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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to present, by means of case studies, examples of activities in the field of multipurpose development businesses which, due to services offered, their location and recognition, can serve as good practices and provide inspiration for the development of such activities in rural areas of selected EU countries. A key aspect of multipurpose rural development is to shift from single-function development towards farm diversification in order to engage in and develop non-agricultural activities. The concept of multipurpose rural development, where agriculture is no longer the sole function of rural areas, has often become a panacea for maintaining the basic form of agriculture, especially in areas affected by severe fragmentation of agricultural land. The examples found in three countries (Poland, Spain and Romania) showed that agriculture can be combined with non-agricultural activities with environmentally-friendly, innovative and educational concepts. The analyzed cases also showed that entrepreneurship in rural areas is often carried out in accordance with the principles of sustainable development, and the multifunctional nature of these activities indicates that even small farms are able to survive. However, it is important that it is not only agricultural activity, but other activities connected with it, using natural and cultural resources of farms and villages, such as processing or education.

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