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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Who Remains When Professional Farmers Give up? Some Insights on Hobby Farming in an Olive Groves-Oriented Terraced Mediterranean Area

1
Institute of Life Sciences, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies of Pisa, 56127 Pisa, Italy
2
InTerACT (UP 2018.C102), UniLaSalle, 60026 Beauvais, France
3
Agricultural Machinery and New Technologies, UniLaSalle, 60026 Beauvais, France
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Land 2020, 9(5), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9050168
Received: 1 May 2020 / Revised: 17 May 2020 / Accepted: 18 May 2020 / Published: 22 May 2020
Many land use systems in Mediterranean sloping areas risk abandonment because of nonprofitability, while their hydro-geological stability depends on an appropriate management. However, who are the land managers? What are their practices? Our research on the traditional olive groves of the Monte Pisano (Tuscany, Italy) reveals for the first time the quantitatively important role of hobby farmers as land managers in the area. We used a three-step-method: first, a database was constructed using several data sources to identify and map the population of olive growers; then, 35 semi-structured interviews were conducted, and finally, the data were analyzed to highlight the contribution of olive growers to the land management, along with their motivations and constraints. Our results found that hobby farmers constitute about 90% of all land managers in the study area and manage more than half of the agricultural land. They are a very uneven group, and there are no clear categories detectable by analyzing sociodemographic factors, practices and farm characteristics. They are the “same but different”, not following any market rules, as they are not profit-oriented. Their farming practices are quite homogeneous and mainly in-line with professional farming practices of that area, oriented versus a minimum input management. View Full-Text
Keywords: hobby farming; olive groves; farming practices; peri-urban; stewardship hobby farming; olive groves; farming practices; peri-urban; stewardship
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Gennai-Schott, S.; Sabbatini, T.; Rizzo, D.; Marraccini, E. Who Remains When Professional Farmers Give up? Some Insights on Hobby Farming in an Olive Groves-Oriented Terraced Mediterranean Area. Land 2020, 9, 168.

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