Open Access Article

Title: Designing an agricultural system to enhance the quality of human life based on the capability approach

Authors: Masahito Enomoto

Addresses: Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan, 3-1-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-0013, Japan

Abstract: An agricultural system can play multiple functions in enhancing the quality of human life. In the analysis of the relationship between an agricultural system and the quality of human life, socio-economic-environmental contexts play extremely important roles. The capability approach (CA) analyses human development with a keen interest in equity among people by using two aspects of freedom, 'well-being freedom' and 'agency freedom'. In this paper, we discuss how this approach will assist to analyse the processes involved in a sustainable agricultural practice to sustainably enhance people's well-being. To do so, the CA framework should be modified into a dynamic framework. Application of this framework to the sustainable agricultural practice of Sado Island, Japan, will show its usefulness in investigating different manifestations of capability among varied farmers and aiding stakeholders to collectively deliberate desirable capability changes and intervention plans. Eventually, it will contribute to fair and sustainable management of agricultural systems.

Keywords: well-being freedom; agency freedom; collective agency; capability approach dynamic framework; sustainability; sustainable agricultural system; Sado agriculture; crest ibis; capability approach.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSDES.2020.112168

International Journal of Sustainable Design, 2020 Vol.3 No.4, pp.251 - 278

Received: 13 Oct 2019
Accepted: 31 Mar 2020

Published online: 04 Jan 2021 *