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.



Maintaining Farmland

a New Focus for Agricultural Policy

Agricultural policy reforms, including CAP reform in Europe, periodic changes in U.S. Farm Bills, and adjustments in Canadian agricultural policies, have a number of common threads. These can be grouped under the concept of multifunctionality, although in North America and some other countries the term is not popular (Garzon, 2005; Dobbs and Pretty, 2004). Even so, there is a general recognition by the majority of OECD countries that farm policy has to move beyond its historic focus on increasing commodity production and supporting farm incomes (Cochrane, Normile and Wojan, 2006). Largely, this involves recognizing the various non-commodity outputs of agriculture and finding ways to adjust farming practices to alter the balance between commodity and noncommodity outputs (OECD, 2003).


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