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The benefits of working with others – fostering social capital in the farming sector


Proposals will primarily cover EU Member States where the level of organisation of farmers and land managers is considered low. Activities will address constraints on the development of cooperatives/networking activities in particular areas (economic activity, environmental sustainability etc.) and draw up solutions based on case studies, identified best practices, participatory workshops, etc. Proposals should fall under the concept of the 'multi-actor approach'[[See definition of the 'multi-actor approach' in the introduction to this Work Programme part.]].

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

The environmental and economic sustainability of the farming sector depends to a great extent on farmers' and land managers' capacity to develop activities and participate in networks with fellow farmers, groups and other entities or individuals. Despite the benefits of such approaches, farmers' involvement in them is low in a number of European countries, for various reasons. To address this, we need to investigate and find ways of overcoming the constraints and disincentives that impede the development of such approaches in different areas of collective action (productivity, information sharing, sustainability).

The project results are expected to:

  • improve understanding of farmers' attitudes to cooperation and networking;
  • provide recommendations for policy-makers to foster social capital in the farming sector; and
  • lead to higher levels of farmer organisation in the medium to long term.