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The Geographical Journal

Survival strategies of farm households and multifunctional farms in Greece

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Abstract

Multifunctional agriculture is favoured by EU rural policy and considered as a tool for integrated and sustainable rural development. Recent approaches to define the multifunctional practices of rural farm households (different from those of ‘conventional’ agriculture) according to the use of their resources result in three dimensions: deepening, broadening and regrounding. In this paper, the multifunctional practices of farm households in six rural areas of Greece with different characteristics of agricultural production are examined. Data were obtained from interviews with farmers about the practices of their households. The findings indicate that regrounding practices are encountered more often in all areas and are not associated with the degree of the ‘professionalisation’ of agriculture in each area. Broadening and deepening practices are less common for two reasons: some of these practices take place at a level independent from most Greek farmers, and demand appears to shape some of these practices.

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