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Small, Smart and Sustainable: Networking to Develop the Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Value-Chain in Portugal

Small, Smart and Sustainable: Networking to Develop the Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Value-Chain... AbstractThe paper aims to study the use of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAP) farmers’ networking activities to overcome challenges in the development of their business. MAPs are mostly cultivated in small farms located in rural territories. This presents many challenges in different dimensions of business development through the value-chain, namely in commercialization. That is why networking and collaboration with other actors may have an important role, by providing the scale and critical resources towards business success and value-chain sustainable development. The paper draws on a purposefully collected set of data on a network of Portuguese producers of MAP, organized under the EPAM project. The data was collected through a questionnaire and quantitatively analyzed in order to understand: i) how MAP farmers perceive the importance of networks for the development of their businesses? ii) How are networks enabling farmers with different profiles to develop their businesses? The results confirm the importance of networks for the development of these businesses, namely with other firms. However, it is possible to identify some diversity in the assessment of the role of those networks, both by taking into consideration the location of the farms and their positioning in the value-chain. The study contributes to a better understanding of how networking contributes to overcome barriers in the sustainable development of an agri-food value-chain, by stressing a variety of networking proposes and partners and the existence of differences across types of firms. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Countryside de Gruyter

Small, Smart and Sustainable: Networking to Develop the Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Value-Chain in Portugal

European Countryside , Volume 15 (3): 23 – Sep 1, 2023
23 pages

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References (41)

Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
© 2023 Cristina Sousa et al., published by Sciendo
ISSN
1803-8417
eISSN
1803-8417
DOI
10.2478/euco-2023-0024
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractThe paper aims to study the use of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAP) farmers’ networking activities to overcome challenges in the development of their business. MAPs are mostly cultivated in small farms located in rural territories. This presents many challenges in different dimensions of business development through the value-chain, namely in commercialization. That is why networking and collaboration with other actors may have an important role, by providing the scale and critical resources towards business success and value-chain sustainable development. The paper draws on a purposefully collected set of data on a network of Portuguese producers of MAP, organized under the EPAM project. The data was collected through a questionnaire and quantitatively analyzed in order to understand: i) how MAP farmers perceive the importance of networks for the development of their businesses? ii) How are networks enabling farmers with different profiles to develop their businesses? The results confirm the importance of networks for the development of these businesses, namely with other firms. However, it is possible to identify some diversity in the assessment of the role of those networks, both by taking into consideration the location of the farms and their positioning in the value-chain. The study contributes to a better understanding of how networking contributes to overcome barriers in the sustainable development of an agri-food value-chain, by stressing a variety of networking proposes and partners and the existence of differences across types of firms.

Journal

European Countrysidede Gruyter

Published: Sep 1, 2023

Keywords: agri-food value-chain; medicinal and aromatic plants; network; collaboration; smallness; sustainability; business development; Portugal

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