RDP project database
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.
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).
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
Total project cost (€)
EAFRD contribution (€)
National contribution (€)
Private contribution (€)
Alfredo Cunhal Melero Sendim
+351 937 821 876
Languages for contact
Original Language version
At a glance
Final beneficiary type
€20 000 - €99 999
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