From production-oriented farming towards multifunctional entrepreneurship – PhD-thesis Pieter Seuneke

Rural Sociology Wageningen University

Multifunctional agriculture

On the 9th of May, I (Pieter Seuneke) will defend my PhD-thesis entitled:

From production-oriented farming towards multifunctional entrepreneurship: exploring the underlying learning process

Context

My thesis focusses on the many European and Dutch farming families which, urged by the environmental, social and economic crisis in agriculture, have diversified their conventional production-oriented farming activities by developing new non-farming businesses on their existing farms. Currently, there are many farmers who are involved in agro-tourism, nature and landscape management, processing and selling of farm products and, more recently in The Netherlands, professional (child)care and on-farm education. The development of such new business activities by these farmers represents a shift away from conventional production-oriented farming towards a more ‘multifunctional’ farming model in which the role of agriculture goes beyond mass food production.

Focus

Based on four different studies, all drawing on the empirical work done in the context of the Dutch research project…

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Glocalise 2013: Study trip to Poland

What: Study trip to Poland
When: 6-17th July
Where: Warsaw – Krakow – Zakopane – Opole

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Warsaw greeted us with sunny weather. On Sunday, to get to know each other and make some crazy memories, the group went off on a scavenger hunt. Dancing Macarena on the market square, singing Polish songs with Polish people, kidnapping members of the other teams- just a short summary of what we did that day.

The educational part began on Monday, when we visited EuroCities (a department of Warsaw City Council) and WWF office. The day focused on the issues of climate change and nature conservation in Poland. The country is developing renewable energy sources, partially due to EU goals, and partly to limit its dependency from fossil fuels. This is, however, a huge challenge as over 90% of electricity is generated from coal.

On Tuesday, the representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and of the Dutch Embassy’s Agricultural council enlightened us on the issues concerning Polish agriculture, the policies that try to regulate it and the recent agricultural land reforms in Poland. 93% of Polish territory is classified as ‘rural’, including agricultural and nature areas, with almost 15 million people living in these areas. Challenges in managing this Read more