Journal of rural studies vol:21 issue:1 pages:81-97
On marginal farms, and in agriculture in general, sustainability is largely guaranteed by a broad range of survival strategies, closely interlinked and embedded in the household structure of typical family farms. This paper reports results of a socio-economic study carried out among Belgian farmers, focusing specifically on the opportunities offered by different forms of diversification. Analyses from in-depth interviews indicate the possible role of new activities in the survival of many farms. The curative potential of this strategy is, however, strongly conditioned by the availability of capital within the household. Therefore, off-farm employment is often the most accessible strategy, not only for the survival of the household, but also for supplementing the income necessary to maintain the farm activities. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.