Chapter 9 The Emergence of New Development Trajectories in Italian Farms

Agriculture in Mediterranean Europe: Between Old and New Paradigms

ISBN: 978-1-78190-597-5, eISBN: 978-1-78190-598-2

ISSN: 1057-1922

Publication date: 30 May 2013


The persistence of different farm types in Italian agriculture shows that productivism is not the only possible development path that farms can follow, and that farms can successfully adopt strategies based on diversification rather than standardization of production.The aim of this work is to provide evidence about the diffusion of different diversification and differentiation strategies in Italian agriculture, and to compare the characteristics associated with the targeted groups of farms, as well as their structural and economic evolution over time.The analysis is performed on a panel of data built on the basis of information collected by the Italian FADN over the 2003–2009 period. For the purpose of the analysis we divided the population of Italian commercial farms into a fivefold innovative farm typology based on the extent of diversification and differentiation strategies adopted by farms.The findings show that conventional farms are still by far the largest category within the population of Italian commercial farms, while only 13% of total commercial farms is classified as differentiated and/or diversified. Conventional farms are also the best off in terms of economic results. As for the differentiated and/or diversified farms, their structures are still changing, their profitability is improving and they follow a more sustained income growth path than conventional ones.The analysis highlights that diversification and differentiation are not necessarily a viable solution to the low-income problem faced by many farms. Future research is needed to better understand the relationship between diversification strategies and policies.



Salvioni, C., Henke, R. and Ascione, E. (2013), "Chapter 9 The Emergence of New Development Trajectories in Italian Farms", Ortiz-Miranda, D., Moragues-Faus, A. and Arnalte-Alegre, E. (Ed.) Agriculture in Mediterranean Europe: Between Old and New Paradigms (Research in Rural Sociology and Development, Vol. 19), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 207-232.

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