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Rethinking rural development approaches and their relations with agricultural and agro-food local systems

Francesco Mantino

No 179000, 2014 Third Congress, June 25-27, 2014, Alghero, Italy from Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA)

Abstract: Provide here a summary of your paper no longer than 300 words. (Times New Roman, 10, italic) This paper focuses on the notion of agricultural and agro-food system as unit of analysis. The analysis provides evidence of diffused dynamism of these systems, both in terms of demographic characteristics, labour productivity and exports in international markets. Relevant differences among these local systems can be explained by geographical location (especially between North and South Italy) and infrastructural endowments. But relevant differences, according to recent studies on governance of rural areas, are also as far as cooperation and integration variables are concerned. To explore the nature of these variables, a parallel survey was implemented in 20 Italian areas to identify and reconstruct the institutional maps of the food chain supply (farming system, food industry, type of distribution and market channels), the main actors working in it and the main forms of vertical and horizontal integration/cooperation. This allowed to understand the structure of the food chain supply and which kind of governance is characterising agriculture and agro-food sector in these rural areas. The survey highlights three possible patterns of rural integration/cooperation. The first pattern, based on vertical integration/cooperation, is usually in rural areas dominated by the prevalence of few innovators and/or agro-food industries with strong leadership. The second pattern, based on horizontal cooperation and integration, does not include few leader industries but a whole set of actors, within the agro-food chain, whose strategy is primarily to promote strong coalitions and networks to increase the bargaining power of agriculture and to reduce conflicts within the agro-food chain between farmers and agro-industrial firms. Finally, the third pattern is based on horizontal integration/cooperation between agro-food chain and other sectors. The analysis of these study cases brings about important implications in terms of rethinking rural development paradigm.

Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy; Community/Rural/Urban Development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 16
Date: 2014
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DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.179000

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