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Subsistence Farming, Incomes, and Agricultural Livelihoods in the New Member States of the European Union


  • Sophia Davidova
  • Lena Fredriksson
  • Matthew Gorton

    (Newcastle University Business School, 5 Barrack Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SE, England)

  • Plamen Mishev

    (University of National and World Economy, Studentski Grad ‘Hr Botev’, 1700 Sofia, Bulgaria)

  • Dan Petrovici

    (Kent Business School, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7PE, England)


Drawing on primary survey data and the literature on sustainable livelihoods, we analyse agricultural households in five new member states of the EU which possess a large subsistence and semisubsistence farming sector. The study indicates that the contribution of subsistence farming to household incomes is significant. The profiling of agricultural households, using cluster analysis, reveals four main types which differ significantly in terms of engagement in nonmarketed production. The poorest households form the largest cluster. They possess low natural, physical, and social capital, operating small-scale and undercapitalised farms with little nonagricultural income. The main EU Common Agricultural Policy instruments are not well suited to respond to the specific needs of these poor subsistence farmers.

Suggested Citation

  • Sophia Davidova & Lena Fredriksson & Matthew Gorton & Plamen Mishev & Dan Petrovici, 2012. "Subsistence Farming, Incomes, and Agricultural Livelihoods in the New Member States of the European Union," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 30(2), pages 209-227, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:envirc:v:30:y:2012:i:2:p:209-227
    DOI: 10.1068/c1195r

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    References listed on IDEAS

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