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Competitiveness and sustainability in horticulture: Strategy for small businesses

  • Autori: Sgroi, Filippo*; Donia, Enrica; Piraino, Fabrizio
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2018
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link:


Vegetable cultivation has a significant history in the countries of the Mediterranean basin. Italy is an important horticultural producer and, in this context, Sicily offers ideal conditions for the protected cultivation of field vegetables. Apart from a few well-organised producers, in many areas horticulture is characterised by backward entrepreneurial systems and fragmented production lines that make the vegetable market one that is very close to being a rigged competition in which companies must accept the price and have no negotiating power. This situation has been aggravated even further by the recent economic crisis and the subsequent recession, resulting in the disappearance of the production conditions for many small horticultural businesses. According to the theory of economic development, this loss causes the impoverishment of the area and has negative consequences on employment and income. In the present work, the profitability of a horticultural enterprise was measured. The study was conducted in Sicily, an island in the centre of the Mediterranean, where the cultivation of vegetables has a long history. The results show low profitability in relation to high production costs, as well as low market prices, reflecting imports from other countries in the Mediterranean basin and other Italian regions.