Click on the image below to download the proceedings of the 2009 ERDN conference.


Selected additional papers:

• Fieldsend, A.F. (2014): Putting 'rural' at the centre of the European Union’s cohesion and enlargement policy. Collected papers from the international project "EU-36" (forthcoming).

• Fieldsend, A.F. (2013): Rural Renaissance: an integral component of regional economic resilience. Studies in Agricultural Economics 115 (2), 85-91.

• Fieldsend A.F. and and Székely, E. (2013): An assessment of the Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System in Hungary. Rural Areas and Development Series 10, Knowledge as a factor of rural areas development, 27-44.

• Potori, N., Fieldsend, A.F., Garay, R., Popp, J. and Udovecz, G. (2011): The impacts of the global financial and economic crisis on the agro-food sector of Central and Eastern European and Central Asian countries. Studies in Agricultural Economics 113 (1), 5-32.

• Fieldsend, A.F. (2008): Out of the shadows: making female labour in agriculture visible. Economics and Rural Development: Research Papers 4 (2), 16-25.

This site © Andrew Fieldsend 2016. . Feel free to spread all information, but remember to mention your source. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy but no liability can be accepted for errors or omissions or for the content of external sites.

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My Rural Development Work

After a successful career in agricultural research, my focus turned to rural development, firstly in the UK and then in eastern central Europe. I have managed projects in Albania, Hungary and Romania, acted as consultant to the EU, FAO and UNIDO, and coordinated the EU FP7 project RuralJobs. I am Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed journal Studies in Agricultural Economics.

Rural development projects

In recent years I have managed or participated in a number of rural development projects:

  • As International Consultant I managed on behalf of the FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia a project entitled Capacity Development of Agricultural Technology Transfer Centres and extension services, for rural diversification projects in Albania. Several workshops were organised and a report was prepared for the government entitled Agriculture extension and research in the context of Albanian rural development. This made four recommendations on how the advisory services in the country could be improved. A plan to set up three pilot projects was unfortunately hampered by lack of absorption capacity in Albania.

  • Ro4RuralBiz - Initiative for sustainable rural development was a 36 month project that aimed to increase the level of employment in non-agricultural activities for people who live in rural areas of the West and Southwest regions of Romania, with a set of actions designed to encourage business creation and skills development in rural areas. These actions included: • training activities (skills and entrepreneurship); • regional networks to support entrepreneurial initiative; and • policy recommendations for the development of rural entrepreneurship. The project was funded from Romanian Structural Funds and included partners from Bulgaria and Hungary.

  • I wrote and coordinated of the EU Framework 7-funded project New Sources of Employment to Promote the Wealth-Generating Capacity of Rural Communities (acronym: RuralJobs). This project included partners from eight countries from across the EU and ran for 33 months. RuralJobs: • quantified the employment needs and potentials in different types of rural areas across Europe; • evaluated the effectiveness of past and current policies in addressing these needs and potentials; and by systematic analysis of the results • provided guidelines on the better targeting of future rural development measures.

  • I set up the Cross-Border Centre of Expertise for Rural Development (HVTK) which is a 'community of practice' with the specific objective of encouraging academic-practitioner dialogue and cooperation to promote rural development. Activities have included • building a network of individuals with an interest in rural development in the Hungary-Romania cross-border region; • creating an online database of expertise in rural development; and • supporting the education of students about sustainable rural development. HVTK has incorporated the activities of the former EuroKontakt project and has built up a Cross-Border Rural Network of over 2000 rural development practitioners and academics.

  • Praxis - Making Rural Entrepreneurship Work was an Interreg IIIC funded project with 15 partners which cooperated to exchange good practice in stimulating employment in rural areas. The project included four pilot projects exploring innovative ways to promote rural entrepreneurship, namely: • Innovation Development Amongst Rural Entrepreneurs; • Micro Enterprise Start Ups in Rural Areas; • Innovation through Diversification; and • Virtual Community of Rural Entrepreneurs. I wrote the Praxis Rural Entrepreneurship Toolkit which can be accessed by clicking on the image below. This was the major sustainable deliverable of the project.
  • I was a component manager in the Interreg IIIC project Rural Innova - A European exchange network for an innovative rural development policy. Its purpose was the exchange of good practice for non-agricultural rural development. The four components were: • The reception of new populations into rural areas; • Innovative economic activities; • Essential services to the population; and • Governance and sustainable development. The project aimed to step outside the traditional framework of rural development policy, which is essentially based on the agricultural aspects, to explore the development potential for rural areas based on sources of wealth other than agricultural production. In other words, it approached rural development from a territorial perspective, not a sectoral one.

  • The ESF funded project WayMark-Essex, designed to promote the take up of business support by rural entrepreneurs in the East of England, was recreated in the Hungary-Romania cross-border region (with Phare-CBC funding) under the name EuroKontakt. This project created a directory of funding, training, advice and support available to rural entrepreneurs in the region and disseminated the information via a website, telephone helpline and paper-based directory (Zöld Oldalak). These activities were supported by newsletters and other outputs.

Other recent consultancy

  • 2008 (Sept-Oct): International Consultant for, and chairperson of, the 21st Expert Meeting of the FAO-ECA Working Party on Women and the Family in Rural Development entitled Out of the Shadows: Making Female Labour in Agriculture Visible, Tiranë, Albania, 23-25 October 2008;

  • 2009 (Oct-Dec): Team member of the research project An assessment of the impacts of the global financial and economic crisis on the agro-food sector of Central and Eastern European and Central Asian countries commissioned by the FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, Budapest, Hungary;

  • 2011 (Oct): Member of the ad-hoc group on fostering the take-up of research and agriculture best practices convened by the Cabinet of Dacian Ciolos, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Brussel, 27-28 October 2011;

  • 2012 (June): Prepared a report entitled Review of General Knowledge on Rural Employment for the Haza és Haladás Közpolitikai Alapítvány (Patriotism and Progress Public Policy Foundation), Budapest;

  • 2013 (Mar-Aug): Expert evaluator of Framework 7 research project proposals for the EU, Brussel;

  • 2013 (Dec) - 2014 (Aug): Member of the EU EIP 'Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability' Focus Group on Genetic resources: cooperation models;

  • 2013 (Oct): Contributor to the Expert Group Meeting entitled What makes people innovate? Insights to rural enterprise development convened by the UNIDO Rural Entrepreneurship Development and Human Security Unit, Wien, Austria, 29-30 October 2013;

  • 2013 (Sept) - 2015 (May): Team member of the research project Prospects of the farming sector and rural development in the Central Asian plain: The case of wheat production in Kazakhstan commissioned by the Joint Research Centre of the EU;

  • 2014 (Apr): Speaker at a high-level round table private session entitled Innovation serving food and nutrition security in Europe and Africa organised by the Association of Commonwealth Universities at the EU-Africa Business Forum, Brussel, 1 April 2014;

  • 2014 (Apr-Nov): National expert (Hungary) for the EU Framework 7 project IMPRESA (Impact of Research on EU Agriculture): prepared a report entitled Study on investment in agricultural research: Review for Hungary;

  • 2014 (July-Sept): Expert evaluator of Horizon 2020 research project proposals for the EU, Brussel;

  • 2014 (Aug): National expert (Hungary) for the project Evaluation of the Information Policy on the Common Agricultural Policy tendered by the European Commission DG Agri;

  • 2015 (July): International Expert on Agricultural Innovation Systems in Europe and Central Asia: prepared a background paper entitled Innovation in family farming in Europe and Central Asia at the request of the FAO to serve the panel discussion during the 39th session of the European Commission of Agriculture (ECA), Budapest, Hungary, 22-23 September 2015;

  • 2015 (July-Sept): Expert evaluator of Horizon 2020 research project proposals for the EU, Brussel;

  • 2016 (Jan-June): International Expert on Agricultural Innovation Systems in Europe and Central Asia: prepared a full study including policy recommendations entitled Innovation in family farming in Europe and Central Asia at the request of the FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, Budapest, Hungary;

  • 2016 (Mar-Apr): Expert evaluator of Horizon 2020 research project proposals for the EU, Brussel.


Since mid-2011 I have been Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed journal Studies in Agricultural Economics which publishes original research papers, review papers, policy analyses and book reviews on agricultural economics, rural development and related topics. It is produced both in printed and electronic formats and the intended audience is researchers, academics, policy makers and practitioners in agricultural economics and rural development, especially in eastern central and south eastern Europe. In 2015 Studies in Agricultural Economics was added to the Thomson Reuters™ Web of Science™ Core Collection. Impact factor (CitEc, 2014): 0.18. Click on the image below to access the journal website.



I have visited the following countries and plan to add more to this list: Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Eire, England, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United States and Wales.

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