Relationship between innovation and networks in chestnut value chain: A case study in Italy
In the last decades, the chestnut production has decreased in Italy due to diseases such as chestnut blight and chestnut gall wasp, and progressive depopulation of mountainous areas. The aim of the paper is to analyse the role of social network to enhance the dissemination of new ideas and innovations in view of the chestnut value chain development. The study was conducted in the Mugello-Val di Sieve area in the Tuscany region (Italy). A participatory value chain analysis approach was used for the strengthening of the local chestnut value chain. The data were collected by administering a questionnaire to a sample of 126 chestnut growers (83 chestnut growers enrolled and 43 not enrolled in the Consortium of “Marrone del Mugello Protected Geographical Indication”) to highlight the relationships between farmers and institutional actors. The network of the Consortium members was compared with the network of the non-members. The results show that a well-structured network allows for better dissemination of information and knowledge between farmers and greater diversification of product market sales.
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