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Accepted Paper:

Building the landscape by farming the future: expectations and rural development in North-Western Italy  
Michele Fontefrancesco (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

Paper short abstract:

The paper explores the role of the farmers' visions of the future in unfolding the rural landscape. In particular, it shows the link between the agricultural choices and the perception of ecological and entrepreneurial failure and hope

Paper long abstract:

This article is based on ethnographic research conducted in the Alessandria province, in northwestern Italy, with a focus on its rural development and the perspectives of its inhabitants.

This paper links the characteristics of the rural landscape with how farmers' imagine their future and the future of their farm. In the general context of economic stress that the sector is experiencing at a local and national level, the socioeconomic challenges impact on the farmers and affects their very perception of the rural landscape, marking a turning point of the future of agriculture.

The paper explores how the farmers' visions of the future relate to their connection with the rural landscape. It analyzes the meanings associated with the different cultivations and which factors have the greatest influence on defining their visions of the future and, thus, their entrepreneurial choices. In particular, it looks at individual working life expectancy and longevity of the company as decisive factors in either advancing or withdrawing their agricultural activities.

In so doing, the paper suggests what entrepreneurial strategies tend to adopt for their farm, building different landscapes in a context of deep ecological transformation. The paper further develops the theoretical and methodological contribution developed in the research project SASS - CUP H42F16002450001:

Panel Irre09c
Agricultural infrastructures in a failed ecology III
  Session 1 Wednesday 31 March, 2021, -