Rethinking the links between farm modernization, rural development and resilience in a world of increasing demands and finite resources
RETHINK is a transdisciplinary research project supported by the European Commission and funding bodies in 14 countries under the umbrella of FP7 and the RURAGRI ERA-NET.
The research project has been analysing the connection between the development of agriculture and the wider goal of making rural areas more vibrant and prosperous. The project partners have examined case studies in 14 European countries. Each case is a particular example of innovative development strategies which highlight potential synergies between farm modernisation and sustainable rural development.
The researchers took account of factors that enable and encourage cooperation and innovation, the influence of context, and the role of multi-actor networks and institutional structures. The key questions that the researchers worked on with the farmers involved in the project were:
- How can we shape the relationships between rural areas and agriculture in a way that increases rural prosperity and strengthens resilience?
- What is the role of multi-actor partnerships and cooperative approaches in the different case studies?
- What is the role of different knowledge bases and of social learning in the changes observed?
- How does the collaboration between public authorities, farmers, researchers, extension services and market actors support the positive developments observed?
- Why do we need to move beyond competition, competitiveness and cost reduction, and how?
- How can we connect EIP-AGRI and LEADER work in favourable ways?
- Swiss Association for the Development of Agriculture and Rural Areas, Switzerland
- Technical University of Madrid - Technical College of Agriculture, Spain
- Arava Research and Development Sustainable Agriculture Consulting Group, Israel
- Nodibinajums Baltic Studies Centre, Latvia
- Latvian University of Life Scienes and Technologies, Latvia
- Institute for Rural Development ResearchCoordinator, Germany
- Süleyman Demirel University - Faculty of Agriculture, West Mediterranean Agricultural Research Centre, Turkey
- University of Gothenburg - Global Sustainability Studies, School of Global Studies, Sweden
- University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna - Institute of Agricultural and Forestry Economics, Austria
- Centro Ricerche Produzioni Animali, Italy
- University of Copenhagen - Danish Centre for Forest, Landscape and Planning, Denmark
- Aleksandras Stulginskis University, Lithuania
- Ghent University - Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Bioscience EngineeringBelgium
- Agriculture and Food Development Authority, Ireland
- French National Institute for Agricultural Research - Science for Action and Development, France