Handbooks on Globalisation series
Edited by Guy M. Robinson and Doris A. Carson
Chapter 19: Multifunctional agricultural transition: essential for local diversity in a globalised world
The concept of multifunctional agriculture has been theoretically influential as the consequences of historically productivist agri-food systems continue to be felt. In this chapter two examples of multifunctionality, policy driven and bottom-up, are used to explain that the term can be conceptualised in different ways. Policy mechanisms to increase the multifunctionality of European agricultural practice are highlighted as having benefits in terms of affecting landholder decision-making. Alternative food networks in Australia, farmers’ markets in particular, are used as an example of producers themselves initiating futures that incorporate multifunctional ideals and using these principles to market their produce in innovative ways. While both forms of multifunctionality face challenges, the concept of multifunctional agricultural practice will continue to impact land management decisions and has significant potential to be used as a means to add value to traditional food and fibre production.
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