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This project will assess the prospects for structural change in the small-farm agriculture of Portugal and southern Italy. The project will focus on the potential for government policy initiatives to increase returns to the more prominent farm systems in the regions.
Work is being done to assess the prospects for structural change in the small farm agriculture of Portugal and southern Italy and the potential for policy initiatives to increase returns to farmers. Both regions qualify for a number of European Communities (EC) programmes, such as those on less favoured areas, the hill areas initiatives and those on integrated rural development.

6 sites in Italy and 3 in Portugal, which are representative of the agriculture in their areas, have been selected and surveyed. The survey is designed to collect information on technological, economic and social aspects of agriculture.
Both regions qualify for a number of EC programmes, such as the less-favoured areas programme, the hilly areas initiatives, and programmes for integrated rural area development. The research will measure the potential impact of each of these initiatives on profitability returns to farm labor. These results will be used to suggest new strategies for rural area development that emphasize particular commodities of technologies. Attention will be given to the identification of employment strategies - full-time farming, or part-time farming, or part-time farming with only some of the family involved in agriculture - that can generate incomes sufficient to retain resources in agriculture.

Potentially attractive investment and subsidy programmes will be identified that are consistent with emerging national and EC price and marketing policies. Cross- country comparisons should allow for the development of a more general EC approach to agricultural policy for small-farm development. More specifically, the EC plans to invest substantially in rural infrastructure and income policies throughout the Member States in the coming years. The results of this research can be used to identify investments with economic returns, to pinpoint areas where income policies are most likely to contribute to social stability and cohesion, and to demonstrate the applicability of a research methodology that can facilitate Community-wide comparisons of EC policy impact.

The methodology to be used in the study is the Policy Analysis Matrix. This method is based on the preparation of budgets to measure costs and returns. The budgets are subsequently modified to reflect the impact of government policies on economic incentives. By aggregating the results into representative whole farms, the impacts of government policies on farm family incomes are revealed. Simulation analysis then are used to estimate the effect of policy-induced changes in farm technologies or crop mixes. The simulation results provide the basis for assessment of the economic attractiveness of particular policies or packages of policies.


Universidade Tecnica de Lisboa Instituto Superior de Agronomia
Tapada Da Ajuda
1399 Lisboa

Participants (1)

Centro di Specializzazione e Ricerche Economico Agrarie per il Mezzogiorno
Via Università 96
80055 Portici Napoli