Diversification has been increasingly recognized as a rewarding farm strategy through which farmers produce on-farm non-agricultural goods and services. In doing so, farmers employ farm inputs (capital, labor, and land) in products other than agricultural goods, with the aim to sell them in the market and increase their income. While a significant body of literature has explored the drivers affecting the adoption of diversification activities, so far little attention has been given to the impact of such adoption on the technical and financial performance of farms. This article intends to provide empirical evidence on the impact of on-farm non-agricultural diversification on the financial performance of family farms in Italy, by using a nation-wide sample of agricultural holdings based on the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) data. We estimated a fixed effects-instrumental variable panel model to deal with two potential sources of bias: self-selection in the diversification strategy and simultaneity, due to the fact that farmers often decide to diversify with outcome expectations in mind. Our findings show that in Italy the diversification strategy has a positive impact on the financial performance of family farms, which is second in magnitude only to that of land growth strategy. Our results also confirm the positive impact of efficiency and clarify that education has a positive return to investment when it is specialized in agriculture.

The impact of non-agricultural diversification on financial performance: Evidence from family farms in Italy

Salvioni C.;
2020

Abstract

Diversification has been increasingly recognized as a rewarding farm strategy through which farmers produce on-farm non-agricultural goods and services. In doing so, farmers employ farm inputs (capital, labor, and land) in products other than agricultural goods, with the aim to sell them in the market and increase their income. While a significant body of literature has explored the drivers affecting the adoption of diversification activities, so far little attention has been given to the impact of such adoption on the technical and financial performance of farms. This article intends to provide empirical evidence on the impact of on-farm non-agricultural diversification on the financial performance of family farms in Italy, by using a nation-wide sample of agricultural holdings based on the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) data. We estimated a fixed effects-instrumental variable panel model to deal with two potential sources of bias: self-selection in the diversification strategy and simultaneity, due to the fact that farmers often decide to diversify with outcome expectations in mind. Our findings show that in Italy the diversification strategy has a positive impact on the financial performance of family farms, which is second in magnitude only to that of land growth strategy. Our results also confirm the positive impact of efficiency and clarify that education has a positive return to investment when it is specialized in agriculture.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11564/716826
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