Factors influencing farmers’ willingness to participate in Farm to School programmes – The case of Albania
Farm to school (F2S) programmes ensure school pupils receive an appropriate diet, fight malnutrition, and motivate children to attend school. The participation of local smallholders in F2S schemes contributes to these objectives, but also provides a market opportunity for local small farms. This is particularly important in the case of developing or emerging economies that are characterised by malnutrition among children and where smallholdings often struggle with limited market access, as is the case with Albania. The aim of this paper is to explore the main factors affecting farmers’ willingness to participate in a F2S scheme using data from a structured farm survey. Regression analysis results show that economically based motivation (farm-related factors such as size and post-harvest losses) intertwined with social capital factors and attitudinal indicators (experience and attitudes towards cooperation, reliance on local governmental support, information, and product safety perception level) affect farmers’ willingness to participate in F2S schemes. For farmers to participate viably in such schemes, it is necessary to provide knowledge, awareness, and support for ensuring compliance with food safety and quality standards and for improving cooperation.