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Open AccessArticle

The Role of Social Farming in the Socio-Economic Development of Highly Marginal Regions: An Investigation in Calabria

1
Centre for Research on Geography, Resources, Environment, Energy and Networks (GREEN), Bocconi University, Via Roentgen 1, 20136 Milan, Italy
2
Department of Economics and Political Science, University of Aosta Valley, Street Cappuccini 2, 11100 Aosta, Italy
3
Department of Agricultural Sciences, Mediterranea University of Reggio Calabria, Località Feo di Vito, 89122 Reggio Calabria, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5285; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135285
Received: 15 April 2020 / Revised: 14 June 2020 / Accepted: 17 June 2020 / Published: 30 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Farming for Social Innovation and Viability in Rural Areas)
This paper focuses on social farming, a new “branch” which includes activities that make use of agricultural, rural and natural resources in order to produce food and social services. It investigates the case of Calabria, one of the least developed regions in Italy and in Europe, which suffers from several serious problems; for example, the low level of accessibility, and the presence of the Mafia organisations. We wondered whether in such a region social farming can make a significant contribution to its social and economic development. Using the data collected by means of a qualitative investigation of some of the most important Calabrian social farms, we studied their characteristics, their strategies, their social mission, and their role in the local socio-economic context. We found that most of them are successful, in both economic and social terms, and their role in the local community is positive. Moreover, they are making a valuable contribution to the cultural change required to overcome the predominance of the Mafia. View Full-Text
Keywords: agriculture; lagging region; isolation; Calabria; Mafia organisations; direct interview; thematic analysis agriculture; lagging region; isolation; Calabria; Mafia organisations; direct interview; thematic analysis
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Musolino, D.; Distaso, A.; Marcianò, C. The Role of Social Farming in the Socio-Economic Development of Highly Marginal Regions: An Investigation in Calabria. Sustainability 2020, 12, 5285.

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