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Farm economic sustainability and agrobiodiversity: identifying viable farming alternatives during the economic crisis in Greece

Pavlos Karanikolas (), Penelope J. Bebeli and Ricos Thanopoulos

Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy, 2018, vol. 7, issue 1, 69-84

Abstract: This study aims to examine the extent to which crop landraces (LRs) can serve as viable alternatives for farming within the ongoing economic crisis, especially for potential young farmers. A conceptual framework based on farm economic sustainability and the diversification strategies of farm-households is applied to four different LRs. Drawing on original data from field surveys, the economic analysis shows that LRs provide various gains for local communities as well as a series of private benefits for the farmers involved in their cultivation. Many of the examined farms are economically sustainable, even with small farm sizes. The integration of LRs into both domestic and export markets and the embeddedness of LRs’ products into the local culture and diet are two critical prerequisites for their on-farm conservation. The examined LRs are low-labour-input crops, obtaining the necessary labour mainly from family members. An LR can be the sole cultivation of a farm, part of mixed farming systems, as well as part of various strategies pursued by farm-households to diversify their sources of income. There is scope for improvement, especially by ensuring the uniqueness of LR products, establishing new marketing channels and creating special brand names. Supportive policy measures are also discussed.

Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1080/21606544.2017.1360212

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Handle: RePEc:taf:teepxx:v:7:y:2018:i:1:p:69-84