rss_2.0European Countryside FeedSciendo RSS Feed for European Countryside Countryside Feed Support and Collaboration in Women’s Social Cooperative Krusha E Madhe<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This research aims to determine the role of women in the development of rural areas through agriculture and the integration of women into society in Kosovo. An observational, quantitative, cross-sectional case study was conducted for this purpose. Primary data was collected from the employees of the agriculture cooperative “Krusha e Madhe” in Kosovo through a questionnaire survey, interviews, and observations. The social cooperative under study is a good example of how bringing disadvantaged women together can help improve economic life and the psychological trauma caused by war. The results prove that there is indeed a significant increase in community life, cooperation, trust, quality of life, and communication in the community since establishing social cooperative.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue the Role of Digitisation and ICT in the Business Model of Agricultural Holdings and Farmers: Micro-Study of the Inner Rural Periphery Region in the Czech Republic<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The challenges of new rural technological possibilities in the 21st century resonate with agriculture. These represent, in particularly the improving availability of ICT infrastructure and the digitisation of socioeconomic processes. This paper focuses on exploring issues related to the potential change in the business behaviour of agricultural holdings and farmers following digitization and the use of ICT. The empirical research was carried out in the territory of the Local Action Group (LAS) Železnohorský region, which is a typical inner rural periphery with a strong agricultural base. The paper presents both the results of an exploratory survey and also develops a specific empirical model according to the improved Cobb-Douglas production function with specifics of the agrarian sector (i.e., including the role of agricultural subsidies and also the application of advanced ICT). The results in the selected rural micro-region showed that the process of digitisation has been very marginal in the models of functioning of the relevant agricultural entities. The current prevailing “techno-optimist approach” in EU strategic planning needs to be overcome by more intensive and comprehensive support for the digitisation process in rural peripheral areas. Particularly, this involves a necessary combination of support for investment in ICT infrastructure and new technologies with more intensive support for digital literacy and knowledge empowerment, which will enable more intensive exploitation of the potential and possibilities of digital technologies and virtual environments.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Farming: A New Approach to Local Food Systems Building<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The post-industrial service economy suggests new ways of thinking about food system design and building processes. This article discusses the need to explore best practices in the servitization of farming and theorize them as a new approach to food production, supply, and consumption. In contrast to prevailing theories that suggest reorganization of the global agri-food supply chain on the basis of the short supply chain concept or according to the community-supported agriculture model, servitization of farming puts forward a „made-to-order” food system. The purpose of this article is to develop theoretical and practical guidelines that suggest new ways of thinking about food system design and building processes. The article demonstrates the potential of a farming servitization to create new food system configurations through the combination of three approaches: holistic, design thinking, and evolutionary by providing a case study on a farm that uses a „service-driven” business model and makes-to-order organic vegetables, fruits, and greens. The case study approach allows in-depth, multi-faceted explorations and conceptualization of an innovative business model building process according to 5 phase design thinking model, which suggests gradual reorganization of the industrial food system as the result of farming servitization.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Behavior and Access to Food in the Areas of Slovakia with Dispersed Settlements: A Case Study<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The aim of the research was a spatial and functional analysis of the accessibility of retail food environments in relation to the inhabitants of dispersed settlements who are socially and geographically disadvantaged in purchasing g food. The consumer behavior and food shopping habits of the inhabitants of these areas largely depend on the spatial and functional characteristics of the dispersed settlement and the surrounding area. In terms of food consumption, an important determinant is the availability of convenience stores, defined by the economic and physical ability to access food sources. The ability to access stores is strongly influenced by transport options and transport infrastructure. The investigated area belongs to a group of specific areas with dispersed settlements. This type of settlement, typical in the mountains of Slovakia and on the border with the Czech Republic, can also be found around the town of Nová Baňa, located in the west of central Slovakia. This area consists of two towns and 12 municipalities and is referred to as the “Novobanská štálová oblasť ”. These specific territories are characterized by a lack of access to fresh and affordable food, which can contribute to social disparities in diet and endanger people's health with various serious diseases. Spatial identification of areas with difficult access to food stores in the Novobanská štálová area has been a pioneering attempt to visualize areas with the highest demand for improvement in food access, and this process may be helpful in identifying other areas with similar characteristics. The methods utilized represent an accessible, transparent and reproducible process for assessing the accessibility of grocery stores. These methods can be used for cost-effective, periodic surveillance and meaningful engagement with communities, retailers and policy makers. The conclusions and results of our research should positively contribute to the growing debate on the inequality of living conditions and marginalization of rural municipalities.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Programs in Portuguese Low-Density Rural Areas: How to Engage Farmers<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Farm to School (FTS) programs is a type of Short Food Supply Chain (SFSC) that generate new economic opportunities for farmers while enhancing communities’ food security strategies, by improving the access to a safe, nutritious, and culturally acceptable diet, through a sustainable food system that maximizes self-reliance and social justice. However, the success of FTS is highly dependent on regional characteristics, and its implementation must deal with diverse views and opposing interests. In particular, farmers' willingness to engage in FTS may be affected by the need to adapt their practices to the demand of school canteens. The estimate of a logistic model is used in this study to analyse the factors that impact farmers' motivation to participate in FTS in low-density areas of Portugal, showing that market-oriented vegetable and fruit producers, living further away from the city are more likely to join FTS.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Outshopping in Rural Slovakia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Outshopping is consumption behaviour where a consumer leaves the local economy and procures products and services in other local economies. While rural outshopping has been studied in the scientific literature for decades, the consumption structure of urban dwellers in smaller rural settlements has never been precisely mapped. The aim of this study is to understand the basic patterns of urban residents' spending on goods and services in the local economies of small rural settlements, using descriptive methods, comparison and content analysis. Based on the results, we put forward hypotheses that rural outshopping takes place within the nodal region of the city rather than in the wider urban-rural interface, may have a potentially selective character, and the frequency of short-term movement on the city-rural axis may be additional to other dominant intentions for traveling to a rural settlement.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and Business Models used by Short-Chain Food Enterprises Marketing in Oslo (Norway) and Bristol (UK)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Short food supply chains (SFSCs) are associated with a range of contested, place-based attributes which contrast with the characteristics of complex, global and corporate chains. This article avoids such oppositional binaries by focusing on SFSCs serving two European cities, namely Oslo (Norway) and Bristol (UK). It reviews cities as a particular kind of market within which to secure custom, by presenting qualitative data from a study of SFSCs in these two cities to examine marketing barriers and opportunities encountered. Distinctive urban contexts, such as the density of consumers and presence of food-related infrastructures, can influence the marketing strategies and sales channels chosen by food enterprises. Difficulties are faced by both food producers and the sales channels through which they come to market, especially in relation to financial viability, price competition and efficiency. Our analysis, as well as highlighting connections and divergences between Oslo and Bristol, emphasises the role of these cities in providing diverse food market niches. Alongside global chains, functioning SFSCs help to reflect the history of Oslo and Bristol as trading cities with diverse populations and reveal enterprise adaptability and innovation as market demand shifts.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Relationship Between Social Capital and Geographical Indications. A Comparative Case Study of Prosciutto Veneto Berico Euganeo PDO (Italy) and Jamón de Trevélez PGI (Spain)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This study compares two EU quality-label schemes in Italy and Spain: <italic>Prosciutto Veneto Berico Euganeo PDO</italic> and <italic>Jamón de Trevélez PGI</italic>, respectively. It aims to demonstrate that social capital plays an important role in both establishing and managing geographical indications (GIs), and that obtaining this label reinforces existing networks, so boosting rural development. The research is based on semi-structured interviews with 7 key informants, the analysis of institutional information and legislation, and of statistical data on the socioeconomic structure of both geographical areas. The research reveals two quite different experiences in obtaining EU quality labels, regardless of the fact that the products, places and people involved in this process have various aspects in common. This study illustrates how the advantages resulting from these high-quality labels and their impact on rural development can vary in relation to the level of social capital and the strength of local networks.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Policy for Rural Development in the European Union and its Impact on Access to Land<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The concentration of farmland has potentially a negative impact on planning for local rural development as it impedes access to land for other rural initiatives. Land policies in the European Union aiming to reserve lands for local communities are constrained by principles of the EU single market, such as the free movement of capital and the freedom of establishment. Especially in several Central and Eastern European member states, the European Commission has critically reviewed policies to shield lands from the single market. This paper reviews and analysis this issue in relation to the planning for rural communities.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Forward to When it is Over: Reactions and Short-Term Coping Micro-Strategies of Polish Fruit and Vegetable Farmers during the Covid-19 Pandemic<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The present paper focuses on farmers’ strategies for coping with the shock caused by the outbreak of the pandemic of COVID-19. Using the concept of farm resilience, which underlines the role of capacity and abilities as well as different actions undertaken in difficult situations, this study proposes an analytical framework of farmers’ coping short-term micro-strategies in relation to external crises, on the example of the COVID-19 pandemic. Taking into account academic literature, qualitative data gathered from fruit and vegetable producers in different regions in Poland and the information from sector experts, the paper outlines the varied consequences of the pandemic for farms, and also farmers’ diverse reactions to them. The findings from this study suggests that the analysed farms’ relative resilience to the crisis was achieved thanks to their available economic and social resources and the actions they undertook. The above-mentioned resources and activities were considered in the study primarily using the relational (process-based) approach, focusing on the ways of their creation, maintenance and adaptation. At the same time, the empirical material under analysis has shown that the adaptive measures adopted were short-term and did not respond to the farms’ permanent problems, which the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated significantly. It is assumed that presented results and proposed framework of farmers’ micro-strategies, which were taken during the pandemic, might be useful for future studies focusing on various external shocks as well as for research to be conducted in other CEE countries due to many common contextual factors that has shaped food practices and institutional arrangements.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue to the Implementation of Smart Projects in Rural Areas, Small Towns, and the City in Brno Metropolitan Area<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The implementation of smart projects can contribute to solving the current development problems of municipalities and cities of varied sizes. Although the concept of smart development is a vague term in the literature, in practice it refers to projects based on the use of modern technologies, to improve the quality of life considering economic, social, and environmental dimensions. However, not all local governments in the Czech Republic implement smart projects, even though the smart city concept is currently receiving considerable attention from national governments and from the European Union. This paper characterizes the perception of barriers to the implementation of smart projects from the perspective of fifteen representatives and officials of local governments located in the Brno Metropolitan Area in the Czech Republic. The research was conducted using semi-structured interviews with these fifteen territorial actors. It was found that the barriers to the implementation of smart projects are related to internal factors in the municipalities, such as the lack of interest of municipal leaders and officials or potential technical complications accompanying the implementation of projects. However, external factors such as the Czech government’s vague grasp of the smart cities concept or cyber threats also play a role. Perceived barriers were categorized according to their type and schematized.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Aspects of the Relationship Between Sustainable Development Goals, Food Security and Agricultures in Ukraine<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>According to the actual data of Ukraine, an analytical study of the main indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals 2 (SDG 2) was conducted on their impact on ensuring the achievement of the SDG. Depending on the type of indicator and the availability of information, the study period covers from 5 to 20 years. The study argues that food and agriculture are at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, proves and establishes key aspects of the SDG’s relationship with food security and agriculture in the global dimension and in Ukraine. In general, Ukraine has the same problems in the implementation of the SDGs and their relationship with the SDG2 as in the world, which allows the use of already developed international protocols and tools to improve the situation and ensure the achievement of the set goals. At the same time, there are a number of differences that require significant efforts from national and regional actors in solving the issues facing Ukraine in achieving the goals of sustainable development. First, the presence of contradictions, the causes of which often lie in the plane of political and/or economic corruption, and therefore it is difficult to resolve them. Second, outdated management system and the huge resistance of this system to any reforms, especially in the field of public administration. Particular attention should also be paid to established facts concerning significant differences in the values of the analyzed indicators in relation to rural and urban areas in Ukraine. The content of these processes requires deeper research and scientific discussion in further research, because only the establishment of cause-and-effect relationships will allow us to develop an effective strategy to eliminate the existing inequality for residents of urban and rural areas.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Integration of Local Resources in Search of a New Product – on the Example of the Lublin Region (Poland)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Regional development is very much conditioned by the quality and quantity of internal resources, as well as the level of use that is or can be made of these. Local resources are often features, factors and phenomena in a defined territory that are unique in some way, of social or economic utility, and in a position to help steer development opportunities. They (can) play a particular role in regions whose development has remained weak, and in peripheral areas, given the possibility of them becoming major factors behind growth, if only they can be activated in an appropriate way. Against that background, the main aim of the work detailed here has been to conduct a structural reconnaissance of a given set of local resources and then to have these evaluated in the context of the potential development of new local products. As they capitalise on features of a multiplicity of local resources, the products referred to here may manifest a higher level of development potential. Consecutive parts of this study thus offer a conceptualisation of how such a new local product may be constructed, along with a specific diagnosis of the resources that can be involved, as these are manifested in the Lubelskie Voivodeship, located in SE Poland. Concrete proposals for local products are then made, in order to further illustrate the concept.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Climate Change Impact and Adaptation in Agriculture – The Case of Albania<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The Albanian agriculture sector is deeply affected by climate change. To cope with climate change, it is necessary to understand its consequences. The views of agriculture extension service experts are crucial in improving farmers’ understanding and resilience, especially when farming practices are poorly adapted to the changing climate. This paper analyses the risks from climate change and the adaptive capacity of farmers based on an expert evaluation survey. The respondents identified prolongation of drought durations, rising temperatures, above-average occurrences of floods, pre-seasonal rainfall and frost as primary risks during recent years. Extension experts view a high (negative) impact from climate change through processes such as increased plant diseases occurrence, increased exposure to rodents, harmful insects and pests for plants and livestock, as well as forest and pasture degradation. The paper also provides experts’ opinions on the policy implications, such as considerations about adaptation strategies towards climate change.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Dynamics of the Hungarian Villages 1995–2016<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In our pioneer study, we explore the number of population change in Hungarian villages based on the latest available statistical data (1995–2016), looking for the answer to whether the rapid and profound economic and social structural changes of post-socialism and the historically unique periods of accession to the European Union have rearranged the numerical dominance of the earlier largest rural population in Hungarian society. According to the concept of the post-socialist demographic turn, the population of the villages began to grow during the transformation crisis of the 1990s, and a significant part of the villages became marginalized. In contrast, agglomeration and suburbanization processes also intensified, which also contributed to changes in the number of villagers. We used the data of the Central Statistical Office (CSO) and the Regional Information System (RIS), which were organised into a new database for the purposes of the research. The theory and methods of the population dynamics approach emphasize the need for more complex demographic studies. We argue that the absolute population of the villages has greatly decreased, but this is only an apparent shift because it is a consequence of the administrative designation of a large number of villages as cities. The paper concludes that from 1995 to 2016 population number of villages with the same administrative classification (village) remained relatively stable, and this is radically different from previous research findings.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Relates: Positionings in Space, Time and Society in the German Language Pockets of Sauris and Timau (Italy)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The author analyses positionings in space, time and society that inhabitants of Sauris and Timau, German language pockets in Friuli, construct in qualitative interviews about food. Positionings of the self are immanent when interviewees speak about, represent and relate to times they, their parents or grandparents have experienced, as well as frequented localities and known persons. Relations, which outreach the places, are established through the preparation and consumption of specific foods because it evokes memories, emotions, feelings, and transmits values. Dishes with dialectal German names that are associated with the place and food, which had been consumed daily in the agrarian past became particular. In order to negotiate meanings and to identify with places and people, common food preparation, consumption and reflections are necessary, and individual interpretations need to be accepted.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue the Potential of Social Innovation and Local Agenda-Setting within Rural Development Programmes: Insights from Austrian Leader Regions<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Since the beginning of the 1990s, the LEADER programme has been implemented to promote positive development in rural areas in the EU through bottom-up approaches and community engagement. Lately, concerns have been raised about the capability of LEADER to foster social innovation and provide adequate room to manoeuvre for communities to set agendas locally. This paper attempts to engage in this discussion by analysing the implementation of rural development programmes, local ideas and experiences with LEADER and social innovation in four LEADER regions in Upper Austria (AT). Furthermore, the analysis outlines the projects implemented through LEADER to evaluate the possibilities for local agenda-setting. The research shows both the success of LEADER as a tool to instigate bottom-up and neoendogenous development and the need for additional institutional frameworks for community consultations if inclusive and forward-looking visions of rural development are to be fostered.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Institutions and Ngos Cooperation for Social Innovations in Post-Socialist Rural Poland<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Social innovation (SI), which is known as an alternative practice for solving social problems, can be implemented by various actors, including nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) and public institutions. This article addresses the implementation of SIs by public institutions in rural areas of Poland. Its aim is to answer two questions: 1) Does cooperation with NGOs distinguish rural public institutions in Poland that have implemented SIs from those that have not? 2) Does the level of human and financial resources of NGOs affect the level of cooperation between public institutions and NGOs from rural gminas? The results of an internet survey conducted on a random sample of 330 public institutions and 400 one-to-one interviews conducted on a random sample of NGOs from rural communes (rural gminas) are presented to answer the research questions posed. According to the findings, collaboration between public institutions and NGOs does not distinguish institutions that implemented SI and those that did not. In addition, the level of human and financial resources of NGOs was not a factor in determining whether or not public institutions cooperated with NGOs.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Farming in Czechia, Actors and Barriers<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article deals with the state of social farming in Czechia, which is obviously in its infancy. The main barriers to development are the character of Czech agriculture, which is radically based on large-scale production and deliveries to large customers, insufficient cooperation of individual ministries and too narrow conception of the problem as care farming. At the same time, we can expect increasing demand for this type of management in the future. Some ideas for improving the situation are presented, the most important of which is the recognition of social farming by the public administration and the creation of a legal framework for its development.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Up Apples and Pears Can Work – Case Study of an Innovative Model of Social Enterprise From Slovakia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Social enterprises have the potential to address diverse issues, even when they fall off the radar of formal institutions e.g., by establishing partnerships that are new locally and nationally. The analysis offers a conceptual description of a model of social enterprise established by a regional self-government authority, that blends dual education and social economy and serves as an innovative agent of change. Case research was the approach used. The research revealed that the motivation behind the enterprise was social integration, increasing attractiveness of agriculture for young people and regional self-sufficiency. The partnership was recognized as the key element of the model design. The model brings social, economic and environmental change to employees and students but also to the whole environment. Such a model could be replicated and such collaboration could be put on the map of social enterprises.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue