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Proceedings, 2024, ETAGRO 2023

The 17th International Conference of the Hellenic Association of Agricultural Economists

Thessaloniki, Greece | 2–3 November 2023

Volume Editor:
Eleni Theodoropoulou, Harokopio University of Athens, Greece

Number of Papers: 53
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Cover Story (view full-size image): The 17th International Conference of the Hellenic Association of Agricultural Economists (ETAGRO 2023) took place in Thessaloniki, Greece, bringing together leaders, policymakers, academics, [...] Read more.
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1 pages, 130 KiB  
Editorial
Statement of Peer Review
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094008 - 22 Jan 2024
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Abstract
In submitting conference proceedings to Proceedings, the volume editors of the proceedings certify to the publisher that all papers published in this volume have been subjected to peer review administered by the volume editors [...] Full article

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4 pages, 175 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Towards Agricultural Digitalization: Does Higher Agricultural Education Supply Students with Relevant Competencies?
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094001 - 18 Jan 2024
Viewed by 296
Abstract
Agricultural digitalization is gaining momentum, urging a transition from process-driven to technology-enhanced and data-driven agriculture. To support such a transition and help farmers derive benefits from digital technologies, also avoiding the potential threats associated with digitalization, future advisors need a variety of competencies, [...] Read more.
Agricultural digitalization is gaining momentum, urging a transition from process-driven to technology-enhanced and data-driven agriculture. To support such a transition and help farmers derive benefits from digital technologies, also avoiding the potential threats associated with digitalization, future advisors need a variety of competencies, ranging from pure technocentric skills to more complex capabilities, such as impact forecasting and transition facilitation. Do Greek students who study to become advisors have these competencies? In this study, we attempted to answer this question following a quantitative approach. The results indicate that participants possess low levels in all the examined sets of competencies and, as a result, have limited overall competency in dealing with digital agriculture. These findings suggest the need for agricultural universities to reset competence-related targets and design strategies to supply future farm advisors with the competencies needed to act as facilitators of agricultural digitalization. Full article
4 pages, 174 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Identifying the External Environment of Greek Fisheries
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094002 - 19 Jan 2024
Viewed by 383
Abstract
The Greek fishing sector faces various challenges which can threaten its long-term sustainability. The PESTLE analysis is used to assess the impact of the external environment on the Greek fishing sector. According to our analysis, appropriate strategic planning should emphasize promoting the integration [...] Read more.
The Greek fishing sector faces various challenges which can threaten its long-term sustainability. The PESTLE analysis is used to assess the impact of the external environment on the Greek fishing sector. According to our analysis, appropriate strategic planning should emphasize promoting the integration of innovation and technology transfer from the laboratory to the fisheries sector to address the challenges and capitalize on the opportunities. Future research can be conducted on the prioritization of external factors by sector experts and the coupling with other strategic planning tools. Full article
3 pages, 143 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
The Association of MTNR1A Gene Alleles with the Response to Estrus Induction Treatments in Improved and Non-Improved Greek Indigenous Sheep Breeds
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094003 - 19 Jan 2024
Viewed by 305
Abstract
Seasonality in sheep reproduction and related limitations make milk production challenging throughout the year. In the present study, we investigated the response to estrus induction treatments in three indigenous breeds, Florina, Chios, and Karagouniko, as well as the melatonin receptor 1A gene variants [...] Read more.
Seasonality in sheep reproduction and related limitations make milk production challenging throughout the year. In the present study, we investigated the response to estrus induction treatments in three indigenous breeds, Florina, Chios, and Karagouniko, as well as the melatonin receptor 1A gene variants in relation to this response. The three distinct synchronization methods were A: intravaginal sponges, B: GNRH use, and C: male effect. In group A, fertility was 85%, and Florina ewes expressed estrus at 90% in July. Ewes from Karagouniko and Chios had fecundity rates of 95% and 99%, respectively, and 100% estrus expression. The Florina ewes in group B expressed estrus at a percentage of 60%, with a fecundity rate of 57%, the Karagouniko ewes at a percentage of 65%, with a fecundity rate of 54%, and the Chios breed animals at a percentage of 87%, with a fecundity rate of 85%. Twenty to twenty-five days after ram induction, 68% of the Florina breed in group C showed signs of estrus, compared to 84% and 94% of Karagouniko and Chios breeds, respectively. In both Florina and Karagouniko breeds, all treatments showed a substantial difference in the frequency of the four identified SNPs in the MTNR1A gene between ewes who expressed estrus and ewes who did not. The genetic improvement based on the alleles analyzed in the current study is expected to decrease seasonality rates in indigenous sheep breeds. Full article
4 pages, 1153 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Assessing Agroecology Terms for North African Countries: A Literature Review
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094004 - 19 Jan 2024
Viewed by 245
Abstract
Conventional agricultural techniques cannot fulfill the requirements of a sustainable food value chain. Agroecology can be a great alternative practice for transforming the current agricultural systems. This approach combines ecology and agriculture, considering different stakeholders’ opinions. An assessment of the current literature about [...] Read more.
Conventional agricultural techniques cannot fulfill the requirements of a sustainable food value chain. Agroecology can be a great alternative practice for transforming the current agricultural systems. This approach combines ecology and agriculture, considering different stakeholders’ opinions. An assessment of the current literature about “agroecology practices” using the Web of Science database was made, and 1235 results were collected and unified into a bibtex file using R studio. The final results were extracted through the bibliometix library. The acquired results show that annual scientific production on the aforementioned term was limited between the 1990s and 2010s and has recently increased due to increased interest in the topic. Additionally, the terms “agriculture”, “management biodiversity”, and “conservation” are frequently correlated with agroecology, covering all three dimensions of sustainability. Agroecology as a trending topic has great potential to serve North African countries, increasing food security levels while assuring sustainability standards. Full article
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4 pages, 171 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
The Effect of Unfair Trading Practices on the Performance of Agricultural Cooperatives
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094005 - 19 Jan 2024
Viewed by 309
Abstract
In the European agri-food sector, operators with substantial bargaining power often engage in unfair trading practices (UTPs). Our paper aims to empirically examine the occurrence of UTPs and their influence on the performance of cooperatives. To fulfill the goal of our paper, we [...] Read more.
In the European agri-food sector, operators with substantial bargaining power often engage in unfair trading practices (UTPs). Our paper aims to empirically examine the occurrence of UTPs and their influence on the performance of cooperatives. To fulfill the goal of our paper, we collected responses from 109 cooperatives in Greece after the transposition of a specialized EU Directive (i.e., Directive (EU) 2019/633). We found that, on average, the sampled cooperatives encountered three prohibited (“black”) UTPs, while all reported at least one prohibited UTP. Moreover, the two most commonly reported practices (i.e., “unduly late payments” and “buyers’ demand that suppliers pay for the deterioration or loss of products that occurred after ownership transfer”) exerted a significant negative influence on cooperative performance, even in the presence of a proficient Board of Directors. Consequently, policymakers may need to pay more attention to UTPs and ensure that the national enforcement authorities are well-equipped to act rapidly and effectively against offenders. Full article
5 pages, 1456 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
The Food Fraud Landscape: A Brief Review of Food Safety and Authenticity
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094006 - 19 Jan 2024
Viewed by 241
Abstract
Food fraud poses a significant challenge within the global food supply chain, with apprehensions regarding safety, authenticity, and efficiency. This study conducts a brief review of the literature by utilizing the Web of Science database, analyzing 2331 outcomes pertaining to the subject of [...] Read more.
Food fraud poses a significant challenge within the global food supply chain, with apprehensions regarding safety, authenticity, and efficiency. This study conducts a brief review of the literature by utilizing the Web of Science database, analyzing 2331 outcomes pertaining to the subject of food fraud. The analysis results demonstrated a noteworthy surge in scientific publications after 2013, which was propelled by events such as the horsemeat scandal and the formation of the European Food Safety Authority. Utilizing Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA), the study identified significant clusters pertaining to food transformation, safety, traceability, and distinct meat sources. In addition, trending topics shifted towards a holistic approach to food safety and the implementation of technologies like Blockchain (BC), Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Big Data (BD). These technologies offer enhanced traceability, authentication, automation, and decision-making capabilities. The present research offers valuable perspectives on the evolving landscape of food fraud research and the potential of nascent technologies to tackle these issues. Full article
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4 pages, 542 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Farmers’ Knowledge, Training Needs and Skills in the Bioeconomy: Evidence from the Region of Western Macedonia
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094007 - 22 Jan 2024
Viewed by 254
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to explore farmers’ training needs, their lack of knowledge and skills, and their willingness to participate in related training programs in the Western Macedonia Region. Summary statistics and multivariate analyses were performed for the data analysis. The [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to explore farmers’ training needs, their lack of knowledge and skills, and their willingness to participate in related training programs in the Western Macedonia Region. Summary statistics and multivariate analyses were performed for the data analysis. The results indicate a low level of knowledge about the bioeconomy and its practices. Furthermore, the findings revealed the high willingness of farmers for future adoption of the bioeconomy, and the need to create bioeconomy training programs. Full article
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4 pages, 535 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
An Electronic Platform for the Integrated Monitoring of Technical and Economic Data of Farms
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094009 - 22 Jan 2024
Viewed by 243
Abstract
The digitalization of farming is considered the fourth revolution in agriculture. The necessity of providing decision support tools and electronic platforms to help Greek farmers in their work is becoming increasingly evident. For this reason, this article presents the electronic platform called “FarmEconomicMonitoring” [...] Read more.
The digitalization of farming is considered the fourth revolution in agriculture. The necessity of providing decision support tools and electronic platforms to help Greek farmers in their work is becoming increasingly evident. For this reason, this article presents the electronic platform called “FarmEconomicMonitoring” to monitor the operations of farms to control production costs and improve efficiency. With the use of the electronic platform by the farmer–entrepreneurs, their easy adaptation to the new technologies concerning decision-making and farm management systems becomes achieved. Full article
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4 pages, 175 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094010 - 22 Jan 2024
Viewed by 289
Abstract
The question of how agricultural knowledge and innovation systems (AKISs) can address the issue of sustainable management of natural resources (SMNR) is presented in this conference paper. This literature review, which collected published research from the Scopus electronic database, aimed to explore the [...] Read more.
The question of how agricultural knowledge and innovation systems (AKISs) can address the issue of sustainable management of natural resources (SMNR) is presented in this conference paper. This literature review, which collected published research from the Scopus electronic database, aimed to explore the value of AKISs in enhancing the sustainability of natural resources. Therefore, it examined and evaluated the roles of AKISs as either positive or negative overall. Moreover, it analyzed whether the use of AKISs supports the goal of creating a sustainable system that links agriculture with natural resources. Among its findings, this review presents the positive and negative outcomes of each element and potential future scenarios/suggestions if the current trends persist. Full article
5 pages, 201 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Questioning Family Farms’ Readiness to Adopt Digital Solutions
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094011 - 22 Jan 2024
Viewed by 242
Abstract
This paper explores the adoption of digital solutions by Italian farmers. The hypothesis is that digital technology adoption relies on an articulated set of socioeconomic variables that deserve attention. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed data from the last census of Italian agriculture. [...] Read more.
This paper explores the adoption of digital solutions by Italian farmers. The hypothesis is that digital technology adoption relies on an articulated set of socioeconomic variables that deserve attention. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed data from the last census of Italian agriculture. The analysis showed significant differences in the adoption of digital technologies, which can be viewed from territorial, structural, and sociodemographic points of view. This casts some doubt on the fairness of the digital transition in rural areas, calling for the strengthening of rural policies at the beginning of the new programming period in 2023–2027. Full article
4 pages, 180 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Investigating Farmers’ Attitudes towards Co-Existence of Agriculture and Renewable Energy Production
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094012 - 22 Jan 2024
Viewed by 272
Abstract
Agri-voltaics (AVs) refer to combining agricultural activities and photovoltaic power generation. This dual use of the land has been identified as an important measure to address some of the main current and future social and environmental challenges. AVs constitute an upward trend at [...] Read more.
Agri-voltaics (AVs) refer to combining agricultural activities and photovoltaic power generation. This dual use of the land has been identified as an important measure to address some of the main current and future social and environmental challenges. AVs constitute an upward trend at a global level. However, a limited number of studies have been carried out to identify the views of the interested parties, farmers, regarding the adoption of AVs on their agricultural lands. This paper reports research findings of the investigation of farmers’ views and attitudes towards the adoption of photovoltaics in agricultural lands. The non-parametric Mann–Whitney U Test was used in order to make comparisons between the group of participants that were willing to adopt AVs and those who were not. Chi-square (χ2) test of independence was performed to identify statistically significant relationships between farmers’ willingness to adopt AVs and their socioeconomic characteristics or variables that represent knowledge about agro-energy. The results reveal that educational level and age had a significant role on accepting the installation of PV agriculture. Farmers’ knowledge concerning agro-energy and their participation in farmers’ associations are positively related to their willingness to adopt AV as well. Full article
4 pages, 793 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Lameness Identification System in Cattle Breeding Units
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094013 - 22 Jan 2024
Viewed by 261
Abstract
Lameness is one of the most significant problems in cattle breeding. It is a major factor that causes discomfort and significantly reduces the welfare of affected animals. Lameness can result in a decrease in milk production or, if not detected early enough, may [...] Read more.
Lameness is one of the most significant problems in cattle breeding. It is a major factor that causes discomfort and significantly reduces the welfare of affected animals. Lameness can result in a decrease in milk production or, if not detected early enough, may require the animal to be culled, leading to severe direct and indirect economic consequences for the business. The delayed recognition of lameness is often due to the methods used for detection, which mainly rely on the observation of animal mobility by the breeder. These methods almost exclude the early detection of the problem. This work aims to establish a new detection system that will be able to identify on time, reliably, and at an early stage the lameness symptoms based on the movement parameters of the animals. Full article
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4 pages, 436 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Estimating Farmers’ Creditworthiness under a Changing Climate
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094014 - 22 Jan 2024
Viewed by 241
Abstract
CreditScore combines the predictive power of crop growth models with future climatic scenarios, satellite images, and market data to form a comprehensive profile for each farmer-borrower, based on the future yields of their crops, with the ultimate goal of assessing long-term risks affecting [...] Read more.
CreditScore combines the predictive power of crop growth models with future climatic scenarios, satellite images, and market data to form a comprehensive profile for each farmer-borrower, based on the future yields of their crops, with the ultimate goal of assessing long-term risks affecting yields which are related to climate change. The objective of this study is to present the tools and datasets that are employed operationally by CreditScore for future yield and profitability assessments. A modeling approach built on a fusion of satellite-derived vegetation indices, agro-meteorological indicators, and crop phenology is tested and evaluated in terms of data intensiveness for the prediction of wheat and cotton yields. AquaCrop, a process-based model, provided high to moderate accuracies by fully relying on freely available datasets as sources of input data. The findings introduce a promising framework that can support the financial institutions in evaluating potential customers’ agribusinesses prior to and throughout the lending process. Full article
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4 pages, 147 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Sectoral R&D Activities and Knowledge Production Functions: A Study Using International Data
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094015 - 23 Jan 2024
Viewed by 263
Abstract
This study explores the relationship between the stock of knowledge generated by sectoral groups of the economy, calculated using Research and Development (R&D) expenditure, and knowledge output as measured by official patent applications. Using sector-specific R&D expenditure data published by the OECD, we [...] Read more.
This study explores the relationship between the stock of knowledge generated by sectoral groups of the economy, calculated using Research and Development (R&D) expenditure, and knowledge output as measured by official patent applications. Using sector-specific R&D expenditure data published by the OECD, we calculate the total domestic R&D spending across the manufacturing, non-manufacturing, government, and educational sectors. Constructing a consistent 15-year panel dataset for the 17 most significant countries in R&D, we employ econometric subsampling, various estimators, and consider different rates of knowledge depreciation. Our findings reveal that the stock of knowledge in the private manufacturing, government, and educational sectors has a robust positive effect on patent generation. Full article
3 pages, 149 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Exploring the Financial Viability of Greenhouse Tomato Growers under Climate Change-Induced Multiple Stress
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094016 - 23 Jan 2024
Viewed by 276
Abstract
In this study, we implement a linear programming farm model to explore the impact of climate change-induced multiple stress on the financial viability of greenhouse tomato growers. The main results are that new technologies and innovations can compensate growers for any profit loss [...] Read more.
In this study, we implement a linear programming farm model to explore the impact of climate change-induced multiple stress on the financial viability of greenhouse tomato growers. The main results are that new technologies and innovations can compensate growers for any profit loss associated with climate change. However, if the cost of adaptation is high enough, then its financial benefits are constrained by how efficient these innovations are in terms of productivity. We did not observe significant differences in input use between ‘innovative’ and ‘conventional’ production, and the yield under the adoption of new technologies was higher compared to ‘conventional’ production. Full article
3 pages, 163 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
In Search of the Agronomist as Trusted Advisor: A Farmer-Centric Case Study
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094017 - 23 Jan 2024
Viewed by 272
Abstract
Given the interest in the new CAP in advisory services and the Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS), and the importance of trust development between farmers and advisors, in this piece of work we explore the issue of farmers’ trust towards their sources [...] Read more.
Given the interest in the new CAP in advisory services and the Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS), and the importance of trust development between farmers and advisors, in this piece of work we explore the issue of farmers’ trust towards their sources of advice. The field research addressed professional farmers who were in contact with agronomist(s) in Ioannina. Overall, 51 farmers were interviewed using a snowball technique. The trust model was utilized to provide important insights about the antecedents of trust towards advisors on the part of farmers, focusing on three elements: ability, benevolence and integrity. Full article
4 pages, 267 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Factors Influencing Consumer Receptivity to Sustainable Packaging: A Probit Regression Analysis
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094018 - 23 Jan 2024
Viewed by 303
Abstract
The objective of this study is to investigate whether specific socioeconomic and attitudinal factors impact consumer receptivity to sustainable food packaging, with a particular focus on edible cups. A total of 1028 respondents completed an online questionnaire, and the data were analyzed using [...] Read more.
The objective of this study is to investigate whether specific socioeconomic and attitudinal factors impact consumer receptivity to sustainable food packaging, with a particular focus on edible cups. A total of 1028 respondents completed an online questionnaire, and the data were analyzed using descriptive analysis and binary probit regression. The results reveal that demographic factors, such as household size and household economic position, have a positive influence on consumers’ intention to consume edible packages. Additionally, attitudinal factors were found to be significant, with food technology neophobia negatively affecting consumers’ willingness to try edible cups, while beliefs about the development of the sustainable packaging industry positively influence intention. Full article
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4 pages, 170 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
The Implementation of Innovation and the Attitudes of Farmers towards Advisory Services: The Case of Western Macedonia, Greece
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094019 - 23 Jan 2024
Viewed by 274
Abstract
This paper investigates the implementation of innovation and the advisory needs of farmers in agricultural holdings in Western Macedonia. The research carried out was divided into two parts. Initially, we investigated how the programs under analysis related to innovation in the agricultural sector, [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the implementation of innovation and the advisory needs of farmers in agricultural holdings in Western Macedonia. The research carried out was divided into two parts. Initially, we investigated how the programs under analysis related to innovation in the agricultural sector, specifically with respect to the improvement plans that were implemented in the region. Specifically, parameters such as age, gender, place of residence, and the types and number of investments were examined. The analysis revealed farmers’ characteristics and the types of their investments, in addition to their degrees of adoption of innovation and their attitudes towards innovation. We also tried to clarify the reasons leading farmers toward innovation and the importance of consulting services in their orientation towards innovative ideas. Full article
4 pages, 1397 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Online Sales Promotion of Geographical Indication Products: The Case of Evia PDO Dried Figs
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094020 - 23 Jan 2024
Viewed by 219
Abstract
Through a literature review and secondary research on the internet, the aim of this paper is to investigate the dynamics of the internet presence of the producers, packers, traders, and online sellers of PDO dried figs in the Kymi and Taxiarchi regions of [...] Read more.
Through a literature review and secondary research on the internet, the aim of this paper is to investigate the dynamics of the internet presence of the producers, packers, traders, and online sellers of PDO dried figs in the Kymi and Taxiarchi regions of the Evia Regional Unit, Greece. With the use of big data, an attempt is made to identify internet users’ preferences concerning the dried figs. Suggestions for improved internet presence that will match demand with supply can be subsidised from EU regional development funds and contribute to the increase in internet sales of PDO Evia dried figs. Full article
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7 pages, 2947 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Identifying Veterinary Students’ Attitudes on Entrepreneurial Intentions: A Two-Step Cluster Analysis
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094021 - 23 Jan 2024
Viewed by 454
Abstract
In this paper, the attitudes of veterinary students concerning the “factors driving their entrepreneurial intentions” and the “effects of family and wider environment on starting a business” were analyzed using Two-Step Cluster Analysis. A survey was conducted on 105 veterinary students who were [...] Read more.
In this paper, the attitudes of veterinary students concerning the “factors driving their entrepreneurial intentions” and the “effects of family and wider environment on starting a business” were analyzed using Two-Step Cluster Analysis. A survey was conducted on 105 veterinary students who were asked to indicate their “agreement” on certain individual issues. The analysis of the data collected resulted in two students’ profiles with respect to the factors driving their entrepreneurial intentions (“The cautious students” and “The reluctant students”), and in three students’ profiles with respect to the influence of family and the wider environment on starting a business (“The conscious students”, “The cautious and conservative students” and “The well informed and decisive students”). The study’s findings could contribute to reinforcing the actions of educational institutions towards targeted training of students on entrepreneurship/market issues. Full article
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3 pages, 374 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Consumers’ Trust and Preferences Regarding Local Plant Varieties and Indigenous Farm Animal Breeds in Western Macedonia, Greece
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094022 - 23 Jan 2024
Viewed by 229
Abstract
The value of rearing indigenous animal breeds and cultivating local plant varieties is extremely high in terms of regional economy and heritage preservation. The purpose of the present research was to investigate the preferences and opinions of consumers in Western Macedonia regarding local [...] Read more.
The value of rearing indigenous animal breeds and cultivating local plant varieties is extremely high in terms of regional economy and heritage preservation. The purpose of the present research was to investigate the preferences and opinions of consumers in Western Macedonia regarding local varieties and indigenous breeds. For this purpose, an appropriate questionnaire was designed and distributed to a sample of 80 consumers from Western Macedonia. The questions combined the demographic, psychographic and institutional characteristics of consumers. According to our findings, most participants recognize the importance of the conservation of indigenous animal breeds and local plant varieties as well as the products derived from them. Additionally, a large percentage showed a preference for these products for the purpose of supporting the local economy. Nevertheless, particularly for indigenous animal breeds, despite the recognition of their high value and need for conservation, only a small proportion of the participants could name some of the indigenous breeds correctly. Conversely, this was not observed concerning local plant varieties, of which participants were more aware. Thus, better promotion and overall better marketing could enhance the recognition of these resources, emphasizing their high value. Full article
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4 pages, 164 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Evaluation of the Certification Procedure of Farm Advisors in Greece
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094023 - 23 Jan 2024
Viewed by 230
Abstract
Farm Advisory constitutes one of the most important tools to support rural development in the European Union and is also an integral part of Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS). The purpose of this paper is to present the results of the evaluation [...] Read more.
Farm Advisory constitutes one of the most important tools to support rural development in the European Union and is also an integral part of Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS). The purpose of this paper is to present the results of the evaluation of the two calls for certification of Farm Advisors in Greece, which were addressed to individuals. The evaluation was based on a questionnaire survey of candidates who participated to the online certification procedure. The analysis is based on descriptive statistics methods and shows that overall most respondents were satisfied with most Modules, although they suggest to provide better links between scientific evidence and practical applications. Although there are serious limitations that do not permit to draw generalized conclusions, the evaluation procedure pointed out specific domains that require improvements and, especially, that a more robust evaluation system is required. Full article
6 pages, 2792 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Assessing Economic and Social Security in Agricultural Cooperatives: Two Case Studies from Cooperatives in Northern and Southern Greece
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094024 - 23 Jan 2024
Viewed by 219
Abstract
Agricultural cooperatives have an important role in supporting agricultural development and improving the well-being of their members. They provide farmers with financial and social security, as well as fostering an environment that is supportive of collective actions. This study aims to assess the [...] Read more.
Agricultural cooperatives have an important role in supporting agricultural development and improving the well-being of their members. They provide farmers with financial and social security, as well as fostering an environment that is supportive of collective actions. This study aims to assess the economic and social safety of female cooperative members by looking at their experiences and perceived improvements over time. It examines how gender dynamics, social capital, and cooperative engagement affect women’s perceptions of economic and social security through field surveys and structured interviews. According to the preliminary findings, active engagement in cooperatives improves women’s feelings of social security, belonging, and empowerment. They might not be as confident in their ability to make economic judgments due to societal prejudices, resource access restrictions, and cultural norms. This study emphasizes the potential of women to break down traditional gender norms and obstacles as well as the economic gains associated with cooperative activity. These findings provide empirical support and inform efforts to promote empowerment and gender equality in agricultural cooperatives. Full article
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5 pages, 436 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
The Annual Maintenance Costs of Draft Horses as a Part of Fixed Costs in Horse-Powered Agriculture: A Case Study from Požega, Croatia
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094025 - 24 Jan 2024
Viewed by 255
Abstract
The aim of this research is to estimate the fixed costs of the maintenance of draft horses in a low-input farm. Research has revealed that in the investigated case, the fixed costs of maintenance of three draft mares were EUR 5115.39 annually, with [...] Read more.
The aim of this research is to estimate the fixed costs of the maintenance of draft horses in a low-input farm. Research has revealed that in the investigated case, the fixed costs of maintenance of three draft mares were EUR 5115.39 annually, with human working hours having the greatest share of 73.6%. Income from sales of foals partially offsets the total fixed costs, thus virtually lowering the costs to the level of EUR 1215.39 annually. At the investigated farm (operating on 1.3 ha of arable field crops), the fixed costs per worked arable area were very high, amounting 934.92 EUR/ha, mainly because of little total arable area worked. The theoretical capacity of horse-powered farming with three mares historically was 15 ha, and at such an area, the fixed costs per hectare would fall to the acceptable level of 81 EUR/ha. However, the acceptance of horse-powered farming could face much hesitance, mainly because it is a labor-intensive way of farming, far from the attitudes of modern people. Personal inner transformation might help make this option more attractive. Full article
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4 pages, 407 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
The Effect of Farm Size on the Differences in Mastitis Prevalence and Its Consequences on Milk Production in Holstein Cows
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094026 - 24 Jan 2024
Viewed by 268
Abstract
Aiming to determine the prevalence of mastitis and its consequences on milk production, 3,953,637 test-day records of Holstein cows (period 01/2005 to 12/2022) were analyzed. The obtained analyses indicate differences in mastitis prevalence and the consequences on successive milk production depending on herd [...] Read more.
Aiming to determine the prevalence of mastitis and its consequences on milk production, 3,953,637 test-day records of Holstein cows (period 01/2005 to 12/2022) were analyzed. The obtained analyses indicate differences in mastitis prevalence and the consequences on successive milk production depending on herd size. The lowest mastitis prevalence was observed on the largest farms (>500), while the most pronounced recovery potential was observed for farms with 200–500 cows. Higher mastitis prevalence and lower recovery potential observed at smaller farms indicate the necessity of education and knowledge transfer to those farms. Full article
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5 pages, 785 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Exploring the Impact of the Greening of the Agri-Food Sector on Economic Growth: An Empirical Approach in the BVAR Framework for the EU
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094027 - 24 Jan 2024
Viewed by 281
Abstract
The Greening in agro—food sector has become within the last decade a high priority issue given the 17 Sustainable targets set by OECD. More specifically, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, intend to promote using environmental resources in close correlation with measures [...] Read more.
The Greening in agro—food sector has become within the last decade a high priority issue given the 17 Sustainable targets set by OECD. More specifically, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, intend to promote using environmental resources in close correlation with measures to reduce non-environmental human pressure on the planet as well as in agro-food sector. The present work studies the greening of agro-food sector as synopsized in emissions per capita by agro-food sector for the EU and its relation to economic growth per capita with the assistance of a BVAR framework. Our findings do not validate success in greening of agro—food sector since the emissions reduction is not accompanied by economic growth a result that rejects the hypothesis of eco efficiency. Future research could involve the construction of an index that should incorporate more variables that will reflect more accurately the greening efforts in agro—food sector. Full article
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4 pages, 789 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Partial Substitution of Fresh Microalgae with Baker’s Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) Enhances the Growth of Juvenile Ostrea edulis and Ruditapes decussatus
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094028 - 24 Jan 2024
Viewed by 293
Abstract
The hatchery culture of bivalve mollusks depends on feeding with fresh microalgae which represent up to 50% of the production costs. We investigated the growth performance of juvenile Ostrea edulis and Ruditapes decussatus under 15% and 30% replacement of microalgae with Saccharomyces cerevisiae [...] Read more.
The hatchery culture of bivalve mollusks depends on feeding with fresh microalgae which represent up to 50% of the production costs. We investigated the growth performance of juvenile Ostrea edulis and Ruditapes decussatus under 15% and 30% replacement of microalgae with Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Metabolic indices were measured along with weight-specific growth rate and condition index for 28 days. 15% substitution led to great results, whereas 30% yeast-fed treatments displayed poor growth and a depressed metabolism. Full article
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4 pages, 157 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
The Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS) in a Changing Environment in Greece
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094029 - 25 Jan 2024
Viewed by 276
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to answer the question of whether the Greek AKIS system can contribute to the different requirements of the new trends in agriculture according to its main functions. A SWOT analysis has been applied to examine the internal [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to answer the question of whether the Greek AKIS system can contribute to the different requirements of the new trends in agriculture according to its main functions. A SWOT analysis has been applied to examine the internal and external environment. Data were collected from 61 experts/representatives of organizations (policy, education, research, consulting, agricultural cooperatives, credit, private companies, and farmers). The data were analysed using Excel spreadsheets and the Statical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS V.28). Based on this method, dominant strengths and weaknesses as well as opportunities and threats of AKIS were identified as a starting point, as well as useful guidance for decision makers, local authorities, and the other actors in Greece. Full article
4 pages, 1354 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Sustainability Assessment of Highly Biodiversified Farming Systems: Multicriteria Assessment of Greek Arable Crops
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094030 - 25 Jan 2024
Viewed by 272
Abstract
The intensive agriculture that is used in many countries has led to a reduction in biodiversity and the deterioration of the environment. Therefore, it is important to increase the adoption of cropping systems with high biodiversity. The objectives of the present study were [...] Read more.
The intensive agriculture that is used in many countries has led to a reduction in biodiversity and the deterioration of the environment. Therefore, it is important to increase the adoption of cropping systems with high biodiversity. The objectives of the present study were the following: 1. assess the performance and sustainability of novel highly diversified production systems compared to the current traditional system and 2. provide quantitative economic and ecosystem service information for farmers, extension workers, and policy makers in order to support the development of sustainable and resilient high species cultivar/landrace diversification (HSD) production systems. The rotation of wheat–pea–barley was a system with low energy inputs and high outputs, significantly increasing the energy efficiency. Also, the same system demonstrated better economic and environmental indices, making it a suitable cropping system for Mediterranean areas. Full article
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4 pages, 510 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Important Parameters Connected to Farmers’ Networking and Training That Give Added Value to “Fasolia Vanilies Feneou” and “Fava Feneou” Products
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094031 - 25 Jan 2024
Viewed by 249
Abstract
The official designation of the bean “Fasolia Vanilies Feneou” and grass pea “Fava Feneou” as Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) products do not extend protection to their cultivated genetic material due to their non-inclusion in the National Catalog of Varieties [EC 2008/62/EK (official Greek [...] Read more.
The official designation of the bean “Fasolia Vanilies Feneou” and grass pea “Fava Feneou” as Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) products do not extend protection to their cultivated genetic material due to their non-inclusion in the National Catalog of Varieties [EC 2008/62/EK (official Greek Gazette) FEK 165/30-Juanuary-2014] as recognized traditional cultivars. This omission poses a significant risk to the genetic diversity of these varieties, potentially leading to the loss of their distinct characteristics, decreased yields, and compromised quality. The primary objective of this project is to ensure the preservation of these local varieties through a comprehensive study of their genetic variability. Additionally, it aims to adhere to official protocols for describing and subsequently registering these varieties in the National List of Varieties. This registration will enhance the product’s value and secure its unique identity. The experimentation phase of the project focuses on evaluating the landrace to select plants that demonstrate improved productivity and quality. This work presents the parameters connected with the description of the unique identity of this product; its origin, traceability, and local agricultural practices; and specific product characteristics that will contribute to this. The product will be utilized by Kiato Union IKE and, at the same time, farmers will be trained in the excellent seed reproduction and production of the product. This initiative promises several benefits for the agricultural cooperative and producers in Feneos. Full article
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4 pages, 1020 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Co-Design and Co-Evaluation of Traditional and Highly Biodiversity-Based Cropping Systems in the Mediterranean Area
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094032 - 25 Jan 2024
Viewed by 262
Abstract
Intensive agriculture has created several problems in cropping systems that threaten the sustainability of agricultural production. In order to design new cropping systems, a new approach is emerging to support the transition toward sustainable agriculture: a co-design and co-evaluation process that involves stakeholders [...] Read more.
Intensive agriculture has created several problems in cropping systems that threaten the sustainability of agricultural production. In order to design new cropping systems, a new approach is emerging to support the transition toward sustainable agriculture: a co-design and co-evaluation process that involves stakeholders in the agrifood chain. The present work therefore describes the co-design and co-evaluation process that was followed to design a highly diversified cropping system in a Mediterranean environment. The different systems that were co-designed include the reference system, with wheat and barley in rotation, as well as three diversified systems that were also proposed and co-evaluated: the rotation of wheat, oil seed rape, and barley (DIV1); the rotation of wheat, pea, and barley (DIV2); and the rotation of wheat, intercrops of barley-common vetch, and barley (DIV3). The best system that was selected from the different stakeholders was the DIV3, as it had the highest evaluation of the stakeholders using agronomic, environmental, and socio-economic criteria. Full article
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4 pages, 170 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Building Advisors and Researchers’ Capacity to Support Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems in Europe: The Case of the I2CONNECT Summer School
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094033 - 25 Jan 2024
Viewed by 256
Abstract
The I2CONNECT Horizon project introduced summer school training, aiming at strengthening the capacity of future advisors and researchers to support interactive innovations. The training consisted of two online sessions and a four-day face-to-face course, covering basic concepts and various methodological tools for stimulating [...] Read more.
The I2CONNECT Horizon project introduced summer school training, aiming at strengthening the capacity of future advisors and researchers to support interactive innovations. The training consisted of two online sessions and a four-day face-to-face course, covering basic concepts and various methodological tools for stimulating active participation and strengthening innovation networks. The findings indicate the effectiveness of interactive training in cultivating skills and attitudes that enable innovations and also imply the need for the integration of participatory learning and methodological knowledge on interactive processes into university curricula. Modifying traditional university education in this direction could enhance the design and implementation of interactive projects, facilitating actors’ navigation through innovative ecosystems. Full article
5 pages, 650 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
The Use of Digital Media in Equestrian Clubs in Croatia
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094034 - 25 Jan 2024
Viewed by 254
Abstract
This paper aimed to analyze the use of digital media, and the research was conducted via a web survey sent by e-mail to equestrian clubs in Croatia. Social media has significantly altered the way of communication and the availability of information in all [...] Read more.
This paper aimed to analyze the use of digital media, and the research was conducted via a web survey sent by e-mail to equestrian clubs in Croatia. Social media has significantly altered the way of communication and the availability of information in all segments of life and work, including horse breeding. Within digital media, an extremely large amount of information is available that is not necessarily relevant and true. To prevent the use of inadequate information, in 60% of equestrian clubs in Croatia, certain persons are responsible for the content. Less than 50% of the respondents follow influencer posts. Furthermore, 90% of the respondents believe that digital media is an excellent tool that can help in the work of equestrian clubs, while 80% of the respondents believe that it is currently underutilized. Full article
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4 pages, 989 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
An Investigation of the Digital Presence of Agricultural Stores in Greece
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094035 - 25 Jan 2024
Viewed by 270
Abstract
Websites are one of the most important digital marketing tools for businesses, through which they interact with users and establish their online presence. A well-designed website is effective in attracting and retaining customers and increasing sales. Automated website evaluation tools are a quick [...] Read more.
Websites are one of the most important digital marketing tools for businesses, through which they interact with users and establish their online presence. A well-designed website is effective in attracting and retaining customers and increasing sales. Automated website evaluation tools are a quick and easy solution for assessing a website, offering immediate results and suggestions for its improvement. In this study, the characteristics of the digital presence of agricultural stores in Greece during 2021–2022 were investigated, using Website Grader and Google Lighthouse tools for a sample of 282 websites. This work shows potential improvements of agricultural store websites over time and can also be used to improve evaluation tools. Full article
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4 pages, 1417 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Factors Connected with the Registration of “Sikali Vevis” as a Geographical Indication Protection (PGI) Product
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094036 - 25 Jan 2024
Viewed by 245
Abstract
The rate of rye consumption is increasing due to its benefits for human health. “Sikali Vevis” is a cultivated traditional rye population of the Vevi area, Florina of Western Macedonia, Greece, which supports the local agricultural community. However, the identity of this traditional [...] Read more.
The rate of rye consumption is increasing due to its benefits for human health. “Sikali Vevis” is a cultivated traditional rye population of the Vevi area, Florina of Western Macedonia, Greece, which supports the local agricultural community. However, the identity of this traditional population is not yet protected. This work, funded under the Agricultural Development Program 2014–2020 (Measure 16), Sub-Measure 16.1–16.2 (project Μ16SYN2-00321), will present the parameters connected with the description of the unique identity of this product, its origin, its traceability, local agricultural practices, and specific characteristics that will contribute to the protection of this traditional population. Full article
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4 pages, 409 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Agricultural Value Added, Farm Business Cycles and Their Relation to the Non-Farm Economy
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094037 - 23 Jan 2024
Viewed by 154
Abstract
This paper investigates the relationship between the gross value added (GVA) of Greece’s agricultural sector and the GVAs of the other sectors. The research considers both the relationship between value levels and the cycles of GVAs. Dynamic analysis using ARDL modeling shows that [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the relationship between the gross value added (GVA) of Greece’s agricultural sector and the GVAs of the other sectors. The research considers both the relationship between value levels and the cycles of GVAs. Dynamic analysis using ARDL modeling shows that there is no cointegration between agricultural GVA and the other GVAs. However, there is an estimated cointegrating relationship between business cycles of agriculture and those of the rest of the economic sectors, with the cycles of services being the significant variable. Moreover, econometric analysis using NARDL modeling shows that there is a cointegrating relationship between the levels of GVAs as well, when asymmetricity—with respect to GVA changes of the services sector—is introduced. Full article
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4 pages, 434 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Cultivate Crops or Produce Energy? Factors Affecting the Decision of Farmers to Install Photovoltaics on Their Farmland
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094038 - 30 Jan 2024
Viewed by 209
Abstract
The aim of this study was to examine the factors affecting farmers’ willingness to invest in photovoltaics as well as the factors affecting the amount of money they would invest. The study was performed on a representative farmer sample in Northern Greece through [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to examine the factors affecting farmers’ willingness to invest in photovoltaics as well as the factors affecting the amount of money they would invest. The study was performed on a representative farmer sample in Northern Greece through the use of structured questionnaires. Two models were developed using categorical regression, with the first model indicating that the willingness to invest was mostly affected by the provision of subsidies and the type of cultivation used for the land in question. The amount of money farmers would invest was mostly affected by the number of hectares of irrigated and dry land that famers had, thereby suggesting that the more farmland they own the more the money they would invest. Results raise policy implications as they show an increased interest in installing renewable systems on farmland which, in turn, raises concerns about the agricultural development of the country. Full article
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4 pages, 632 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Upgrading Value Chains through Farm Advisory
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094039 - 01 Feb 2024
Viewed by 437
Abstract
The article discusses the benefits of an integrated farm advisory program on sheep farms, focusing on improving their economic performance. The program involves a team of experts providing advice on animal nutrition and farm management, and conducting a thorough techno-economic analysis before and [...] Read more.
The article discusses the benefits of an integrated farm advisory program on sheep farms, focusing on improving their economic performance. The program involves a team of experts providing advice on animal nutrition and farm management, and conducting a thorough techno-economic analysis before and after recommendations. The economic impact is assessed using a partial budget tool. Results show increased yields, decreased production costs, and increased gross value added. The program requires a cohesive group of experts, trusting relationships between farmers and consultants, and funding. Implementing this program on a large scale can upgrade the relevant value chain. Full article
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4 pages, 949 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Veterinary Students’ Perceptions of Entrepreneurship Education
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094040 - 02 Feb 2024
Viewed by 121
Abstract
In this study, the opinions and perceptions of students at a school of veterinary medicine regarding the importance of entrepreneurship education in modern higher education are investigated. A Likert-scale questionnaire design was used to record veterinary students’ responses on issues related to entrepreneurship [...] Read more.
In this study, the opinions and perceptions of students at a school of veterinary medicine regarding the importance of entrepreneurship education in modern higher education are investigated. A Likert-scale questionnaire design was used to record veterinary students’ responses on issues related to entrepreneurship education and its impact on their entrepreneurial mindset, as well as on the students’ carrier aspirations and on the factors that influence their carrier choices. The survey was conducted in 2022, and in total, 105 graduates completed the questionnaire. The responses were analyzed through a descriptive statistical analysis using IBM SPSS Statistics 28. The present study confirms that there is a significant need for entrepreneurship education in order to start, develop, and successfully realize business ideas. Full article
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4 pages, 161 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
The Role of Cooperative Enterprises in the Promotion of Cultural Heritage: A Case Study of the Petrified Forest of Lesvos
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094041 - 04 Feb 2024
Viewed by 223
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to analyze the relationship between SSE bodies, culture and sustainable development, studying the case of the Petrified Forest of Sigri on the island of Lesvos and its interaction with the cooperative of the neighboring settlement of Eresos. [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to analyze the relationship between SSE bodies, culture and sustainable development, studying the case of the Petrified Forest of Sigri on the island of Lesvos and its interaction with the cooperative of the neighboring settlement of Eresos. Qualitative research was conducted by reviewing the relevant literature and implementing semi-structured interviews. A SWOT analysis was also conducted. The results showed that the Eresos Agricultural and Livestock Cooperative in Sigri, in collaboration with other agencies, can contribute to the sustainability of the area. The cooperative lacks organized promotion, beyond that attempted by the Natural History Museum based in Sigri. Full article
4 pages, 184 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Decision Support Model for Integrating the New Cross-Compliance Rules and Rational Water Management
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094042 - 04 Feb 2024
Viewed by 213
Abstract
The aim of this study is to change land use by applying a decision support model that will contribute to the assimilation of the new cross-compliance rules, to optimal water management, and to the enhancement of the effectiveness and profitability of the farms. [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to change land use by applying a decision support model that will contribute to the assimilation of the new cross-compliance rules, to optimal water management, and to the enhancement of the effectiveness and profitability of the farms. The research objective will be achieved by establishing 50-acre pilot fields for five farmer groups through the optimal allocation of limited economic and land resources. The result extracted will lead to the gradual incorporation of the new directives to reduce production costs and recognize the new cross-compliance rules. Full article
4 pages, 166 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Decision Support Model for Input Minimization and the Optimal Economic Efficiency of Agricultural Holdings
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094043 - 04 Feb 2024
Viewed by 202
Abstract
This study aims to change land use by implementing a Decision Support Model (DMS) with the goal of reducing water and fertilizer use. The problem is solved by deriving the necessary results of a set of selected pilot fields that belong to a [...] Read more.
This study aims to change land use by implementing a Decision Support Model (DMS) with the goal of reducing water and fertilizer use. The problem is solved by deriving the necessary results of a set of selected pilot fields that belong to a farmer group located in the region of Central Macedonia. In order to define the pilot farms, the necessary data are collected and then processed using multicriteria weighted goal programming in order to develop a Decision Support Model that is related to the reduction of water and fertilizer use. Full article
3 pages, 149 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Using Pollen DNA Metabarcoding to Assess the Foraging Preferences of Honeybees in Kastoria Region, Greece
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094044 - 02 Feb 2024
Viewed by 135
Abstract
Identification of a plant’s pollen components can be used to establish its geographical provenance, while also providing insights into the diet and foraging preferences of the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.). The diversity and amount of pollen represent crucial factors for pollinators. Here, [...] Read more.
Identification of a plant’s pollen components can be used to establish its geographical provenance, while also providing insights into the diet and foraging preferences of the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.). The diversity and amount of pollen represent crucial factors for pollinators. Here, we identified plant species visited by honeybees by analyzing the pollen pellets collected from honeybees in Kastoria, Greece. The results indicate that pollen from different periods was identified by means of floral composition. An interesting observation is that all identified plants belonged to different genera. Among the identified plants, native ones, such as the Macedonian pine, Pinus peuce, present a distinct foraging profile for local honeybees. Full article
4 pages, 2597 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Towards a Farmer-Centric Approach to Advise Provision
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094045 - 05 Feb 2024
Viewed by 188
Abstract
The objective of this piece of work is to further the understanding of the roles played by a wide range of advice providers in farmer decision-making. Results show that from the perspective of a farmer, advice provision and advice providers are much more [...] Read more.
The objective of this piece of work is to further the understanding of the roles played by a wide range of advice providers in farmer decision-making. Results show that from the perspective of a farmer, advice provision and advice providers are much more varied than is assumed in common perspectives in policy and research. This, in turn calls for a ‘farmer centered advice paradigm’ while acknowledging (a) the heterogeneity of farmers’ circumstances, and (b) that the term advisor may fit any person who provides advice. Full article
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5 pages, 405 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Farmers Vocational Education and Training: The Case of Public Institutes of Vocational Training at ELGO-DIMITRA
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094046 - 04 Feb 2024
Viewed by 194
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the current organizational climate of Public Vocational Education and Training Initiatives at ELGO-DIMITRA in Greece. It utilized a SWOT analysis to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the Institute’s programs. The findings indicate [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the current organizational climate of Public Vocational Education and Training Initiatives at ELGO-DIMITRA in Greece. It utilized a SWOT analysis to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the Institute’s programs. The findings indicate a need to ensure the quality of Vocational Education and Training Initiatives and enhance the educational services provided to young farmers by adopting a regularly updated framework. This study is crucial for future research, and it is important to replicate it with different focus groups, including trainers, trainees, and graduates, who can provide valuable insight into the sustainability of the Vocational Education and Training Initiatives. Full article
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4 pages, 582 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
The Use of Precision Agriculture for Improving the Water Economics of Farms and the Need for Agricultural Advisory
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094047 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 147
Abstract
The rational management of water, which is determined by the Framework Directive 2000/60/EC of the EU, is a contractual obligation of the Agricultural Sector of Cyprus, both towards the European Union and the next generations of Cypriot citizens. To make decisions about sustainable [...] Read more.
The rational management of water, which is determined by the Framework Directive 2000/60/EC of the EU, is a contractual obligation of the Agricultural Sector of Cyprus, both towards the European Union and the next generations of Cypriot citizens. To make decisions about sustainable water use and improve water use, it is necessary to understand the water use of crops in different water-use areas. Especially in large water projects in Cyprus, there must be a good way to determine the water use of crops so that the correct use of crops can be ensured, thus eliminating problems such as a lack of new information about the crop area and agricultural evaporation, Demand, and water. In most projects, water is managed and supplied based on historical data, and current information is available to determine water demand and availability for large areas. This paper also adds, apart from the clear positive effect of remote sensing and new technologies in crop irrigation, to the emerging need for advisory services for the diffusion of innovation to Cypriot farmers since the estimation of crop water requirements is part of estimating the carbon footprint under the project CARBONICA (EU Funded) for carbon farming. Full article
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4 pages, 150 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Opinions and Perceptions on Sustainable Weed Management: A Comparison between Greek and Tunisian Farmers
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094048 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 73
Abstract
Societal awareness, demand for innovative food systems and increasing herbicide resistance have induced policy, regulatory and research actions towards the adoption of sustainable weed management, which is based on sustainable, integrated and ecological principles. The study investigates farmers’ perceptions with regard to sustainable [...] Read more.
Societal awareness, demand for innovative food systems and increasing herbicide resistance have induced policy, regulatory and research actions towards the adoption of sustainable weed management, which is based on sustainable, integrated and ecological principles. The study investigates farmers’ perceptions with regard to sustainable weed management, considering that the adoption of relevant practices depends on a set of farmer-specific and innovation-specific attributes. To achieve this purpose, an on-site survey was conducted in Greece and Tunisia based on a structured questionnaire, which was completed by 105 arable farmers in total. The questionnaire was designed to record farmers’ opinions and preferences regarding aspects related to sustainable weed management, such as innovation and the decision making process. Using descriptive statistics methods, the study pinpointed significant differences between the responses of Greek and Tunisian farmers due to their particular needs and characteristics, suggesting thus the integration of targeted approaches towards the expansion of sustainable weed management. Full article
4 pages, 165 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Fava Santorinis: Brining Added Value to a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) Product through the Security of the Traditional Cultivar and Farmers Network
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094049 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 101
Abstract
The characterization of “Fava Santorinis” as a PDO product does not protect the cultivated genetic material that produces this product, since this is not registered as a traditional cultivar in the National Common Catalogue. The failure to include this information presents a significant [...] Read more.
The characterization of “Fava Santorinis” as a PDO product does not protect the cultivated genetic material that produces this product, since this is not registered as a traditional cultivar in the National Common Catalogue. The failure to include this information presents a significant hazard to the genetic diversity of these cultivars, potentially resulting in the loss of their distinct traits, reduced crop yields, and quality. Furthermore, it seeks to comply with established procedures for characterizing and subsequently register this traditional cultivar in the National List of Varieties. The “Santorini Fava” (Lathyrus sp.) is a renowned agricultural product that is unique to Santorini, and it has played a pivotal role in upholding the island’s traditional agriculture. Today, the local agricultural cooperation continues the cultivation of this crop, preserving it as an indispensable facet of the island’s cultural heritage. The objective of the project M16SYN2-00135 is to guarantee and secure this indigenous variety, from which the PDO product in question originates, by applying official description protocols and making use of the existing know-how for the description of the genetic material, the definition of the landrace, and its description for registration in the National Catalog of Varieties. At the same time, the sustainable management of viral diseases and the rational management of its seed production will lead to an increase in productivity, its stabilization, and ultimately, its shielding. The product will be utilized by the cooperative contributing to the sustainability of the holdings and the prevention of commercial exploitation of the traditional variety beyond the area of origin based on the best practices for the preservation of the varieties. Full article
4 pages, 166 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
An Empirical Investigation of Ethical Food Choices: A Qualitative Research Approach
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094050 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 213
Abstract
Why do customers incorporate concerns about social and environmental issues into the decision-making process? How ethical are food choices in the modern world? Answers to these questions have often revolved around how informed consumers might be and whether they have the appropriate skills [...] Read more.
Why do customers incorporate concerns about social and environmental issues into the decision-making process? How ethical are food choices in the modern world? Answers to these questions have often revolved around how informed consumers might be and whether they have the appropriate skills to act on concerns they might have. Today, ethical food consumption is a growing market where consumers’ behavior shifts from the rational manner focusing on the products price and attributes to the food ethics associated with environment, social welfare, public health, and morality. Using data selected from a purposive sample of 20 consumers, this study employed a qualitative research procedure to explore the main dimensions that influence the decision-making process and eating preferences in the post-COVID 19 era and within an economically turbulent environment. The main results showed that health protection, sustainability, and social wefare constitute the main axes of ethical food consumption. Participants were found to be more individualists than altruists since the “personal health” dimension was the most prevalent. Future research should extend these findings and explore variations in the ethical consumption factors among various consumer segments. Full article
4 pages, 140 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Unraveling the Research Landscape of Happiness through Agro, Agri, and Rural Tourism for Future Directions
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094051 - 20 Feb 2024
Viewed by 107
Abstract
“Agro”, “agri”, and “rural” tourism have gained significant attention as emerging forms of tourism that provide unique experiences rooted in agricultural and rural settings. Beyond their economic and cultural contributions, these forms of tourism have been found to have a profound impact on [...] Read more.
“Agro”, “agri”, and “rural” tourism have gained significant attention as emerging forms of tourism that provide unique experiences rooted in agricultural and rural settings. Beyond their economic and cultural contributions, these forms of tourism have been found to have a profound impact on individual happiness and well-being. This piece of work delves into the mechanisms underlying the relationship between “agro”, “agri”, or “rural” tourism and happiness, drawing from research in sociology and environmental science. By understanding the science behind this connection, we can further promote the development and implementation of “agro”, “agri”, and “rural” tourism initiatives that foster happiness and well-being. This study aims to examine existing research on “agro”, “agri”, or “rural” tourism and happiness, assess the implications of relevant scientific articles, and identify potential areas for future research. A systematic process was employed to identify articles related to terms such as “agrotourism”, “agro tourism”, “agro-tourism”, “agritourism”, “agri tourism”, “agri-tourism”, or “rural tourism” and happiness in the Scopus database. The selection criteria focused on articles that explored the above terms in their titles, abstracts, and keywords. The findings equally rely on qualitative and quantitative assessments, predominantly from the demand side, followed by the supply side and residents’ views. Full article
4 pages, 1207 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
The Impact of the Improved Genetic Material to the Economic Value of Plake Fasoli Prespon PGI Product
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094052 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 73
Abstract
The project aims to safeguard this local variety by comprehensively studying its genetic variability. Furthermore, it seeks to follow official protocols for the description and subsequent registration of the variety in the National List of Varieties, increasing the product’s value and securing its [...] Read more.
The project aims to safeguard this local variety by comprehensively studying its genetic variability. Furthermore, it seeks to follow official protocols for the description and subsequent registration of the variety in the National List of Varieties, increasing the product’s value and securing its identity. Experimentation targets evaluation of the landrace to select plants with improved productivity and quality. The profit from implementing the program will come from a combination of higher productivity due to the use of improved genetic material, improved consulting services related to agricultural techniques, and increased values due to higher prices due to authenticating the product. This initiative aspires to provide benefits for the Agricultural Cooperative of Bean producers of the Prespes area. At the same time, the farmers will be trained for good seed reproduction and production of the landrace. Full article
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4 pages, 185 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Rural Infrastructure Using Dry-Stone Walling, an Asset for Sustainable Development in a Regional and Local Context
Proceedings 2024, 94(1), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2024094053 - 20 Feb 2024
Viewed by 36
Abstract
In this study, dry-stone walling was assessed by the public to map perceptions on the recognition, durability, appeal, food production aspects, biodiversity advocacy, and other characteristics and functions of dry-stone walling. The survey’s goal was to define how informed the public is about [...] Read more.
In this study, dry-stone walling was assessed by the public to map perceptions on the recognition, durability, appeal, food production aspects, biodiversity advocacy, and other characteristics and functions of dry-stone walling. The survey’s goal was to define how informed the public is about the functions performed by dry-stone walling. The answers were expected to reveal whether the returns of dry-stone walling are widely acknowledged by the public, what the key factors are for the dissemination of these profits, and if there is solid ground for the reintroduction of dry-stone walling as a cutting-edge choice for new projects. Full article
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