The Return on Investment in Social Farming: A Strategy for Sustainable Rural Development in Rural Catalonia

Ana Pilar Vera Martin, Antoni Francisco Tulla Pujol, Carlos Guirado González, Natalia Valldeperas Belmonte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Although social farming (SF) has been a successful endeavor in Catalonia over the last 30 years, it has not been visible for part of society, which is largely unaware of its existence. Nevertheless, this study has demonstrated after studying five cases that the social return on investment (SROI) has been significant in rural areas. In this study, five in-depth interviews were carried out, and a general questionnaire was sent to 161 SF projects in Catalonia with a view to analyzing the participation of stakeholders and the returns they have achieved. The SROI method and the benefits to different stakeholders are concisely described. Our main foci are people at risk of social exclusion, their families, and the project promoters, but we also believe it is essential to analyze the administration of projects and the settings in which they take place. It is calculated that there is a social, economic, and environmental return on investment in terms of the benefits to the territory's sustainable local development at an approximate proportion of three euros for every euro invested. Without a doubt, SF can help to support proximity agriculture, thus favoring its development and viability.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSustainability
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2020

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