Special Issue "Agro-Food Policies, Public Efforts, Economic, Social and Environmental Sustainability in Rural Development"

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Farming Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 3748

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Paulina Rytkönen
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Guest Editor
School of Business Studies, EnterForum - Centre for Entrepreneurship Research and Education, Department of Social Sciences, Södertörn University, 14189 Huddinge, Sweden
Interests: agro-food policies; entrepreneurship; innovation processes and diffusion of innovations; global and local agro-food systems; rural development
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Prof. Dr. Theodosia Anthopoulou
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Social Policy, School of Political Sciences, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, 17671 Athens, Greece
Interests: rural restructuring and multifunctionality of rural areas; localized agro-food systems (SYAL); alternative and solidarity food networks; social innovation and community-led territorial/ rural development
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Karin Dahlström
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies, Södertörn University, S-141 89 Huddinge, Sweden
Interests: leading and organizing service, change, quality, sustainability and CSR, value creation; rural and micro-enterprise entrepreneurship
Dr. Håkan Tunón
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Swedish Biodiversity Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala 75007, Sweden
Interests: traditional knowledge; ethnobotany; customary use of biological diversity (ethnobiology)
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past few decades, rural development has become a key instrument in national and regional development policies, in the CAP, as well as in public initiatives to cope with the fast depopulation of remote/less favored rural areas, the increased financial uncertainty that forces farmers to either increase their productive scale or to shift economic activities entirely by opening rural B&Bs, offering tourism services, elaborating farm produce on the farm, and/or by selling directly to consumers through various forms of community supported agriculture or farmer’s markets, just to mention a few examples. In addition, the intensification of agriculture and change of land use has led to biodiversity losses.

At least in Europe, the shift from a previous focus on agriculture and agricultural development to rural development is driven by parallel and interconnected processes influenced by various types of policies, public initiatives, and market events, all of which have repercussions on rural development or vice versa.

Some of these are better known, while others have passed by without too much attention. The sphere of well-known and previously discussed changes encompasses the following: the globalization of agro-food markets which has resulted in a substantial rise in market competition level causing a dramatic transformation of rural societies and agriculture within national, regional, and international contexts. At the same time, consciousness about environmental challenges, not the least biodiversity loss and recurring weather-related events, including floods, droughts, and wildfires are presenting new challenges to society, governments, the agro-food sector, and local and rural communities all over the world.

In addition, societal expectations for rural areas to produce raw materials to substitute fossil fuel and de-industrialization, re-industrialization, and structural changes in the economy at all levels has clarified the potential of rural areas for the creation of new post-industrial jobs that can prevent further depopulation of rural areas and promote rural cohesion by creating new post-industrial work opportunities in rural tourism and other rurally connected services. Besides, the food and economic crisis (2007/08) has revealed the importance of rural areas for maintaining regional and national economies and fostering food sovereignty and highlighted the rural as a locus of resilience.

As reality is constantly changing, there is a need to analyze the main drivers behind rural development, both in the short and long term, and which policies have a positive or a negative impact. In addition, path-dependent features might be revealed, helping us understand the forces that shape rural development today and in the future. There are still many topics that need more scrutiny, and some examples include the following: 1) How does entrepreneurism in regional and rural policies influence rural development?; 2) What role does crisis play in the emergence of different paths in rural development? (e.g., the financial crisis in Europe, especially in Southern Europe from 2009 and currently, the outburst of the Covid-19 pandemic); 3) In what way does rural labor migration, especially within the common European market influence rural development in the rural areas involved (both those that are left by migrants and those that receive migrants). What are the benefits and downsides of labor migration? 4) How do economic integration or disintegration within the common European market and economic influence rural development?; 5) How can we understand the impact of social technologies in the reshaping of rural development either by opening up new opportunities or making old solutions obsolete?

This Special Issue invites scholars from all disciplines and regions, but especially from Europe to contribute empirical and theoretical contributions on topics related to “Agro-Food Policies, Public Efforts, Economic, Social, and Environmental Sustainability in Rural Development”.

Dr. Paulina Rytkönen
Prof. Theodosia Anthopoulou
Dr. Karin Dahlström
Dr. Håkan Tunón
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agronomy is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • agricultural, food, environmental and rural development policies
  • governance
  • local food systems and CSA
  • rural development patterns, rural development strategies, and rural cohesion
  • farming strategies
  • agricultural, rural and social entrepreneurship
  • biocultural heritage
  • environmental challenges and opportunities
  • labor issues, labor migration, competence, and educational gaps and experiences
  • gender issues related to rural development
  • empowerment, rural responses, and local community strategies
  • agricultural and rural history

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Are Environmental Regulations to Promote Eco-Innovation in the Wine Sector Effective? A Study of Spanish Wineries
Agronomy 2022, 12(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12010021 - 23 Dec 2021
Viewed by 797
Abstract
In a changing socio-economic and ecological context, the agri-food industry, where the use of natural resources is very important, must pay more and more attention to green and eco-innovation. Public decision-makers have started to implement measures to encourage the adoption of sustainable practices [...] Read more.
In a changing socio-economic and ecological context, the agri-food industry, where the use of natural resources is very important, must pay more and more attention to green and eco-innovation. Public decision-makers have started to implement measures to encourage the adoption of sustainable practices by companies, which are also pressured by supply and demand factors. This article aims to determine the factors that drive eco-innovation in the wine sector in Spain, a mature and traditional sector characterized by its high fragmentation. In particular, we sought to determine the role environmental regulations play in promoting eco-innovation in the sector. To this end, an empirical study was developed using a structural equation model established using a partial least squares technique for a sample of 251 wineries from all over the country. The study shows that the current regulatory framework inhibits eco-innovation in Spanish wineries, who are more encouraged by positioning and external motivation factors. Full article
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Article
Determinants and Mechanisms of Digital Financial Inclusion Development: Based on Urban-Rural Differences
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1833; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091833 - 13 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1297
Abstract
The combination of digital finance and financial inclusion can better meet the needs of those who have little access to financial services. This paper investigated the differences in the determinants and mechanisms of digital financial inclusion development between urban and rural areas. The [...] Read more.
The combination of digital finance and financial inclusion can better meet the needs of those who have little access to financial services. This paper investigated the differences in the determinants and mechanisms of digital financial inclusion development between urban and rural areas. The sample consists of 1607 counties in China from 2014 to 2019, and uses the fixed-effect model and panel threshold technique. The empirical results indicate that: (1) The industrial economy and governmental intervention are the common determinants of urban and rural digital financial inclusion development, in which the degree is different. At the same time, secondary education is only a determinant in rural areas. (2) Industrial upgrading and indirect finance play a mediating role in the determinants of digital financial inclusion, but indirect finance is only significant for urban areas. (3) There is a threshold effect in the financial development-digital financial inclusion relationship. Under different financial development levels, the determinants of urban and rural digital financial inclusion show the discrepancy. With the development of digital financial inclusion under the trend of promoting innovative digital finance in China, these findings are expected to enhance access to financial services in urban and rural areas for more inclusive and sustainable futures. Full article
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Article
Tradition vs. Eco-Innovation: The Constraining Effect of Protected Designations of Origin (PDO) on the Implementation of Sustainability Measures in the Olive Oil Sector
Agronomy 2021, 11(3), 447; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11030447 - 27 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 929
Abstract
Although eco-innovation in the agri-food sector is receiving increasing attention, the heterogeneity of firms operating in the sector encourages the development of specific sub-sectoral studies to define specific strategies. In this regard, the main goal of the present study is to evaluate the [...] Read more.
Although eco-innovation in the agri-food sector is receiving increasing attention, the heterogeneity of firms operating in the sector encourages the development of specific sub-sectoral studies to define specific strategies. In this regard, the main goal of the present study is to evaluate the drivers of eco-innovation in the olive oil production sector. Our empirical method relies on data from Spanish olive oil mills, and uses qualitative comparative analysis (QCA). The results show that large olive oil cooperatives have an important commitment to sustainability, and that cooperation with a wider range of different agents encourages the implementation of eco-innovation, particularly among smaller firms. However, the main finding of the study is the limiting effect of belonging to a protected designation of origin (PDO) on the implementation of eco-innovative measures. Although traditional production of olive oil (production under a PDO) is still perceived as a central competitive advantage in olive oil firms, further efforts should be made to coordinate traditional elaboration with production under a more sustainable management approach. Full article
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