Drivers of on-farm diversification in the Italian peri-urban agriculture

Roberto Henke, Francesco Vanni


During the last decade peri-urban agriculture has been deeply investigated not only from an economic perspective, but also for its important impact on land use as well as on environmental and social dynamics. Building on the recent literature, the paper looks at the multifunctional role of peri-urban agriculture in Italy through a comparative analysis of a number of farms located within the main Italian urban poles. The analysis sheds light on both the internal and external drivers of farmers’ decision-making process about income diversification towards multifunctional activities. The article shows that, in the post productivist paradigm of multifunctional agriculture, peri-urban farms can play a pivotal role in a sustainable land use and enhancing the entrepreneurs’ behaviour in providing a broad variety of social and economic services to the urban population.


peri-urban agriculture; peri-urban land use; post-productivism; on-farm diversification; multifunctionality; farm entrepreneurship

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