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Developing Irrigation Management at District Scale Based on Water Monitoring: Study on Lis Valley, Portugal
Article

Assessment of Factors Constraining Organic Farming Expansion in Lis Valley, Portugal

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Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra, Escola Superior Agrária de Coimbra, Coimbra, 3045-601 Coimbra, Portugal
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IIA—Institute of Applied Research, CERNAS—Research Centre for Natural Resources, Environment and Society, Coimbra, 3045-093 Coimbra, Portugal
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Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal
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Direção Regional de Agricultura e Pescas do Centro, Av. Fernão de Magalhães, Coimbra, 3000-177 Coimbra, Portugal
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Associação de Regantes e Beneficiários do Vale do Lis, Quinta do Picoto, Leiria, 2425-492 Souto da Carpalhosa, Portugal
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
AgriEngineering 2020, 2(1), 111-127; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriengineering2010008
Received: 30 December 2019 / Revised: 3 February 2020 / Accepted: 5 February 2020 / Published: 10 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from 10th Iberian Agroengineering Congress)
Organic farming can play an important role in rural development and food production, by reinforcing the trend toward sustainable agriculture and its purpose of ecosystem conservation. The agribusiness of organic farming is particularly relevant in family farming, given the labor availability and the short marketing circuits. The innovative techniques of organic farming, namely with soil fertility, weed and pest control, opens a wide range of possibilities in its development and extension. The expectation of organic farming profitability in small-scale family farming, supported by known successful examples, were the theme of a field study on Lis Valley Irrigation District to assess the constraints to its expansion in order to outline the procedures for the acquisition of technical knowledge, the adaptation of technologies, the support for the conversion of production models, and the specialized training of farmers for action. Results revealed that the: (i) farmer’s land structure, (ii) their mature age, (iii) low education level, and (iv) markets, are the main constrains for organic farming development. Furthermore, other uncertainties were identified, namely: (i) the certification process, (ii) the knowledge of new technologies, especially of crop protection, and (iii) the marketing problems to guaranteeing profitability. This study concludes that organic farming has significant potential for development in the Lis Valley and that the efforts and resources of the various stakeholders, namely the state, need to be harmonized to deliver effective support to farmers to promote organic farming that prioritizes: (i) rural development policies, (ii) supporting land restructuring, (iii) modernization of irrigation, (iv) stimulation of young farmers, (v) conversion and implementation of innovative technologies, (vi) the organization of farmers for better productive efficiency, and (vii) to facilitate market access. View Full-Text
Keywords: irrigation; Operational Groups; organic agriculture; rural development; rural reparcelling; land tenure irrigation; Operational Groups; organic agriculture; rural development; rural reparcelling; land tenure
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ferreira, S.; Oliveira, F.; Gomes da Silva, F.; Teixeira, M.; Gonçalves, M.; Eugénio, R.; Damásio, H.; Gonçalves, J.M. Assessment of Factors Constraining Organic Farming Expansion in Lis Valley, Portugal. AgriEngineering 2020, 2, 111-127. https://doi.org/10.3390/agriengineering2010008

AMA Style

Ferreira S, Oliveira F, Gomes da Silva F, Teixeira M, Gonçalves M, Eugénio R, Damásio H, Gonçalves JM. Assessment of Factors Constraining Organic Farming Expansion in Lis Valley, Portugal. AgriEngineering. 2020; 2(1):111-127. https://doi.org/10.3390/agriengineering2010008

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ferreira, Susana, Fátima Oliveira, Francisco Gomes da Silva, Margarida Teixeira, Madalena Gonçalves, Rui Eugénio, Henrique Damásio, and José M. Gonçalves 2020. "Assessment of Factors Constraining Organic Farming Expansion in Lis Valley, Portugal" AgriEngineering 2, no. 1: 111-127. https://doi.org/10.3390/agriengineering2010008

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