Impact of Multifunctional and Territorialized Agrifood Systems on Improving Agricultural Landscapes

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X). This special issue belongs to the section "Landscape Ecology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 March 2023) | Viewed by 28988

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Geography, Autonomous University of Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain
Interests: peri-urban agriculture; cultural landscapes; spatial and environmental planning

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Guest Editor
Department of Geography, Autonomous University of Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain
Interests: sustainable development; sustainable food systems; agricultural and food policy; planning agricultural economics

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Guest Editor
Department of Geography, Autonomous University of Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain
Interests: agrosilvopastoral systems; ecosystem services; environmental planning; landscape structure

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Guest Editor
Department of Geography, University of Seville, 41004 Seville, Spain
Interests: heritage landscapes; multifunctional agriculture; territorial development; territorialized multifunctional agri-food systems

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Guest Editor
Department of Geography, University of Valencia, 46010 Valencia, Spain
Interests: agrarian landscapes; hydraulic heritage; rural socio-economy; land use changes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We cordially invite the submission of original contributions dealing with impact of multifunctional and territorialized agrifood systems (MTAS) on improving agricultural landscapes that are risk of transformation due to the influence of urban sprawl and abandonment of agriculture in peri-urban and rural areas. With this Special issue, we would like to achieve two main goals: (1) to establish the state of art of MTAS from the confluence and integration of different theorical and disciplinary perspectives; (2) to highlight the main drivers of development of MTAS, by focusing on economic, social, and environmental dynamics brought about by specific case studies at various levels, i.e., form local lo regional level experiences, as well as policies and normative contexts that regulate and condition the functioning of the MTAS.

The MTAS, in their different modalities and contexts, are at the same time an objective, a strategy and a good tool to reconstruct the linkages of agriculture and territories, based on agroecological sustainability, the economic viability of the production of territorial quality, and the conservation of a heritage cultural and landscape that strengthens the territorial brand and the links between producers, consumers and users of the agricultural landscape. With these ambitions, we look to draw attention to the implementation of key topical targets including the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the new European Green Deal and its Biodiversity Strategy 2030, the Farm to Fork Strategy, and the European Climate Law including actions to protect the soils as well as the New Leipzig Charter and the Territorial Agenda 2030.

Our Special issue aims at discussing MTAS with special focus on their agrarian landscapes,  from an holistic approach integrating (i) the renewed sense of food quality and rooted in the territories; (ii) with sustainable and multifunctional agrosystems increasingly ecological, as a basis for the territorial development of rural spaces and new forms governance; and (iii) with an understanding of the landscapes and agrarian heritage, alive and authentic, as an expression of the character and identity of agricultural territories and as the foundation of renewed marketing strategies; and finally, iv) integrating strategic land policy and sustainable planning at local and regional scale to increase ecosystem for securing fertile soils and ecosystem services of agrarian landscapes.

We are particularly interested on research and innovations, policies, forms of governance related to the food systems, and projects to tackle great societal challenges. These include topics such as food security, climate change, demographic change, sustainable agriculture and ecosystem services, ensuring sustainable management of natural resources and contributing to a sustainable territorial development of rural-urban areas and their communities.

Prof. Dr. Rafael Mata Olmo
Prof. Dr. Carolina Yacamán Ochoa
Prof. Dr. Nieves López-Estébanez
Prof. Dr. Rocío Silva Pérez
Prof. Dr. Jorge Hermosilla-Pla
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • agrarian landscapes
  • territorialized multifunctional agri-food systems
  • food policies
  • landscape planning
  • land management
  • land use policy and planning in rural and peri-urban landscapes
  • food security
  • ecosystem services
  • rural socio-economy, natural and cultural heritage
  • sustainability of new forms of agriculture in urban and peri-urban areas
  • resilience

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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20 pages, 1055 KiB  
Article
Enabling Conditions for Local Food Systems to Emerge in Predominately Rural Regions of Portugal—A Food Access Approach
by Paola A. Hernández
Land 2023, 12(2), 461; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12020461 - 11 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1961
Abstract
Local food studies have stressed the importance of local food systems (LFS) in shortening the linkages between producers and consumers and in promoting resilient territories. Food consumption patterns are mostly studied around rural–urban dynamics, urban food security, and the revitalisation of rural communities, [...] Read more.
Local food studies have stressed the importance of local food systems (LFS) in shortening the linkages between producers and consumers and in promoting resilient territories. Food consumption patterns are mostly studied around rural–urban dynamics, urban food security, and the revitalisation of rural communities, but little is known about the impact of LFS over rural residents and their capacity to access local foods. This paper explores the development of LFS in rural areas, from a food access approach, by characterising the rural landscapes promoting local food consumption. From a mapping of 74 predominately rural municipalities, statistical data of six socio-economic and political variables were collected to depict each municipality. A cluster analysis and Pearson’s correlation test informed us about the factors enabling these networks to emerge. Three clusters were identified: ‘meso-urban’, (N = 5) presenting urban-like characteristics (higher income and education levels, and reduced road infrastructure and small-scale farming); ‘dense’, (N = 26) characterised by high population density, road infrastructure and small-scale farming; and ‘castaway’ (N = 43) with low population density, income, post-secondary education, and expenditure in RD in agriculture. LFS emergence in rural Portugal was strongly determined by the levels of mean income and education levels in rural municipalities, which brought into question concerns regarding rural residents’ capacity to consume local foods. Low physical access, purchasing capacity, and awareness of food issues appeared to compromise the utilisation of these foods by the most socio-economically disfavoured groups. However, other territorial externalities and empirical work not included in this study could further complement our findings and provide a richer picture for the localisation of food systems in rural areas. Full article
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16 pages, 901 KiB  
Article
Governance and Articulation from the Externado de Colombia University with Its Environment: A Look from the Multifunctional and Territorialized Agri-Food Systems
by Hector Heraldo Rojas-Jiménez, Fernando Herrera-Chiquillo, Patricia Guzmán-Aguilera, Flavio Rodríguez-Muñoz, Angélica Triana-Vega, Mario Pinzón-Camargo and Diana Beltrán-Vargas
Land 2023, 12(1), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010065 - 26 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1404
Abstract
Bogota, the capital of Colombia, has recently presented an important expansion of its territory. This has triggered the displacement of rural and peasant areas. However, some neighboring municipalities have managed to stay out of the city’s growth process thanks to their geographical conditions [...] Read more.
Bogota, the capital of Colombia, has recently presented an important expansion of its territory. This has triggered the displacement of rural and peasant areas. However, some neighboring municipalities have managed to stay out of the city’s growth process thanks to their geographical conditions and have also generated important links from their agri-food systems. In these articulation processes, the governance schemes and its actors are key. This analysis seeks to answer what have been the main strategies and coordination mechanisms implemented by the Universidad Externado de Colombia (UEC) to achieve multiple interactions between the actors involved in the multifunctional and territorialized agri-food systems (MTLAFS MTLAFS). For the above, the municipality of Choachi and its relationship with Externado University as an articulator of actions that contribute to the construction of territorial and regional dynamics are taken as an illustrative case. Within the framework of the qualitative methodology, case studies were used, with the concept of governance as the axis of analysis. As part of the results, some recommendations are presented for the work of universities in multifunctional and territorialized short circuits, as well as for the understanding of the actors, mainly the university, in the governance schemes of agri-food systems. Full article
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18 pages, 4343 KiB  
Article
FoodLink—A Network for Driving Food Transition in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area
by Rosário Oliveira
Land 2022, 11(11), 2047; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11112047 - 15 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1769
Abstract
The territory that currently corresponds to the Lisbon Metropolitan Area (LMA) has historically supplied fresh food to the urban population until half way through the 20th century. In 2018, the land use was still composed 38% of agricultural area, supplying 12% of the [...] Read more.
The territory that currently corresponds to the Lisbon Metropolitan Area (LMA) has historically supplied fresh food to the urban population until half way through the 20th century. In 2018, the land use was still composed 38% of agricultural area, supplying 12% of the total food produced and consumed in Portugal. However, the operation of this food system is not subject to any regulations either in terms of spatial planning or land use management and, as such, its impact on sustainability transition in the region is not yet properly known. How to drive food transition in the LMA has thus arisen as a prominent question. In 2019, within a living lab context, the first steps were taken to this very challenging pathway, in which the definition of a food strategy was identified as the priority to sow the seeds of a food planning process. Over the last three years a food network started to operate on a collaborative basis to co-define a set of long-term objectives, a vision for 2030 and a collaborative biannual action plan. This article describes the process on how FoodLink—Network for the Food Transition in the LMA—leveraged the foundations to set up an evidence-based food strategy in the metropolitan area and how its thirty members became committed to cooperating in a science–policy–practice interface for its elaboration. According to principles of action–research and citizen science that implied a direct observation and involvement of the author along the entire process, the results intend to respond to the three objectives of the research by: (i) contributing to the literature on food networks; (ii) describing how the networking process occurred and its main achievements in what concerns a committed action plan; (iii) presenting the first baseline to pursue a food strategy towards the food planning of the city-region. It is understood that these results on how the food transition process is being driven in the LMA may either be inspiring for the construction of similar initiatives in other city regions, within and outside Europe, or may constitute the referential starting point for the future assessment of this ongoing transdisciplinary process. Full article
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23 pages, 6880 KiB  
Article
The Multifunctionality and Territoriality of Peri-Urban Agri-Food Systems: The Metropolitan Region of Madrid, Spain
by Nieves López-Estébanez, Carolina Yacamán-Ochoa and Rafael Mata-Olmo
Land 2022, 11(4), 588; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040588 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2826
Abstract
This paper addresses the Multifunctional and Territorialised Agri-Food Systems (MTLAFS) in areas of direct urban influence, focusing on the metropolitan region of Madrid. MTLAFS are contextualised as alternatives to the hegemonic global model of mass production and consumption. They are created by combining [...] Read more.
This paper addresses the Multifunctional and Territorialised Agri-Food Systems (MTLAFS) in areas of direct urban influence, focusing on the metropolitan region of Madrid. MTLAFS are contextualised as alternatives to the hegemonic global model of mass production and consumption. They are created by combining two conceptual and theoretical bodies of knowledge that share many elements: the study of Local Agri-Food Systems (LAFS), a critical approach to agri-food economies and the re-territorialisation of agri-food systems. The paper analyses the factors that negatively affect the resilience of LAFS and it describes re-territorialisation strategies that enable MTLAFS to be built. By using a multi-criteria methodology to identify agri-environmental and food governance indicators, the research identifies and describes the characteristics that allow the case studies selected in the region of Madrid to be classified as MTLAFS. This has been carried out by gathering the main discussion points on the fractures and relocation strategies that accentuate the vulnerability or, on the contrary, enhance the resilience of the cases analysed. The paper concludes with some recommendations for strengthening the socio-ecological resilience of MTLAFS by using the systemic basis provided by the agro-urban project. This agro-urban project brings together different public policies, governance tools, territorial and food planning, as well as agrarian practices anchored to each specific territory. All these agrarian practices contribute to the configuration of an alternative territorial agri-food model that ensures food security and a shift towards the sustainable development of our planet. Full article
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28 pages, 9084 KiB  
Article
Multifunctional Territorialized Agri-Food Systems, Geographical Quality Marks and Agricultural Landscapes: The Case of Vineyards
by Marta Martínez-Arnáiz, Eugenio Baraja-Rodríguez and Daniel Herrero-Luque
Land 2022, 11(4), 457; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040457 - 23 Mar 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2747
Abstract
In contrast to the industrial agricultural systems aimed at producing unlabeled origin foods without unique characteristics, Multifunctional and Territorialized Agri-food Systems (MTAS) claim their identity in productions whose singularity comes from specific environmental conditions and distinctive knowhow—factors often linked to tradition. Their systemic [...] Read more.
In contrast to the industrial agricultural systems aimed at producing unlabeled origin foods without unique characteristics, Multifunctional and Territorialized Agri-food Systems (MTAS) claim their identity in productions whose singularity comes from specific environmental conditions and distinctive knowhow—factors often linked to tradition. Their systemic complexity goes beyond the agri-food production function (high quality, sustainable, and differentiated by origin) because the territories gain cohesion and viability from the positive effects resulting therefrom: environmental quality—in the context of sustainable agriculture based on practices that respect the environment and the local productive vocation of the territories—, landscape value, greater economic diversification by stimulating integrated production chains, tourism potential, etc. In this context, the MTAS finds in the geographical indication one of the most expressive quality reference formulas for the identification of agri-food products. This paper delves into the regulatory nature of the main territorial indications (PDO, PGI) and explores their configuration and regulatory evolution, particularly focusing on the wine geographical indications—the first and most common ones. The Spanish indications are taken as the object of analysis, whose operational maturity reveals their solidity, but also their inadequacies, with the demand for adjustments for greater flexibility in the regulatory framework that identifies them as collective marks. Along the same lines, emphasis is placed on the recent advance of individualistic PDO figures, which call into question the very collective basis of the territorial trademark. These conceptual adaptations of geographical indications provide future lines of research necessary to interpret the coherence of these figures with the sustainable development of the territories, whose name they adopt to gain distinction and market competition. Full article
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24 pages, 3275 KiB  
Article
Family Farming as a Key Element of the Multifunctional and Territorialized Agrifood Systems as Witnessed in the South Pacific Region of Costa Rica
by Frank González, Yazmín León and Nieves López-Estébanez
Land 2022, 11(3), 447; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11030447 - 20 Mar 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2929
Abstract
In Central America, Family Farming (FF) is characterized by the fostering of endogenous development, self-sustaining economies, food safety and upholding the values of the agricultural landscape. However, government agricultural policies have promoted an external model of development based on industrial monocultures, which generates [...] Read more.
In Central America, Family Farming (FF) is characterized by the fostering of endogenous development, self-sustaining economies, food safety and upholding the values of the agricultural landscape. However, government agricultural policies have promoted an external model of development based on industrial monocultures, which generates socioeconomic and environmental instability, deficient models of agroproduction commercialisation and the impoverishment of agricultural landscapes. This article details the case of 60 farms from 22 communities in the municipality of Buenos Aires, in the South Pacific region of Costa Rica, where biological/physical, socioeconomic, marketing and governance issues of a Multifunctional and Territorialized Agrifood System have been characterized based on the family unit of production. In addition, a differentiation was made between peasant and indigenous farmers as their cultural backgrounds may then lead to their adopting different attitudes and distinct actions. By analysing the productive diversification of the models, the behaviour of the local marketing channels and their associative potential, the socio-ecological characteristics of the region were identified, including the strengths and weaknesses that should influence the model of agroproductive development and regional governance. Full article
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31 pages, 3361 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Landscape Quality in Valencia’s Agricultural Gardens—A Method Adapted to Multifunctional, Territorialized Agrifood Systems (MTAS)
by Sandra Mayordomo-Maya and Jorge Hermosilla-Pla
Land 2022, 11(3), 398; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11030398 - 8 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2919
Abstract
Multifunctional agrifood systems with noteworthy roots in a territory are the result of a historical yet dynamic specialization. They are present in the place’s knowledge, social connections, collective action, the organization of institutions, innovation and capital. These systems are seen in the landscape, [...] Read more.
Multifunctional agrifood systems with noteworthy roots in a territory are the result of a historical yet dynamic specialization. They are present in the place’s knowledge, social connections, collective action, the organization of institutions, innovation and capital. These systems are seen in the landscape, which becomes a resource as well as cultural and environmental heritage. In this regard, it is necessary to study the significance of the many aspects of heritage and landscape in agrifood systems to suitably manage and appreciate them as a territorial resource. This study develops and applies a quantitative method with various criteria to enable the landscape values of multifunctional, territorialized agrifood systems (MTAS in Spanish) to be evaluated, paying attention to essential matters such as the process of heritage recognition and the quality of their landscapes. To do so, a method designed by the authors for evaluating landscapes has been adapted to the peculiarities that define such systems, made up of criteria such as representativeness, authenticity, ecological integrity, vulnerability, accessibility and historical, social and symbolic values. The method has been applied to an exemplary Mediterranean landscape, the agricultural gardens of Valencia, which combine features of MTAS in metropolitan and coastal flatland contexts. Full article
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21 pages, 6388 KiB  
Article
GIAHS as an Instrument to Articulate the Landscape and Territorialized Agrifood Systems—The Example of La Axarquía (Malaga Province, Spain)
by Rocío Silva-Pérez and Gema González-Romero
Land 2022, 11(2), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11020310 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2638
Abstract
The theoretical literature makes a connection between the notions of landscape and territorialised agrifood systems, but these connections are rarely specified or explained. Their consideration in development proposals requires the relationship between the two and their magnitude to be made explicit. This article [...] Read more.
The theoretical literature makes a connection between the notions of landscape and territorialised agrifood systems, but these connections are rarely specified or explained. Their consideration in development proposals requires the relationship between the two and their magnitude to be made explicit. This article enquires into this and explores its programmatic forecasts from both the theoretical and empirical perspectives. An epistemological and regulatory review points to the FAO Globally Important Agriculture Heritage System (GIAHS) programme as the instrument that articulates the logic of landscape and territorialised agrifood in marginal rural areas. The empirical part of the study focuses on the dried grape (raisin) agrifood system in Axarquía (Malaga province, Spain) GIAHS since 2018. Territorial recognition and semi-structured interviews have enabled a deep study of the praxis of these connections. Axarquía is seen to be an excellent laboratory of the synergies between territorialised agrifood system synergies and landscapes. GIAHS is substantiated as a virtual instrument that can contribute to agriculture-based territorial development. It acts as a stimulus to development and combines forces through territorial governance processes. It highlights the value of agriculture as a cornerstone of development, examines agricultural functionalities in detail, and gives meaning to agricultural landscapes. Full article
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23 pages, 3541 KiB  
Article
Intangible Heritage and Territorial Identity in the Multifunctional Agrarian Systems of Vineyards in Castilla-La Mancha (Spain)
by Ángel Raúl Ruiz Pulpón and María del Carmen Cañizares Ruiz
Land 2022, 11(2), 281; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11020281 - 13 Feb 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3176
Abstract
Vine cultivation has a strong territorial character derived from the environmental, social, cultural and economic interactions with the space in which the vines are grown. In Spain, this activity is clearly representative of Mediterranean agrarian landscapes, where vineyards have a dynamic and multifunctional [...] Read more.
Vine cultivation has a strong territorial character derived from the environmental, social, cultural and economic interactions with the space in which the vines are grown. In Spain, this activity is clearly representative of Mediterranean agrarian landscapes, where vineyards have a dynamic and multifunctional character, as a consequence of the social and economic processes that they have always incorporated. This character is also complex as it has natural and anthropic components. The links between vineyards and territories drive the configuration of identity-based feelings in local communities, which identify with the work, rituals and symbols that are present in the production and manufacturing processes. Therefore, territorial identity is a strategic key for the necessary revalorisation of endogenous resources, and it is a factor of territorial development, as well as an element that is needed to reaffirm the multifunctional character of the winemaking system. The aim of this paper is to study these kinds of identity-based elements in the vineyards of Castilla-La Mancha, the main wine production region in Spain, emphasising the elements that are related to intangible heritage, and specifically, their roles in festivals and folklore, which reinforce the territorial and multifunctional character of agrarian land use. In other words, not only do these factors promote the education and awareness of local cultures about the values of their territory from a heritage perspective, but they also have potential as tourist attractions, which can promote economic diversification of agricultural activities in the recent debates between productivism and post-productivism. Full article
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17 pages, 1066 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Rural Landscape Resources Based on Cloud Model and Probabilistic Linguistic Term Set
by Weiwen Li, Yijiang Zhou and Ge Xun
Land 2022, 11(1), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11010060 - 1 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2153
Abstract
Rural landscape resources are important ingredients of rural revitalization and modernization in developing countries and regions. Evaluation methods play a crucial role in the development planning, design, transformation, and protection of these resources. However, there has been a lack of research on the [...] Read more.
Rural landscape resources are important ingredients of rural revitalization and modernization in developing countries and regions. Evaluation methods play a crucial role in the development planning, design, transformation, and protection of these resources. However, there has been a lack of research on the evaluation of rural landscape resources, especially from the perspective of rural revitalization. Based on previous evaluation methods and expert consultations on landscape planning and design, we proposed a new approach for evaluating rural landscape resources by establishing a new index system and using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) and probabilistic linguistic Cloud Model. To demonstrate its applicability and effectiveness, we applied our model to the case of a village (Xiapu) in Guangdong, China, determined the parameter set of its rural landscape resources, and obtained related results showing that the method is practical and can reflect the value of resources objectively and efficiently. Based on this model, further suggestions are provided to improve the design and other utilizations of rural landscape resources. Full article
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Review

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26 pages, 2627 KiB  
Review
A Systematic Review of EU-Funded Innovative Agri-Food Projects: Potential for Transfer between Territories
by Álvaro Ibáñez-Jiménez, Yolanda Jiménez-Olivencia, Ángela Mesa-Pedrazas, Laura Porcel-Rodríguez and Karl Zimmerer
Land 2022, 11(4), 519; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040519 - 3 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2516
Abstract
This article presents a systematic review of innovative projects funded by EU Rural Development Programs that were designed and implemented in rural areas of the European Union to facilitate the territorialized production of foodstuffs and their sale through alternative networks. On the basis [...] Read more.
This article presents a systematic review of innovative projects funded by EU Rural Development Programs that were designed and implemented in rural areas of the European Union to facilitate the territorialized production of foodstuffs and their sale through alternative networks. On the basis of the results obtained in this review, we designed a model for the transfer of knowledge to the local community in the Alpujarra Granadina (Granada, Spain) within the framework of the LifeWatch project. This study uses two consecutive methodological approaches. We began by developing a protocol for the systematic search and analysis of successful rural development projects carried out in the European Union between 2007 and 2020. After that, we created a model for the transfer of results using a participative methodological approach. The results of our analysis of the group of projects selected for review show that the main innovations were made in different aspects of the product, process, sales and distribution. These innovative ideas were implemented by rural communities with a high degree of collective initiative and intelligence and could potentially be replicated in other areas. The sample analyzed contains a wide array of novel, alternative formulas, which are transversal to the projects, so provide significant contents that could be used to activate a space for participation and debate, which could itself become fertile ground for the creation of new projects. In conclusion, this study provides the stakeholders in rural areas, in particular farmers, with a wide, systematically organized knowledge base that proposes solutions to shared challenges. Full article
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