rural areas
  • multifunctional agriculture
  • agricultural knowledge and innovation systems (AKIS)
  • rural networks and stakeholders

Published Papers (16 papers)

2024

Jump to: 2023, 2022

17 pages, 253 KiB  
Review
Collaborative Action, Policy Support and Rural Sustainability Transitions in Advanced Western Economies: The Case of Scotland
Sustainability 2024, 16(2), 870; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16020870 - 19 Jan 2024
Viewed by 558
Abstract
Rural areas face profound challenges in transitioning towards sustainability. Intensive agriculture is deeply implicated in high greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity decline and water pollution. As a more socio-economically heterogenous rural Europe emerges with a greater non-farming component, changes such as in-migration and tourism [...] Read more.
Rural areas face profound challenges in transitioning towards sustainability. Intensive agriculture is deeply implicated in high greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity decline and water pollution. As a more socio-economically heterogenous rural Europe emerges with a greater non-farming component, changes such as in-migration and tourism in some areas can also be seen to compromise sustainability, as can an ageing and declining population in others. The dominant means of European rural policy support has been direct income payments to farmers, with modest but increasing expectations of environmental cross-compliance over time. Since the early 1990s, new policy means have been introduced, many based around collaborative actions to enhance sustainability. These include the European Union (EU) Leader scheme, environmental cooperatives, catchment management projects and support for community renewable energy. These changes mark a shift from sectoral support to a more territorial and place-based policy, often built around collaborative partnership models. Scotland has developed a wide and distinctive range of communitarian policies to support sustainable rural development which connect to this territorial approach. This paper reviews the contribution of communitarian and collaborative policies to sustainability transitions, drawing primarily on Scottish policy but referencing these policies against policies in other developed economies. Full article

2023

Jump to: 2024, 2022

18 pages, 1966 KiB  
Article
Creating Strategies to Mitigate the Adverse Effects of Overtourism in Rural Destinations: Experience from the Czech Republic
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16958; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416958 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 915
Abstract
Overtourism is appearing more and more often in large world-famous cities and in many rural regions, where the infrastructure capacity is insufficient for large numbers of visitors. In rural communities, this creates resistance to tourism, traffic congestion, or damage to nature. Therefore, destinations [...] Read more.
Overtourism is appearing more and more often in large world-famous cities and in many rural regions, where the infrastructure capacity is insufficient for large numbers of visitors. In rural communities, this creates resistance to tourism, traffic congestion, or damage to nature. Therefore, destinations experiencing tourism growth must have a strategy to prevent and limit the harmful effects of overtourism. The article presents a methodology that first identifies manifestations of overtourism in a destination and then uses a standardized procedure to evaluate the usability of different types of strategies in a selected destination. This procedure should lead to the creation of a comprehensive plan guaranteeing the sustainable development of tourism in the destination. The use of the methodology is explained at 12 rural locations in the Czech Republic, which were selected concerning the diversity of manifestations of overtourism. Full article
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18 pages, 2063 KiB  
Review
Social Network Analysis Uses and Contributions to Innovation Initiatives in Rural Areas: A Review
Sustainability 2023, 15(18), 14018; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151814018 - 21 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1551
Abstract
This paper identifies the main contributions of Social Network Analysis (SNA) use in the study of innovations in rural areas with an emphasis on agriculture and forestry. The bibliographic analysis was carried out on the Web of Knowledge (WoK) and Scopus platforms. Sixty-eight [...] Read more.
This paper identifies the main contributions of Social Network Analysis (SNA) use in the study of innovations in rural areas with an emphasis on agriculture and forestry. The bibliographic analysis was carried out on the Web of Knowledge (WoK) and Scopus platforms. Sixty-eight studies were found in which SNA was used as the main research tool in innovation processes in rural areas. The main fields of the SNA contribution were as follows: (i) social capital; (ii) social learning: information and knowledge flow for the adoption of innovations produced through existing social structures; (iii) the implementation and evaluation of innovations for local and territorial dynamization. The study contributes to summarizing the existing knowledge on SNA use in the study of innovations in rural areas and to informing future research. Understanding social networks is essential to strengthen and enhance the existing social capital and to promote social learning related to innovations in rural areas. Full article
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15 pages, 2831 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Impact of Royalties on Fishery Resource
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12541; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612541 - 18 Aug 2023
Viewed by 544
Abstract
For the conservation of the fish population, a mix of legal, technical, social and economic instruments must be used, among which we find royalties. Beyond the fact that it is a source of budgetary revenue, depending on its amount, the royalty is meant [...] Read more.
For the conservation of the fish population, a mix of legal, technical, social and economic instruments must be used, among which we find royalties. Beyond the fact that it is a source of budgetary revenue, depending on its amount, the royalty is meant to help avoid overexploitation of fishery resources, but within a mechanism that combines economic, social and environmental criteria. The modelling of this mechanism, as well as the evaluation of the ecological impact that it generates, represent the objectives of the approaches for conducting scientific research on this topic. To purely biological (based on maximum sustainable yield) and bio-economic models (which also take into account the fishing effort), we add an ecological model, which highlights, in the same plan, the economic, social and ecological optimum. Full article
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14 pages, 3974 KiB  
Article
Evaluating the Ecological Sustainability of Agrifood Land in Ethnic Minority Areas: A Comparative Study in Yunnan China
Sustainability 2023, 15(12), 9646; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15129646 - 16 Jun 2023
Viewed by 693
Abstract
Agrifood land plays a crucial role in indigenous communities. However, there is limited study on the overall sustainability and inter-ethnic comparison of agrifood lands across ethnic groups. To address these gaps, we developed a visual eco-efficiency framework of ecological footprint, biocapacity, and ecological [...] Read more.
Agrifood land plays a crucial role in indigenous communities. However, there is limited study on the overall sustainability and inter-ethnic comparison of agrifood lands across ethnic groups. To address these gaps, we developed a visual eco-efficiency framework of ecological footprint, biocapacity, and ecological benefit to evaluate the sustainability of agrifood land in these regions, as well as analyzed the sustainability of agrifood land and examined its explanatory factors across six ethnic groups in the Yunnan Province of China. The results showed that the ecological benefits of agrifood lands fluctuated in a low ecological deficit, and the eco-efficiency of different ethnic groups varied significantly, from 2010 to 2020. Moreover, redundancy analysis showed that cash crops, forestry, fishery, and livestock were major contributors to the eco-efficiency of agrifood lands in ethnic groups, rather than the commonly accepted staple foods. Another finding revealed that the contribution of urbanization rate to the eco-efficiency of agricultural food land had a rule of reversed U and was influenced by the annual average temperature and the ethnic population rate. Our study not only provided a visual framework for evaluating the sustainability of agrifood land in ethnic areas but also shed new light on its explanatory factors across different ethnic groups. The study served as a scientific foundation for the investigation, monitoring, and management of indigenous agriculture by governments and the agricultural sectors. Full article
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20 pages, 662 KiB  
Article
Has Digital Village Construction Improved Rural Family Resilience in China? Evidence Based on China Household Finance Survey
Sustainability 2023, 15(11), 8704; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15118704 - 28 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1627
Abstract
The development of digital village construction to improve rural family resilience (RFR) is emerging as a key focus area and target of China’s rural revitalization strategy. However, there is limited evidence available on the impacts of digital village construction on RFR measures. This [...] Read more.
The development of digital village construction to improve rural family resilience (RFR) is emerging as a key focus area and target of China’s rural revitalization strategy. However, there is limited evidence available on the impacts of digital village construction on RFR measures. This paper aimed to examine the effect and mechanism of digital village construction on rural family resilience based on the micro panel data of the China Household Finance Survey (CHFS) from 2015 to 2019 to empirically test the effect and mechanism of targeted digital village construction on the resilience of rural family. This research also examined the role of farmers’ entrepreneurial dynamism in the process. Unlike previous studies, we included family welfare into the measurement framework of RFR. Therefore, RFR was represented by the probability that household welfare exceeds a certain standard. The research found that rural communities quickly transformed from one stable state to another when the external shocks exceeded the threshold of rural resilience. The development of digital village construction can effectively reduce the probability of changing the existing steady state when rural families face shocks. At the national level, farmers’ entrepreneurial dynamism had a positive moderating effect on the RFR of the digital village. In the more developed eastern region, digital village construction was relatively advanced and had a significant effect on farmers’ income growth. Conversely, the digital village construction in the central, northeastern, and western regions was less developed; moreover, it had a weaker impact than that in the eastern area. Therefore, the regional reality and gap should be fully considered when constructing a digital village. Full article
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22 pages, 38748 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Economic Efficiency and Its Determents for Mixed Crop Livestock Production under Dryland Agriculture System in the Western Zone of Tamil Nadu, India
Sustainability 2023, 15(10), 8332; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15108332 - 20 May 2023
Viewed by 1389
Abstract
In order to accomplish economic, social, and environmental objectives, farm diversification is a significant feature in India’s agricultural systems and rural development. It is crucial to examine factors impacting farm productivity, such as socio, structural, and Circular Economy (CE) factors, in order to [...] Read more.
In order to accomplish economic, social, and environmental objectives, farm diversification is a significant feature in India’s agricultural systems and rural development. It is crucial to examine factors impacting farm productivity, such as socio, structural, and Circular Economy (CE) factors, in order to ensure the sustainability of varied farms. A decision to follow a farm circularity approach is required to increase agricultural production, return on investment, and achieve sustainability, so the current study was designed to move forward in identifying farm efficiency and their influencing drivers in production systems for the successful execution of circularity in future farms. The objective of this paper is to find the existing operational efficiency of farms, variables that impact a farm’s efficiency, the disparities in farm efficiency, and variables dominating farm efficiency. The efficiency behaviours of Indian farms operating in 2020–2022 were studied and regressed against the factors influencing farm performance. A two-step technique and survey data were employed. To assess variations in the relevance of drivers, an input-oriented Data Envelopment Analysis was employed; in the second stage, efficiency ratings were used as a dependent variable in a Tobit regression analysis. Explanatory variables for enhancing farm performance included social, structural, and Circular Economy (CE) drivers. The age of the farmer, total farm area, and dryland area as socio-structural variables, and reduce, recycle, and redesign as CE variables, have proven to affect the farm’s efficiencies significantly. Managerial implications in terms of technical, allocative, cost efficiency, and their drivers have been drawn from study findings. CE has been confirmed to be the strategy over which the farmer has complete control and has been found to have a more significant impact on farm efficiency. Social structural determents are second in terms of their impact. Farmers in the region have cushy access to inputs; however, they are not utilized to their maximum effect. Therefore, the study indicates that inefficient dryland farmers could increase their production by concentrating on a circular economy strategy. Full article
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18 pages, 7103 KiB  
Article
Spatial Difference Studies and Driving Force Analysis of Rural Settlements in the Northwest Sichuan Plateau
Sustainability 2023, 15(9), 7074; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15097074 - 23 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1186
Abstract
The scattered, isolated, and closed nature of rural settlements in northwest Sichuan is a constraint on the high-quality development of rural areas. Determining the spatial differences and driving forces of rural settlements in this area is the essential prerequisite for promoting rural revitalization. [...] Read more.
The scattered, isolated, and closed nature of rural settlements in northwest Sichuan is a constraint on the high-quality development of rural areas. Determining the spatial differences and driving forces of rural settlements in this area is the essential prerequisite for promoting rural revitalization. In this paper, the methods of the nearest neighbor index, the Voronoi diagram, and the Geodetector are used to analyze the spatial distribution characteristics of rural settlements and explore the driving factors of their spatial differences. The key findings are as follows. (1) The rural settlements exhibit the feature of “an extensive dispersion with localized concentrations”. The spatial distribution is in the shape of dots, strips, and branches along the river valley. (2) The number and land use scale of rural settlements decreases from east to west. The spatial differences in settlement morphology have a clear feature that the settlement morphology along the river and road is more complex, while the settlement morphology in the plateau area and the river valley is relatively regular. (3) Mountain disasters and arable land resources have the greatest impact on the spatial differences of the settlements. The location and form of the settlements are greatly affected by the altitude and accumulated temperature, and the settlement scale is significantly affected by the traffic conditions and the scenic spots. The mutually reinforcing role of the driving factors is remarkable, especially the reinforcing effects of the enhancement between the arable land resources and other factors. The research results provide data support for the reconstruction, improvement, and high-quality development of rural settlements in this region. Full article
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18 pages, 1371 KiB  
Article
Can Policy Promote Agricultural Service Outsourcing? Quasi-Natural Experimental Evidence from China
Sustainability 2023, 15(2), 1009; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15021009 - 05 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1140
Abstract
This paper emphasizes the key role of policy in the development of agricultural services outsourcing. In this paper, a theoretical framework is constructed to analyze the role of government policies on agricultural service outsourcing under the assumption of the separability of agricultural production [...] Read more.
This paper emphasizes the key role of policy in the development of agricultural services outsourcing. In this paper, a theoretical framework is constructed to analyze the role of government policies on agricultural service outsourcing under the assumption of the separability of agricultural production processes. The article constructs a quasi-natural experiment using the China-targeted poverty alleviation program and nationally representative microdata, and the PSM-DID model is chosen to estimate the policy effects. We also discuss regional heterogeneity, aiming to identify the ways in which policy affects agricultural service outsourcing. Based on a comprehensive household-level dataset and econometric analysis, we find that targeted poverty alleviation programs significantly promote the use of agricultural service outsourcing by low-income farmers, and the effects of the policies are more pronounced for the central and western regions. These findings suggest that targeted poverty alleviation programs improve the income of farm households in poor areas and encourage the use of agricultural service outsourcing, which can save agricultural labor, reduce the opportunity cost of agricultural production, and contribute to the sustainable development of the poor. Full article
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2022

Jump to: 2024, 2023

28 pages, 307 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Large-Scale Agricultural Land Management on the Modernization of Agricultural Product Circulation: Based on Field Investigation and Empirical Study
Sustainability 2022, 14(21), 13967; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142113967 - 27 Oct 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1611
Abstract
Large-scale agricultural land management has become the obvious development trend of China’s rural land management. This paper focuses on large-scale agricultural land management in China and analyzes the influence mechanism of large-scale agricultural land management on the circulation of agricultural products. We use [...] Read more.
Large-scale agricultural land management has become the obvious development trend of China’s rural land management. This paper focuses on large-scale agricultural land management in China and analyzes the influence mechanism of large-scale agricultural land management on the circulation of agricultural products. We use the methods of field investigation and empirical research, put forward the theoretical hypothesis through field investigation, and empirically test it. It is found that the impact of large-scale agricultural land management on the circulation efficiency of the agricultural products under the “input-output” index has a lag and shows a U-shaped characteristic of decreasing first and then increasing. For the modernization of agricultural product circulation under the comprehensive index system, large-scale agricultural land management has a significant positive promoting effect. This reflects the potential of large-scale agricultural land management in promoting the development of rural agriculture and agricultural product circulation. This suggests that in the process of promoting the modernization of agricultural product circulation, the government should pay special attention to the modernization of upstream agricultural production, promote large-scale agricultural land management in a standardized and orderly way, and realize the coordinated reform of agriculture and the agricultural product circulation industry. In addition, the Chinese government also needs to make up for the shortcomings in the upstream organization, the construction of wholesale markets for the agricultural products, and rural logistics infrastructure. Full article
10 pages, 621 KiB  
Article
Climate Change and Food Security in the Northern and Eastern African Regions: A Panel Data Analysis
Sustainability 2022, 14(19), 12664; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141912664 - 05 Oct 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3518
Abstract
The problem of food insecurity is growing across the world, in particular in developing countries. Due to their economic structure, climate change represents one of the major threats for food security levels in African countries. The object of this work was to assess [...] Read more.
The problem of food insecurity is growing across the world, in particular in developing countries. Due to their economic structure, climate change represents one of the major threats for food security levels in African countries. The object of this work was to assess the impact of climate change on the level of food security in the North and East African countries, using a panel data analysis for the period 2000–2012. Average protein supply and average dietary energy supply adequacy were the two different indicators of food security we identified as most appropriate. Indeed, both indicators can provide information concerning the amount and the nutritional value of food supply. The determinants of food security are expressed as a function of rainfall, temperature, land area under cereal production, size of population and GDP. Findings showed that food security in the Northern and Eastern African countries is adversely affected by climate change. Policy makers need to promote those actions capable of mitigating global warming and reducing its economic impact. Full article
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24 pages, 902 KiB  
Article
Research on the Symbiosis Model of the Core Interest Subjects of Chinese Ancient Village Tourism Sites in the Context of Rural Revitalization
Sustainability 2022, 14(19), 12001; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141912001 - 22 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1693
Abstract
The rural governance pattern suffers from the loss of field resources, stagnation of factor flow and disintegration of public authority. Based on this, this paper takes symbiosis theory as the perspective of analysis and explores the optimization of the rural revitalization path and [...] Read more.
The rural governance pattern suffers from the loss of field resources, stagnation of factor flow and disintegration of public authority. Based on this, this paper takes symbiosis theory as the perspective of analysis and explores the optimization of the rural revitalization path and the construction of a symbiosis model under the logic of “common construction, common governance and sharing”. Taking Zhoutian village in China, which has significant endogenous resource advantages but is difficult to develop, this paper uses quantitative analysis and qualitative interviews to analyze the logic of ancient villages that are difficult to form sustainable development paths in and explore the conditions for the formation of symbiotic relationships. The results show the following: (1) The current symbiosis model of ancient villages is an asymmetric reciprocal symbiosis model, resulting in short-term behavior for each symbiotic unit, which is not conducive to the sustainable development of ancient villages. (2) The core stakeholders are closely related to each other and have partly common goals. (3) The symbiotic relationship of ancient villages should evolve toward a symmetrical and reciprocal integrated symbiosis model, which should coordinate the relationship between the various interests and build a symbiotic path. To this end, this paper tries to build a symbiotic development model of “co-construction, co-rule and sharing” and refine the development mechanism based on the case of resource co-construction, joint governance and benefit sharing, hoping to provide reference for the rural revitalization and sustainable development of other villages. Full article
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23 pages, 1123 KiB  
Article
Does Land Certification Stimulate Farmers’ Entrepreneurial Enthusiasm? Evidence from Rural China
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11453; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811453 - 13 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1152
Abstract
Deepening the reform of rural land property rights and fully releasing the dividends of land policies to stimulate the vitality of rural development are important foundations for China’s Poverty Alleviation and Rural Revitalization strategies. Based on the data of the China Household Finance [...] Read more.
Deepening the reform of rural land property rights and fully releasing the dividends of land policies to stimulate the vitality of rural development are important foundations for China’s Poverty Alleviation and Rural Revitalization strategies. Based on the data of the China Household Finance Surveys in 2013 and 2019, this study takes the new round of land certification launched in 2013 as the starting point for exploring the impact of rural land property rights reform on farmers’ entrepreneurship, using the difference-in-differences model. The results show that the implementation of the new round of land certification has significantly improved the development of agricultural entrepreneurship among farmers with certificates but has had no impact on non-agricultural entrepreneurship. The estimated results from the replacement explained variables, PSM-DID method, and placebo test verifies the robustness of the baseline results. Furthermore, it is shown that the improvement of labor allocation, land transfer, and financing and loan constraints are the main channels through which land certification affects farmers’ entrepreneurship; the impact is heterogeneous at province, community, and household levels. This study not only provides new evidence for using rural land property rights reform to spearhead poverty alleviation and rural revitalization strategies but also provides beneficial reference material for the continuous optimization of land property rights certificates to boost farmers’ entrepreneurship. Full article
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23 pages, 2516 KiB  
Article
Assessment of the Common Agricultural Policy 2014–2020 in Supporting Agroecological Transitions: A Comparative Study of 15 Cases across Europe
Sustainability 2022, 14(15), 9261; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14159261 - 28 Jul 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1937
Abstract
This article is aimed at analyzing the potential that CAP 2014–2020-related instruments have on supporting agroecological transitions in Europe by focusing on the strengths and weaknesses of key instruments. Through a stepwise participatory research methodology, 105 key stakeholders (farmers, advisors, academics, environment experts, [...] Read more.
This article is aimed at analyzing the potential that CAP 2014–2020-related instruments have on supporting agroecological transitions in Europe by focusing on the strengths and weaknesses of key instruments. Through a stepwise participatory research methodology, 105 key stakeholders (farmers, advisors, academics, environment experts, administration representatives, and professionals from food chains) in 15 countries in Europe were engaged in the discussion of the potential of current CAP instruments to solve the barriers that constrain agroecological farming systems in their particular regions. The results of this comparative study show which CAP instruments are valued with a high potential to support transitions to agroecology. The analysis of the stakeholders’ perceptions contributes to an enhanced understanding of why CAP instruments have failed or succeeded to promote agroecological transitions. Full article
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26 pages, 3634 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Institutional Linkages and Information Flow within the Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation: Case of Dakahlia Governorate, Egypt
Sustainability 2022, 14(11), 6415; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14116415 - 24 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1723
Abstract
Institutional linkages and information flow between agricultural organizations play a critical role in addressing sustainability issues and promoting agrarian innovation. The aim of this study was to evaluate institutional relations and information between the various actors within the agricultural knowledge and information system [...] Read more.
Institutional linkages and information flow between agricultural organizations play a critical role in addressing sustainability issues and promoting agrarian innovation. The aim of this study was to evaluate institutional relations and information between the various actors within the agricultural knowledge and information system (AKIS). The study focused on eight actors within the AKIS in Dakahlia governorate of Egypt, namely policy, extension, research, agricultural cooperatives, higher education, secondary education, credit, and the private sector. Thus, the survey sample included 11 representatives of each actor with 88 respondents. Data were collected by a standardized questionnaire distributed online. The graph theoretical technique was used for the quantitative assessment of information flow and institutional linkages established among actors. The findings indicated that agricultural extension ranked first about their real cause and effect on the rest of the system, having a value of 7.95. Two critical information pathways within the AKIS sustained innovation outcomes: (1) higher education–extension–agricultural cooperatives, (2) research–extension–agricultural cooperatives. The results also revealed that agricultural cooperatives ranked second after the extension component on the extent of supplying information to other members in the AKIS, with a value of 4.8. In contrast, the highest component received information from other components (7.6). By analyzing institutional linkages and information flow, this article gives insights to policymakers on the mechanisms that still need to be strengthened and the information gaps between actors to address the challenges of sustainable rural development. Full article
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14 pages, 1162 KiB  
Article
Conducive Environments and Entrepreneurial Access to Rural Policies
Sustainability 2022, 14(9), 4951; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14094951 - 20 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1394
Abstract
The objective of the paper is to provide an analysis of the role of supportive institutions in fostering entrepreneurial access to rural development policies (RDP) in Italy, namely dedicated measures for boosting farm investments. Access to RDP is considered the outcome of either [...] Read more.
The objective of the paper is to provide an analysis of the role of supportive institutions in fostering entrepreneurial access to rural development policies (RDP) in Italy, namely dedicated measures for boosting farm investments. Access to RDP is considered the outcome of either the farmer’s individual disposal or a supportive environment mediated by actors conducive to rural entrepreneurship (ACRE). An empirical analysis has been carried out based on a survey of farms enrolled in the most important Italian farmers’ organization, Coldiretti. Quantitative analysis has been integrated through direct interviews with expert witnesses with the purpose of exploring how the farmer organization acts as a supportive institution and how permeability of farmers may differ on the one hand, on the basis of personal and business characteristics of the farm and on the other hand, in the institutional context of raising transaction costs in accessing RDP. The results confirm the fundamental role of ACRE in performing entrepreneurial access to RDP, but, at the same time, it calls for renewed tools to remove the barriers impeding access to RDP, above all for small-sized farms. Full article
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