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Privatization of agricultural extension services in the EU: Towards a lack of adequate knowledge for small-scale farms?

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  • Labarthe, Pierre
  • Laurent, Catherine

Abstract

Small-scale farming involves millions of households in the EU and plays an important role in the rural economy. A significant percentage of these farms produce commodities for the market. This productive dimension is often overlooked, however, as is the technical support needed by these farms. The privatization of national farm advisory systems (NFAS) has an impact on small-scale farming that should be better assessed. This paper, which looks at the characteristics of intangible services, helps demonstrate how the privatization of advisory services may have unexpected adverse effects on small farms. The dismantling of coordinating authorities has made these farms less visible as a target client. Less direct interaction with advisors makes it more difficult to co-produce knowledge that is relevant to their needs. In addition, back office activities such as scientific monitoring, building and updating databases and scientific experiments have been restructured in a way which does not support their interests.

Suggested Citation

  • Labarthe, Pierre & Laurent, Catherine, 2013. "Privatization of agricultural extension services in the EU: Towards a lack of adequate knowledge for small-scale farms?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 240-252.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:38:y:2013:i:c:p:240-252
    DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2012.10.005
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