Organic farming for food security in the EU: impact assessment of the Rural Development Program for Malta 2014-2020
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This thesis discusses the role of organic farming in ensuring food security in the European Union on the case of Malta. The work demonstrates how the Rural Development Program for the Maltese islands 2014-2020 promotes organic farming and impacts four dimensions of food security: availability, access, utilization and stability. The research is a qualitative study, following the single-case study design. The coding frame was developed to approach the data. The analysis consisted of 14 interviews with the representatives of the industry (organic farmers), researchers in the field, representatives of NGOs, agricultural consultants and policymakers, as well as other related policy documents. The impact of the program was assessed according to the four dimensions of food security. The study contributes to the discussion of food security in developed countries by analyzing how different policy measures related to organic farming can contribute to the availability, access, utilization and stability dimensions, taken into consideration the regional difficulties and specificity. The thesis argues that organic farming can bring a substantial contribution to ensuring food security on the Maltese islands, however, the current policy measures are not enough for making a change. Although the policies aim at incentivizing organic farming in the country, the government does not support the sector. The work provides recommendations for the Maltese policymakers in the lights of submitting the next Rural Development Program 2021-2027 and the upcoming Common Agricultural Policy reform.
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