Title: Multifunctionality of agricultural activities, changing rural identities and new institutional arrangements

Authors: Henk Renting, Henk Oostindie, Catherine Laurent, Gianluca Brunori, Dominique Barjolle, Anne Moxnes Jervell, Leo Granberg, Maarit Heinonen

Addresses: Rural Sociology Group, Wageningen University, Hollandseweg 1, Wageningen 6706 KN, The Netherlands. ' Rural Sociology Group, Wageningen University, Hollandseweg 1, Wageningen 6706 KN, The Netherlands. ' INRA-SAD, Paris, France. ' Department of Agronomy and Management of Agroecosystems, Pisa University, Pisa, Italy. ' AGRIDEA, Lausanne, Switzerland. ' Department of Economics and Resource Management, University of Life Sciences, As, Norway. ' Ruralia Institute, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland. ' Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

Abstract: 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?

Keywords: agricultural multifunctionality; agricultural activities; rural development; farm household strategies; pluriactivity; farm diversification; SMEs; small and medium-sized enterprises; rural identities; institutional arrangements; territorial capital; multifunctional agriculture.

DOI: 10.1504/IJARGE.2008.020083

International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology, 2008 Vol.7 No.4/5, pp.361 - 385

Published online: 25 Aug 2008 *

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