Multifunctionality of agricultural activities, changin rural identies and new institutional arrangements

H. Renting, H.A. Oostindië, C. Laurent, G. Brunori, D. Barjolle, A. Monxnes Jervell, L. Granberg, I.M. Heinonen

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61 Citations (Scopus)


This paper builds on the outcomes of a state-of-the-art review of research for the European research project MULTAGRI, with a particular focus on the conceptualisation of Multifunctional Agriculture (MFA) from a 'supply side' perspective. It argues that a consistent and satisfactory conceptual framework for studying the supply of MFA at farm and territorial level is still largely lacking and that, when consistently applied, the recognition of the multifunctionality of agriculture fundamentally challenges the ways in which agricultural activities are observed, analysed and their effects assessed. This is elaborated by discussing five 'critical questions' for studying the supply of MFA: (1) what are relevant functions of agriculture? (2) how to define agricultural activities? (3) how to identify relevant farm/firm categories? (4) how to study the role of changing rural identities? and (5) what is the role of new territorial and institutional arrangements?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-385
JournalInternational Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology
Issue number4/5
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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