Author : Guido van Huylenbroeck,Guy Durand
Publisher : Ashgate Pub Limited
Release : 2003
ISBN : 9780754635765
Language : En, Es, Fr & De
Book Description :
Throughout history, agriculture has played an essential role in the development of rural areas. Thus, despite the fact that over the past few decades, its role as an economic activity has been severely depleted, it continues to be of great importance for rural development, although its role must be radically reformulated. While agriculture is no longer the main source of employment in rural areas, farmers are looking to diversify from their traditional role as food producers by also providing non-commodity goods to society, such as landscape, nature, employment, rural viability, animal welfare, and so on. Public support is increasingly more oriented towards farms which are taking on this multifunctional role. This causes an important change in farm systems and practices requiring a broadening into new activities, an improvement in quality or value for money, or a regrounding (for example, addressing environmental concerns). To cope with such reorientation, farmers require the assistance of extension officers, sociologists and economists. This book brings together such experts to investigate what this reorientation of agriculture means in practice, how it responds to the needs of society, how it can be implemented through legislation and public policies, and how far this gives new opportunities for non-competitive or even marginal farms.