Italian Review of Agricultural Economics (REA) publishes Online First Articles. This feature allows final revision articles to be hosted online prior to their inclusion in a final print and online journal issue.

Agriculture and rural areas facing the “twin transition”: principles for a sustainable rural digitalisation

Gianluca Brunori
Pisa Agricultural Economics Group (PAGE), University of Pisa, Italy

Accepted: 2022-11-07 | Published Online: 2022-11-25
DOI: 10.36253/rea-13983


In this paper some of the key issues related to digitalisation in agriculture and rural areas are addressed. In line with the Green Deal, the paper proposes a framework on how to address the “twin transition” (ecological+digital) through transformative policies based on directionality, market integration and reflexivity. The framework is based on a view of digitalisation as a socio-technical process, which implies taking into account the social implications of any technology development, and centring innovation policies on a clear definition of the problems to be addressed. The paper proposes the concept of socio-cyber-physical system as a paradigm for policy strategies and for innovation and discusses its implications for sustainable digitalisation strategies in the field of agriculture and rural areas.


Farmers’ selection model in a club value chain: the case of the Agro-Pontino kiwifruit industry

Mara Lai, Gaetana Petriccione
CREA - Research Centre for Agricultural Policies and Bioeconomy, Italy

Luca Cacchiarelli, Alessandro Sorrentino
Tuscia University, Italy

Carlo Russo
University of Cassino and Lazio Meridionale, Italy

Accepted: 2022-10-11 | Published Online: 2022-11-25

DOI: 10.36253/rea-13407


Club varieties are protected horticultural varieties that farmers can grow only with the agreement of the intellectual property right holder (breeder). They contribute to the development of vertically coordinated value chains where breeders act as leading firms, because they can control both production and marketing of the protected variety. Despite the breeders’ bargaining power, farmers find club contractual conditions more favourable than those usually offered for non-patented varieties. We hypothesize that breeders may have no incentive to contract all interested farmers in order to avoid expanding production and take advantage of the legal monopoly granted by current regulations. Thus, breeders are expected to select farmers according to an efficiency criterion instead of just licensing all applying farmers. Empirical results from the Agro-Pontino kiwifruit industry support this hypothesis. The results of a questionnaire, submitted to farmers, and of semi-structured interviews targeting key actors of the kiwifruit supply chains, confirmed the selection hypothesis and allow possible selection criteria applied to identify growers of yellow-flesh kiwifruit to be found. A logit-regression model was run using the questionnaire results, while information collected through the semi-structured interviews guided the identification of variables to be included in the model as well as interpretation of the results.


A participative methodology for prioritising intervention logic in the design of the Italian CAP Strategic Plan

Roberto Cagliero, Giampiero Mazzocchi, Alessandro Monteleone, Fabio Pierangeli, Pietro Manzoni di Chiosca, Elio Romano
CREA - Research Centre for Agricultural Policies and Bioeconomy, Italy

 Accepted: 2022-10-11 | Published Online: 2022-11-25

DOI: 10.36253/rea-13717


The new CAP implementation model requires each Member State to design a CSP to deliver operational actions under the two CAP pillars. Each CSP must be built from an evidence-based needs assessment that undergoes rigorous prioritisation to plan comprehensive and achievable interventions. In Italy, the institutional context requires all the Regions and Autonomous Provinces to express their preferences and to discuss the CSP collectively, both as regards identifying territorial needs and their prioritisation. In this framework, it became pertinent to introduce a specific instrument to facilitate participation in this process. The Italian Ministry, in collaboration with the National Rural Network, developed a participatory route to assess the prioritisation of the identified needs, to support the decision-making process in CSP drafting process. The process is primarily based on a voting aggregation technique called the Constrained Cumulative Voting (CVV) method. The process identified makes it possible, on the one hand, to formulate a shared consensus on the level of importance of each need; on the other one, via the definition of natural breaks, to determine homogeneous groups of needs by importance of intervention. This process is in line with the European Commission’s legislative proposals requiring a sound and well-founded logic of intervention.


Econometric analysis of choice drivers and willingness to pay for certified forest biomasses for energy

Liam Pippinato, Stefano Bruzzese, Raffaele Zanchini, Francesca Poratelli, Simone Blanc, Filippo Brun
Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences, University of Turin, Italy

Accepted: 2022-10-13 | Published Online: 2022-11-25

DOI: 10.36253/rea-13655


In the field of fuels generated from renewable resources, woody biomasses have found fertile ground for labelling. Indeed, several certification schemes have been developed, covering not only the sustainability of forest management, but also the chain of custody, allowing the traceability of products at different stages, from production to purchase. This study aims to investigate whether there is a willingness to pay for forest products for energy purposes with sustainability or quality certifications (FSC, PEFC and ENplus certifications) and what determines it, using pellets as reference product for the study. To do so, an exploratory analysis has been conducted, firstly using Principal Component Analysis (PCA) for a dimensional reduction and, subsequently, an ordered logistic regression. The results show that more than 30% of consumers are mainly willing to pay up to 10% more for PEFC and FSC certified pellets than for non-certified products, indicating a strong attention by consumers towards environmental issues, the quality certifications that can be adopted for pellets, and the attitude of consumers towards local and recycled products.


Crop Diversification, Agricultural Transition and Farm Income Growth: Evidence from Eastern India

Amit Kumar Basantaray
Department of Economics, Central University of Himachal Pradesh, India

Kirtti Ranjan Paltasingh
Department of Economics, Ravenshaw University, Cuttack, India

Pratap Singh Birthal
ICAR-National Institute of Agricultural Economics & Policy Research, New Delhi, India

Accepted: 2022-11-08 | Published Online: 2022-11-25

DOI: 10.36253/rea-13796


This paper examines the role of crop diversification in agricultural transition towards high-value crops as well as farm income growth in Odisha, Eastern India. The empirical analysis reveals some crucial facts: first, a stagnant and relatively low level of crop diversification in Odisha agriculture. Second, there is an insignificant agricultural transition due to the negative area substitution effect for most of the crops, along with a weak expansion effect over the last two decades from 1995-2018. Third, a declining contribution of productivity growth coupled with an insignificant contribution of crop diversification to the farm income growth over the years. Hence, we conclude no or an insignificant agricultural transition from traditional to high-value modern agriculture in Eastern India, causing unsustainable farm income growth. This calls for an urgent need to promote a mixed cropping pattern and colossal investment to encourage the farmers to transition towards high-value crops, stimulating farm income growth. Furthermore, massive efforts are required to make farmers aware of the advantages of diversification.


The 7th Italian Agricultural Census: new directions and legacies of the past

Roberto Henke, Roberta Sardone
CREA - Research Centre for Agricultural Policies and Bioeconomy, Italy

Accepted: 2022-11-14 | Published Online: 2022-11-25

DOI: 10.36253/rea-13972


The release of the new Italian Agricultural Census shows many features in line with the previous decades and also some novelties, which shall be properly investigated in the upcoming future. The reduction in number of farms was largely announced and in line with the overall declining trend. However, in 2020 the average farm size has grown, showing a slowdown of land abandonment and soil consumption in agriculture and a reorganization of the farm structures. In this paper the main economic, social and functional transformations are analysed, by aggregating some of the main trends in evidence. More in-depth analyses from scholars, stakeholders and policymakers are advocated, with the ultimate goal of highlighting and interpreting the long-term paths of Italian agriculture.