Multifunctionality in Agriculture

Evaluating the degree of jointness, policy implications

image of Multifunctionality in Agriculture

These proceedings examine the nature and strength of jointness between agricultural commodity production and non-commodity outputs from the perspective of three areas important to the agricultural sector: rural development, environmental externalities and food security. This workshop also examined whether the relationships among these non-commodity outputs were complementary or competing. Finally, the policy implications that could be derived from the findings of this workshop were also a key element in the discussions and are summarised in the Rapporteur’s summary.



Evaluation of Jointness Between Agriculture and Rural Development

The discussion on multifunctionality has evolved since the publication of Multifunctionality: Its Policy Implications (OECD, 2003), which developed a framework for developing appropriate agricultural policies without distorting trade liberalisation. Nevertheless, problems with multifunctionality in agriculture persist; one of the more significant problems revolves around the extent that there exists jointness between farming activities and multifSince 1990, the term multifunctionality has served to define those public services provided by agriculture which arise as by-products of the production of marketable goods. According to Mann and Mack (2004), the term multifunctionality stands for the various tasks of agriculture which, in turn, can be derived from the targets set down in the Swiss Federal Constitution. The most important services of Swiss agriculture are (Federal Constitution, Article 104):unctionality.


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