The Importance of Social Farming in the Socio-Economic Development of Romania and of the EU States

Abstract :

Social farming embodies a strong asset in view of the rural development nowadays.?Hence, traditions are preserved, the cultural heritage passed down by our ancestors as legacy?is revered, as well as the readiness for innovation and the aspect of adjusting to the good?practices of the neighbouring Europeans.?Putting farming into practice results in merging blissfully plant cultivation, raising?animals with social activites destined to socially deprived persons, disabled individuals, or?with psychological or emotional disorders. Social farming metamorphoses the rural area into?a site favourable for the people with special needs and could highly contribute to?implementing European policies as regards health, social protection and education.?The paper presents the most important features of social farming at international and?European levels, and analyses its current state at national, regional and local levels based on?interviews with representatives of authorised protected entities, cooperatives, family farms,?houses of mutual aid, NGOs (associations and foundations), and SMMs. Social farming?needs recognition at national level, establishment of a social farming regulatory framework,?building up of social farming networks, creation of a social farming database, inclusion in?education programmes, in research programmes and in the sustainable development strategy,?as well as strengthening of the role of civil society.