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Open AccessArticle

New Evaluation of Small Farms: Implication for an Analysis of Food Security

Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Economics, University of Pisa, 56124 Pisa, Italy
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Agriculture 2020, 10(3), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10030074
Received: 20 January 2020 / Revised: 8 March 2020 / Accepted: 9 March 2020 / Published: 13 March 2020
Farm structure is a multi-dimensional concept that can be measured through different criteria. Meanwhile, farm structure has been identified to discern small farms or well-endowed farms from the other farms. Distinguishing and identifying these two groups have practical implications for understanding the dynamics in rural areas and the effectiveness of target measures in these categories. The existing literature lacks a better definition of small farms based on the different criteria used. In this paper, we have developed composite indicators to apply to the concept of farm structure to re-define small farms and discover their role in achieving food security in Europe. By clustering countries using the composite indicator of farm structure, we estimate that more than 80 percent of food across Europe is produced by multi-criteria small and medium farms, but the partial productivities of agricultural land and labor in these countries that have the majority of multi-criteria small and medium farms are much lower than the large ones. Then, an estimate of a spatial econometric regression model was done to recognize how farm structure, a representative of farm size, can affect food availability, which is representative of food security. The results show that improving the structure of farms in a country not only improves its food security but also improves its neighbors’ food security. Hence, improving the structure of multi-criteria small farms is a major part of the solution to improve and achieve food security. Recognizing and understanding the diversity of multi-criteria small farms by considering the specific products and countries is necessary for designing appropriate innovations and policies for supporting more productive multi-criteria small farms. View Full-Text
Keywords: multi-criteria small farms; food security; partial productivity; composite indicators; spatial econometric multi-criteria small farms; food security; partial productivity; composite indicators; spatial econometric
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Ardakani, Z.; Bartolini, F.; Brunori, G. New Evaluation of Small Farms: Implication for an Analysis of Food Security. Agriculture 2020, 10, 74.

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