Agricultural activity and related land use also result in a wide range of non-food goods and services, shape the environment, affect social and cultural systems and contribute to economic growth.
- Multifunctional Rural Land Management: Economics and Policies / Edition 1.
- Issues Paper: The Multifunctional Character OF Agriculture and Land.
- Multifunctional Rural Land Management (Earthscan) – DESERTIFICATION.
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The Environmental Function. Agriculture and related land use can have beneficial or harmful effects on the environment. The MFCAL approach can help to identify opportunities to optimise the linkages between agriculture and the biological and physical properties of the natural environment.
It is relevant to a number of critical global environmental problems including biodiversity, climate change, desertification, water quality and availability, and pollution. The Economic Function. Agriculture remains a principal force in sustaining the operation and growth of the whole economy, even in highly industrialised countries.
Valuation of the various economic functions requires assessment of short, medium and long-term benefits. Important determinants of the economic function include the complexity and maturity of market development and the level of institutional development.
The Social Function. The maintenance and dynamism of rural communities is basic to sustaining agro-ecology and improving the quality of life and assuring the very survival of rural residents, particularly of the young. On another level, the capitalisation of local knowledge and the forging of relationships between local and external sources of expertise, information and advice are fundamental to the future of existing rural communities.
Social viability includes maintenance of the cultural heritage.
Multifunctional rural land management : economics and policies
Societies still identify intensely with their historical origins in agrarian communities and rural lifestyles. The three functions are clearly inter-related. Their relative importance depends on strategic choices at the local and national levels. The multiple functions may be relevant at many scales, from local, through national and regional, to global. Different functions and their implications may operate over different time horizons - indeed some innovations and transformations may have short-term disadvantages, such as lower productivity, before leading to longer-term, overall economic and environmental benefits.
At a further level of complexity, multiple functions may generate various impacts that vary in time and space. Informed decision-making requires a transparent assessment of the advantages of possible synergies as well as trade-offs between options for agriculture and land. For example, in an industrialised country with established industries, increasing emphasis on the service economy and a small rural population, a local agricultural system can still have multiple functions.
In a mountainous region, seasonal crops continue to have economic value for food and fodder, while animal husbandry can furnish a variety of goods. The landscape has value as a place of leisure and recreation for visitors from near and far.
Manual Multifunctional Rural Land Management: Economics and Policies
The watershed has an environmental function to maintain water quality and quantity, and prevent downstream erosion. Forested areas provide gathered products, timber and benefits to the air and soil. Finally, the continuing vitality of the overall rural economy preserves the common cultural heritage and guarantees the availability of labour for managing natural resources.
Choices about land use and employment generation involve striking a balance between short and longer-term economic benefits, and considerations of scale in land use - changes at the top of a watershed can affect activities and resources far downstream. At the same time modern machinery has made it possible to drain and flat new land. So even if some steep and bumpy farmland is abandoned, the total area of cultivated land has been relatively stable. New cultivation methods change the landscape. The valley sides are overgrown by trees and scrub, and pebbly riverbanks and moraines are flattened, covered by soil becoming grassland.
These new cultivation methods change the character and image of farmed land. Today, there are about 1, dairy farmers in the county, with an average herd size of The production of beef in Norway is mainly a by-product of milk production with dual-purpose breeds. Only few farms keep specialised beef breeds.
Multifunctional Rural Land Management (Earthscan) – DESERTIFICATION
In recent years there has been an increase of suckler beef production, both in Hordaland and nation-wide. The market is demanding meat qualities that can not be provided by the standard Norwegian breed Norwegian Red. Traditionally, Hordaland has been a sheep farming region.
Access to huge areas of rough grazing land is a major asset. Sheep farms are normally small and can be found throughout the entire county. One important cause of this development in Hordaland is the decline of coastal agriculture. In addition, goat and other livestock also appear as production a few places in Hordaland. Hordaland is known for its fruit production. The majestic Hardanger Fjord is famous for its steep slopes dotted with small, picturesque fruit farms. Here, fruit has been grown for centuries, mainly apples, but also a fair amount of plums and sweet cherry.
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Pears used to be a major crop, but the production has declined considerably. Fruit growing in western Norway has been combined with livestock farming, usually sheep. In recent years, though, the trend has been to focus entirely on fruit. There may be several reasons for this: declining profitability in sheep farming, land-use conflicts between forage and fruit production, and contamination of forage crops from pesticide spray drift.
In , Hordaland produced For Norway as a whole, the corresponding figures were 8.
Nearly half of the harvested wood in Hordaland was used as firewood. The most common activity is machinery contracting. This was followed by processing own timber, renting out farmland, and farm tourism activities like hiring out cottages. On average farmers used hours on additional on-farm activities in In areas close to cities and other urban centres, alternative use of farm capital may give higher returns on equity than traditional farm operations. An increasing number of applications for re-zoning land indicate that farmland is under considerable pressure in these areas.
In Hordaland tourism sector is closely related to the landscape and indirectly therefore to the management of the landscape by agriculture. Other resources — like hunting and fishing rights, rights for hydropower, processing of food or water are other also utilised by businesses and entrepreneurs outside agriculture. The companies used the external effects of farming especially landscape or the farms resources directly or indirectly in their production, or for marketing purposes.
Modelling MFA, rural development and Quality of Life relationships While commodities from enterprises in the local economy mainly are captured in conventional models like input-output tables, non-commodities are not. In our model we seek to capture both commodity and non-commodity relationships between farms, rural economies and quality of life. Surveys among farmers and entrepreneurs have been carried out together with surveys about quality of life issues among residents to consider the importance of non-commodities from multifunctional agriculture in the region for utilities from natural, social and cultural capital in addition to human and built capital.
Using this type of model has the advantage that the model is dynamic, it is well suited for group learning and interactivity and it contain possibilities for mixtures of quantitative and qualitative relationships. In this approach capital is viewed as a stock of productive resources from which flow the goods and services that support human welfare and economic development.
Unlike many traditional economic models, this model is supply driven with demand constraints. In our approach, capital is divided into human, built, social, cultural and natural capital. These capitals are combined with labour and raw materials according to alternative production systems and input-output relationships to produce economic goods and services, quality of life and associated social welfare.
In the model we limited this capital approach largely to the natural, human, and built capital. However we dealt with social and cultural capital mainly outside the model although certain elements of both were considered in the Quality of Life sector. In Figure 1 below the general relationships between the different components of the model are shown. The three types of capital are included in the resources component. The data in the model are based on Statistics, on surveys about multifunctions among farmers, entrepreneurial activities among entrepreneurs with linkages to agriculture and quality of life for residents in the area.
The land stocks include annual crops, permanent crops, grass land, forest land and other land.
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Furthermore, ownership and use of land are closely related to agricultural policy regulations. Land has impacts on both agricultural and tourism sector Agricultural Land sectors Tourism sector 3. The tourism sector was also dealt with separately, as this was the most common sector involved in transforming non-commodities into local services in the 11 study areas. The agricultural sector being impacted by land, impacting on regional economy and human resources.
The agricultural sector consists of different production systems being dairy, sheep, beef, fruit, and other multifunctional activities. The sector produces a wide range of different traditional marketed commodities like milk, fruit, meat and timber and less traditional ones like wool, meals, bednights, energy and hunting rights. In additional they produced non-marketed commodities positive or negative like biodiversity and phosphorus run-off.
The sector creates a demand for labour, for land use and other inputs from the regional economy. We get information about the value of the benefits and disadvantages through indicators for land cover and change, Shannon index, Mineral fertilizer use, Excess Nitrogen in the system, Biodiversity, Stocking rate, CO2 etc. There are of course also impacts on the social and cultural aspects to consider, but they are not modeled at this stage.
The important point about this sector is that the non-commodities traditionally are not considered in regional economic models. Quality of Life Non- commmodities Agricultural and tourism sector Land 3. The natural change involves an integrated and straightforward demographic model. The stock of labour supply is given by the population. Labour demand is given by the employers demand in the regional economy including agriculture and tourism, while the supply is decided through the natural population change and net migration driven by quality of life.
The radical inventions here are two- fold.
First there is a linkage to quality of life through the demand created by in-migrants being attracted to the area by quality of life factors. Secondly there is a linkage to the quality of life sector where income changes cause variations in the regional quality of life. Quality of Life Regional economy Agricultural sector Human resources 3. Floor Brouwer. The increasing demand for rural land and its natural resources is creating competition and conflicts.
Many interested parties, including farmers, nature conservationists, rural residents and tourists, compete for the same space. Especially in densely populated areas, agriculture, recreation, urban and suburban growth and infrastructure development exert a constant pressure on rural areas. Because land is a finite resource, spatial policies which are formulated and implemented to increase the area allocated to one use imply a decrease in land available for other uses.