How can the agricultural entrepreneur, in today’s competitive world, make his company more attractive on the market? An effective solution is the adoption of multifunctional agriculture, especially in the fields of social and educational agriculture, rural tourism and the short supply chain.
The reasons that led the farmers to undertake this type of initiative are both economic and social: there is the need to promote company productions and find additional forms of income, but they also want to bridge the profound cultural and emotional gap that has arisen between the citizens and the rural reality.
The term “multi-functionality” is considered the origin of a veritable cultural revolution that has highlighted the importance of the role of the agricultural entrepreneur as cultural, social and territorial defense of the European landscape.
In agriculture, multifunctionality is considered as the ability to provide multiple functions – not exclusively the production of food – which can be various: economic (productive, occupational); environmental (environmental quality maintenance, landscape and biodiversity conservation); social (maintenance of rural traditions, provision of recreational, educational and therapeutic services).
Many “agripreneurs” have already discovered the precious importance of these functions, determining an evolution of agricultural production that has become agro-food, agro-environmental, agro-tourism, agro-energy, agro-social and much more. Thanks to multifunctionality, agriculture is offering the possibility of creating new jobs, through the adaptability of workers and companies to the continuous economic and social transformation; but also, looking to the future, through the search for suitable solutions to the problem of the redevelopment of rural areas.
For this reason, agricultural entrepreneurs have a strong interest in adopting and promoting multifunctional agriculture as it’s an action capable of intervening in a plurality of areas of a different nature but closely interconnected. In this way, in fact, “agripreneurs” faces various questions: the rebalancing between city and countryside through increased incomes and stability for farmers, the professional integration of young people, the involvement of students thanks to didactic agriculture, the rediscovery of local products, the short food supply chain, the requalification of the rural heritage and tourism promotion.