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Datenbank der Projekte zur ländlichen Entwicklung

Education Center for Land AgriCulture


Use of EAFRD support for diversification into non-agricultural activities has co-financed the creation of an environmental education centre that utilises the farm’s natural environment resources, whilst maintaining jobs and increasing farm sales.



Sociedade Agrícola do Freixo do Meio S.A. is an agricultural enterprise in southern Portugal which manages 650 ha of cork-oak and holm-oak groves entirely according to organic production methods and standards. In addition to farming, the enterprise also offers services / facilities for environment education and training in eco-tourism. The project is part of the enterprises’ strategy to further develop and diversify its multi-functionality.


The project aims to use EAFRD measure 311 (diversification into non-agricultural activities) to create: 1) an education centre providing regular and systematic environmental education and the promotion of healthy living; 2) a multi-purpose building for the educational activities, and; 3) a series of discrete ‘farm zones’ which are dedicated to environmental education, whilst at the same time not disturbing the day-to-day management of the farm.

Main activities

The education centre has been constructed with a range of features and facilities for supporting various levels of environmental education. These features include: i) information boards introducing the educational centre; ii) a greenhouse and kitchen garden; iii) a small lake; iv) small demonstration projects on sustainable living (organic growing, permaculture, rainwater collection etc.); iv) a multi-functional classroom; v) the necessary teaching equipment, and; vi) a new website.

Results & Benefits

The project has: a) created a new and economically micro-enterprise on the farm; b) maintained two jobs in the local community; c) already hosted almost 150 visits and activities; d) created a clear ‘brand’ with customer loyalty, and; e) also promoted sales of organic products from the farm (the website has greatly increased the sale products from the farm in Lisbon).

Lessons learnt

The project had a clear purpose to promote more sustainable and ecological lifestyles, however the educational centre must still be financially self-supporting. All the normal principles of marketing therefore apply, with a particular emphasis upon ensuring a fair and stable (as well as profitable) price for customers.

Project location and other information

Montemor-o-Novo, Alentejo, South of Portugal



RDP Territory


Total project cost (€)

67 103

EAFRD contribution (€)

21 473

National contribution (€)

5 369

Private contribution (€)

40 262

Contact name

Alfredo Cunhal Melero Sendim


+351 937 821 876

Languages for contact

English, Portuguese

At a glance



Final beneficiary type

Individual farmers

Budget range

€20 000 - €99 999

Start date:


End Date:


Theme / Measure:

• Rural Quality of Life & Economic Diversification
• Rural economic diversification
• 311. Diversification into non-agricultural activities


Organic farming, Eco-tourism, Environmental education, Farm diversification

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