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Farming Systems Changes in the Urban Shadow: A Mixed Approach Based on Statistical Analysis and Expert Surveys

Wojciech Sroka () and Dariusz Żmija ()
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Wojciech Sroka: Department of Economics and Food Economy, University of Agriculture in Krakow, Al. Mickiewicza 21, 31-120 Kraków, Poland
Dariusz Żmija: Department of Economic Policy and Development Programming, Cracow University of Economics, ul. Rakowicka 27, 31-510 Kraków, Poland

Agriculture, 2021, vol. 11, issue 5, 1-29

Abstract: Due to the growth of the “urban shadow”, farming systems in metropolitan areas (MAs) are characterized by specific environmental, economic, and social pressures. Urbanization pressure and its related threats, as well as the opportunities resulting from a convenient location close to consumers’ markets, cause rapid farming systems changes. The present study provides a quali-quantitative overview of change in farming systems in selected Polish metropolitan areas. Various statistical methods were applied to analyze changes in farming systems. First, farming system changes were characterized for the study area by the exploratory factor analysis. In addition, experts’ opinions (qualitative data) on changes in farming systems until 2027 are presented. The research conducted showed that there are a few main patterns in changes to/adaptations of farming systems: Horizontal growth of farms, farmland concentration, process of specialization (horticulture, orchards), trajectories towards more multifunctional farming practices (off-farm diversification, as well as “deepening” and “broadening” strategies), reduction of livestock farming, deintensification and farmland abandonment. Those processes vary in space, and they are only partially explained in terms of distance to the core city (location). Experts forecast that the identified trends will continue, paying attention to the growing importance of multifunctional agriculture and the intensification of recessive processes, including farmland abandonment and excessive deintensification of production. According to the experts surveyed, most farmers will continue to apply traditional development strategies, which will be ineffective without the possibility of increasing the area of farms.

Keywords: urban and peri-urban agriculture; multivariate analysis; farming systems; adaptations; location (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q1 Q10 Q11 Q12 Q13 Q14 Q15 Q16 Q17 Q18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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