Inderscience Publishers

Patterns of resource use on Danish organic farms: aspects of farm-based rural development

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Courtesy of Inderscience Publishers

The diversity in the Danish organic farming sector in terms of patterns of human resource use is investigated. Based on the total time allocated to agricultural activities almost half the organic farms are full-time farms, one third part-time and the rest hobby farms. Spouses contribute little time to agricultural activities and 75% of them has full- or part-time jobs outside the farm. Half of the organic farms engage in Other Farm-based Activities (OFAs), with 40?50% of these being of some or major economic importance and with direct sales being most frequent. Full time farms pursuing a size enlargement strategy seem to engage in OFAs like other full time farms, indicating that enlargement and diversification are not exclusive. Diversification of resource use into off-farm work and OFAs seems to be an integrated part of organic agricultural strategies, more than a pathway away from agriculture. The potential contribution of such strategies to rural development is discussed.

Keywords: diversity, pluriactivity, organic farming, Denmark, resource use, rural development, gender roles, organic agriculture, human resources, agricultural strategy

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