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Strategies for sustainable farming in the Mediterranean: lessons from Argolida, Greece

Iakovidis, D. (2023) Strategies for sustainable farming in the Mediterranean: lessons from Argolida, Greece. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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To link to this item DOI: 10.48683/1926.00114385


The agricultural sector faces challenges in achieving sustainable food production, such as climate change, soil erosion, and biodiversity loss. The importance of access to agronomic information and relevant knowledge for farmers to make informed decisions towards sustainable farming practices is crucial. An in-depth and comprehensive investigation of the various, multifaceted ways and strategies through which the management and sustainability performance of farming systems can be bolstered and fortified within the context of a typical Mediterranean area is attempted. The methodology followed consisted of a mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods and primary and secondary data. Thematic analysis and content analysis were used to reveal themes and patterns of behaviours while the sustainability assessment performed a quantitative analysis of the data entered in the program during the interviews. Finally, the Q-methodology performed a quantitative Q-factor analysis and a qualitative factor interpretation analysis. The research presents the results of a study that aimed to explore the perceptions of farmers on decision-making, farm sustainability, and digital technologies, the perceptions of farmers and advisers on the use and adoption of planning and control methods and identify the needs and requirements of end-users for the design of an effective Decision Support Tool (DST). The research concludes that there is a gap in the understanding of wider sustainability issues within the context of farm decision-making. The educational, technological, and consultancy framework needs to be reformed to address the challenges indicated previously. The findings of the study illustrate the need to encourage farmers and advisers to change their actions to enhance wider agricultural sustainability. The research recommends a review and update of the educational framework for both farmers and advisers to tackle the challenges of sustainability awareness and performance, and technology uptake. The study concludes that the adoption of DSTs in agriculture can contribute to farm sustainability and that understanding farmers' perceptions of DSTs is crucial for successful adoption. Finally, there is a number of recommendations for farmers, advisers, researchers and policymakers regarding the future action needed to take place in order to improve the sustainability performance of farming systems in the area.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Gadanakis, Y.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Agri-Food Economics & Marketing
ID Code:114385


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