Semi-subsistence farms in Europe: a remnant from the past or a provider of public goods and a cultural asset?

Dr. Sophia Davidova (Reader in European Agricultural Policy & Director of Graduate Studies, University of Kent)

CA113, J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics, NUI Galway 11:00 :: 14th May 2010

Presentation Description:
The stock of full-time farmers has been declining over decades in Western Europe. This will be a growing phenomenon in Eastern Europe. Semi-subsistence farms become part-time with income supplements from off-farm and alternative on-farm sources. Farms and farming is thus declining as a provider of food. What then is the future role of these farms in the larger social and economic picture? Farms do have attributes beyond the provision of food in being a public good on the one hand and a cultural asset on the other, which can contribute to social wellbeing. Dr. Davidova scans the European farming horizon and explores this expanding role of farms and farming and in particular subsistence farming and what it means for rural communities and rural livelihoods.

Dr. Sophia Davidova is Reader in European Agricultural Policy and Director of Graduate Studies the University of Kent. She has participated in a range of international research projects, and since 1989 she has been involved in advisory work to government agencies in Central and Eastern European countries, and to OECD, the European Commission and the World Bank. From 1991 to 2001 she was a member of the OECD group of experts monitoring agricultural and trade policies in non-OECD Member countries and participated in the European Commission Network of Independent Experts advising on agricultural policies in the EU Candidate countries. During 2004-2006 Dr. Davidova was a member of the editorial advisory board of Agricultural Economics, the journal of the International Association of Agricultural Economists. Currently she is a member of the Steering Committee of 'EuroChoices' and the Editorial Committee of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, a journal of the Romanian Academy of Sciences. Dr. Davidova is also Director of the Centre for European Agri-environmental Studies (CEAS) and a member of the Executive Board of the UK Agricultural Economics Society.

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