A Place-based Turn in Multifunctional Agriculture: The Case of Italy's Garfagnana Region


  • Jordan Treakle Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations




Family Farming, Multifunctional Agriculture, Place-Based Development, Territorial Development, Agroecology, Italy


The Garfagnana region of Tuscany has witnessed a resurgence in the small-scale farming sector. Rooted in a historical practice of multifunctional agriculture, over the last decade family farmers and local institutions have increasingly focused on place-based development initiatives, such as reval­orizing native livestock breeds and promoting agroecological practices, as ways to strengthen small-scale agriculture and the local rural economy. This place-based turn is now reshaping the devel­opment trajectories of many family farms and communities in Garfagnana.

Drawing on qualitative field research con­ducted in 2015, this paper utilizes the sociological conceptual lenses of multifunctional agriculture and place-based development to analyze three case-study farms, each with different production sys­tems and territorial relations. Multifunctional agri­culture theory is used to analyze how farming prac­tices in the three case-studies represent a range of adaptive shifts away from productionist trends and toward a more diversified farming approach. Then place-based theory is used to demonstrate how these multifunctional agriculture practices relate to the distinct socio-ecological landscape of Gar­fagnana, uniquely rooting these farms in the terri­tory. This article ultimately examines how new forms of multifunctional agriculture are fostering a place-based food and agriculture system in central Italy and how this approach can strengthen family farming and rural communities.

See the press release for this article. 


Metrics Loading ...
Logo for the Place-Based Food Systems conference



How to Cite

Treakle, J. (2019). A Place-based Turn in Multifunctional Agriculture: The Case of Italy’s Garfagnana Region. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 9(A), 179–195. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2019.091.039