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Farming economically, a new path to sustainable rural development in Galicia, Spain


Research on Galician agriculture so far emphasised the need of scale enlargement and modernisation. As a result, social and environmental aspects of development were ignored. This research aims at supplying an alternative approach to rural development applying a tri-dimensional (ecological, economic and social) concept of sustainability within a regional context. It integrates multiple disciplines - ecological economics, agroecology and rural sociology- in order to assess the sustainability of different sty les of farming and the potentials of farming economically. Farming economically is a promising farming style as it is based on low-external-input agriculture that fits well into the concept of sustainable development.

Gender-specific aspects are taken into account as women's and men's possibility to profit from rural development differs. The research project will result in the development of methodological tools that allow for a multidisciplinary analysis of agriculture and rural development. Moreover, the research project will construct a multidisciplinary theoretical framework that combines economic, natural and social sciences, focusing on the so far separately developed ecological, social and economic domains of sustainability. Taking into account that t his project does empirical research in an Objective 1 region (Galicia), the research activities can be of high importance for other disadvantaged regions in Southern, Central and Eastern Europe.

It delivers information that policymakers need for developing and implementing region-specific policy measures and are capable of efficiently promoting lasting local development. With the 6th framework this project as an EIF Marie Curie fellowship advances the knowledge and expertise of the candidate on matters of European concern and in a comparative European perspective. This greatly enhances the opportunity for exchanging knowledge and experiences between researchers, not only during the project but also afterwards.

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