Categorizing the sustainability of vegetable production in Chile: a farming typology approach

Francisco Benitez-Altuna*, Jacques Trienekens, Daniel Gaitán-Cremaschi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Sustainable practices are seen as one of the solutions to redress the negative impact of agriculture's growing intensification. Despite efforts by many governments, the adoption rate of sustainable practices amongst farmers is still low. One of the causes is policymakers’ insufficient knowledge of farming-system diversity. In order to account for such diversity, this paper proposes classifying farming systems, including new elements such as the sustainability level of agricultural practices and market channel traits, in combination with socio-economic and farm characteristics. We apply a farming typology approach, using vegetable production in Chile as our case study. We developed the typology using multivariate analysis techniques including principal component analysis (PCA) and hierarchical clustering (CA). We collected data using surveys (n = 352) in the central region of Chile. The results reveal five farming-system types: (1) Large dual farming, (2) ecological farming, (3) traditional farming, (4) conventional small-scale farming, and (5) conventional medium-scale farming. The five farming system types provide insights on the different agricultural practices used and their different starting points in terms of their transition towards more sustainable agriculture practices. We also propose possible policies based on these farming-system types that can be useful for policymakers to promote sustainable practices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2202538
JournalInternational Journal of Agricultural Sustainability
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2023


  • emerging economies
  • farm typology
  • market channel
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • transition pathways


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