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The changing face of rural space : agriculture and rural development in the Western Balkans, Volume 1
Author:Lampietti, Julian A.; Lugg, David G.; Van der Celen, Philip; Branczik, Amelia; Country:South Eastern Europe and Balkans;
Date Stored:2009/05/10Document Date:2009/01/01
Document Type:PublicationSubTopics:Rural Poverty Reduction; Agricultural Research; Food & Beverage Industry; Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems
Region:Europe and Central AsiaReport Number:48461
Collection Title:Directions in development ; agriculture and rural developmentVolume No:1

Summary: This report brings together lessons from previous studies, supplemented by new analysis. It frames the challenges facing the rural and agri-food sector in the Western Balkans to illustrate the directions for policies, now and in the future. Part one looks at the characteristics of the rural and agri-food sector today, its potential and its obstacles. Part two looks at the future of the agri-food sector and rural space. Value chains will change with more competitive imports, with larger retailers influencing value chains, and with farmers and processors needing to respond to these trends by producing goods that meet quality and safety standards consistently and reliably. These changes will drive the modernization of agriculture, leading to an agri-food sector with fewer and more productive farms. Beyond the agri-food sector, effective rural development programs will be needed to ensure that agriculture's modernization is balanced and equitable. Local authorities and rural communities will have to be involved in developing and implementing territorial strategies for leveraging the non-farm potential of rural areas. Food safety standards will become more important as countries strive to meet private and public standards, and climate change will introduce uncertainty and compel farmers to adapt. Part three provides a roadmap to help governments create a strong and healthy rural and agri-food sector able to respond to these challenges. It looks first at the strategy that should drive public spending in agriculture and the composition of that spending. It then looks at how governments can best provide public services to agriculture, in extension advisory services, agricultural information services, and agricultural education and research. The report's aim is to enable governments and donors to have a common vision of the goals and directions of their policies and programs. It identifies future threats and challenges to the sector, and provides a framework of outcomes and objectives to inform future government policies and donor assistance to the sector.

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