Rural development perspectives for areas lagging behind in development have often been compared with the "success-stories" of agricultural growth-poles as both normative model and yard-stick. Regional development then emerges as depending crucially on exogenous factors, i.e. the transfer of technology, the input of capital, know-how, and external organizational models.
This project, however, focuses on empirical, endogenous development patterns encountered in several marginalizing areas. These patterns are potentially useful responses, that fit the interests of the rural population involved more adequately and may provide important guidelines for an adaptation of the CAP.
The object of the project was to produce a set of design methods for endogenous regional rural development considering both policies and technologies and building on practices that appear to be promising such as the production of high quality goods and traditional and sustainable farming systems. In Umbria, a study has been completed of the linkages between production, processing, marketing and consumption of meat. The results gave new insights into production of high quality meat. Work has started on the management of mountain fields for fodder and hay production. In Andalucia, studies have been made of cooperatives concerned with wine, olives and olive oil, horticulture and dehesa cattle raising. Studies have also been made of the movement of jornaleros (landless agricultural dayworkers) in the economies of Sevilla and Cadiz provinces. In Tras-os-Montes, case studies were made of farmer managed irrigation systems and investigations carried out on elements of farming systems including use of meadows (lameiros), manure making and utilization, local cattle offering high quality meat and the role of local organizations in agricultural development. In the Netherlands, a study was completed of farmer generated technologies and their subsequent transfers into practice.
Research consists of :
a) the identification and comparative study of the socio-economic dynamics of endogenous development patterns and
b) a subsequent endeavour to study the possibilities for strengthening and consolidating these patterns.
The empirical situations actually studied contain :
1)the production of quality meat, grassland improvement and production-consumption linkages;
2) ecological agriculture, social movements and rural cooperatives;
3) small-scale agriculture, management and improvement of natural resources, integration of agro, silvo and pastoral activities;
4) farmer's role in technology development;
5) new uses for old agricultural practices and traditional products.
5001 Vila Real