Purpose: Educational farms (EFs) serve a number of social and economic functions and are part of the debate about new learning environments, multifunctional agriculture and firm diversification. Through the analysis of a case study, this paper aims to identify strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) of EFs and key factors for setting a development strategy. Design/Methodology/Approach: A direct survey to EFs in Molise region (IT) was implemented during April-May 2017 and results were assessed following a SWOT approach. Findings: Strong motivation and connection with agritourism activities are strengths of EFs in the region; small size, unskilled staff, lack of structured educational pathways, and limited profitability are the main weaknesses. Farms opportunities come from a territory rich in rural landscapes, environmental resources, and typical food products, and from a growing demand for educational tourism. Obstacles are in the institutional sphere and due to the absence of regional networks. Based on SWOT findings, key factors for EFs development are discussed. Practical implications: EFs development requires innovative educational and managerial tools, a more concerted and proactive role for multiple stakeholders, and the implementation of a network approach. Study findings solicit actions from public institutions and advisory services to improve farmers’ skills. Theoretical implications: The paper contributes to the theoretical debate about the need for a multidisciplinary approach in dealing with the analysis of EFs. Originality/Value: The analysis underlines the importance of internal and external drivers in stimulating farms and institutions to support diversification strategies, rural development and transformation processes in inner areas.

The potential for developing educational farms: a SWOT analysis from a case study

Forleo M. B.;Palmieri N.
2019

Abstract

Purpose: Educational farms (EFs) serve a number of social and economic functions and are part of the debate about new learning environments, multifunctional agriculture and firm diversification. Through the analysis of a case study, this paper aims to identify strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) of EFs and key factors for setting a development strategy. Design/Methodology/Approach: A direct survey to EFs in Molise region (IT) was implemented during April-May 2017 and results were assessed following a SWOT approach. Findings: Strong motivation and connection with agritourism activities are strengths of EFs in the region; small size, unskilled staff, lack of structured educational pathways, and limited profitability are the main weaknesses. Farms opportunities come from a territory rich in rural landscapes, environmental resources, and typical food products, and from a growing demand for educational tourism. Obstacles are in the institutional sphere and due to the absence of regional networks. Based on SWOT findings, key factors for EFs development are discussed. Practical implications: EFs development requires innovative educational and managerial tools, a more concerted and proactive role for multiple stakeholders, and the implementation of a network approach. Study findings solicit actions from public institutions and advisory services to improve farmers’ skills. Theoretical implications: The paper contributes to the theoretical debate about the need for a multidisciplinary approach in dealing with the analysis of EFs. Originality/Value: The analysis underlines the importance of internal and external drivers in stimulating farms and institutions to support diversification strategies, rural development and transformation processes in inner areas.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11695/91551
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