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Assessing the Resilience and Sustainability of a Hazelnut Farming System in Central Italy with a Participatory Approach

Elena Nera (), Wim Paas (), Pytrik Reidsma (), Giulio Paolini (), Federico Antonioli () and Simone Severini ()
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Elena Nera: Plant Production Systems, Wageningen University and Research, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
Wim Paas: Plant Production Systems, Wageningen University and Research, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
Pytrik Reidsma: Plant Production Systems, Wageningen University and Research, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
Giulio Paolini: Department of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, Università degli Studi della Tuscia, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
Federico Antonioli: Department of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, Università degli Studi della Tuscia, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
Simone Severini: Department of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, Università degli Studi della Tuscia, 01100 Viterbo, Italy

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 1, 1-1

Abstract: European agriculture is facing increasing economic, environmental, institutional, and social challenges, from changes in demographic trends to the effects of climate change. In this context of high instability, the agricultural sector in Europe needs to improve its resilience and sustainability. Local assessments and strategies at the farming system level are needed, and this paper focuses on a hazelnut farming system in central Italy. For the assessment, a participatory approach was used, based on a stakeholder workshop. The results depicted a system with a strong economic and productive role, but which seems to overlook natural resources. This would suggest a relatively low environmental sustainability of the system, although the actual environmental impact of hazelnut farming is controversial. In terms of resilience, we assessed it by looking at the perceived level of three capacities: robustness, adaptability, and transformability. The results portrayed a highly robust system, but with relatively lower adaptability and transformability. Taking the farming system as the focal level was important to consider the role of different actors. While mechanisation has played a central role in enhancing past and present system resilience, future improvements can be achieved through collective strategies and system diversification, and by strengthening the local hazelnut value chain.

Keywords: resilience; sustainability; farming system; participatory assessment; perennial system; Viterbo; specialisation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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