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In order to promote rural development public agricultural policies need to constantly adapt to the continuous change of socio-economic conditions of rural areas, related to both farm and territorial dynamics. Hence beyond the zoning provided by the European Commission and developed by Member States [art. 11 Reg. Ce 1698/2005], policy makers should take into account geography, farms characteristics and farmers attitude to acquire a deeper knowledge of these rural areas. This paper aims at supporting the design of proper agricultural policies focusing on the case-study of Mugello territory, a rural area located in the North of Tuscany, which includes both: intermediate rural areas and areas with development problems. This purpose is firstly pursued by generating a geo-referenced database able to develop a deeper analysis on the existing interactions between socio - economic attributes of farms, land use and agricultural policies. The study combined several sources of data: the 2010 Italian Agriculture Census, the Tuscany Regional Agency for Payments in Agriculture (ARTEA) database, and cover land data from the database Corine Land Cover (CLC-06), as updated to 2007 by LaMMA (Laboratory for Environment Monitoring and Modeling). The resulting sample is composed by 821 farms operating in the Mugello area which are split in four different farm styles according to their level of multifunctionality and enterpreunership capacity. Results show that Mugello territory is characterized by an internal differentiation, that determines the prevalence of different farm structure according to the sub-areas characteristics. Especially analyzing the distribution of payments related to area with development problems we note that there are still margins of improvement.


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