Multifunctional agriculture in policy and practice? A comparative analysis of Norway and Australia

Bjorkhaug, Hilde and Richards, Carol Ann (2008) Multifunctional agriculture in policy and practice? A comparative analysis of Norway and Australia. Journal of Rural Studies, 24 1: 98-111. doi:10.1016/j.jrurstud.2007.06.003

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Author Bjorkhaug, Hilde
Richards, Carol Ann
Title Multifunctional agriculture in policy and practice? A comparative analysis of Norway and Australia
Journal name Journal of Rural Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0743-0167
1873-1392
Publication date 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2007.06.003
Volume 24
Issue 1
Start page 98
End page 111
Total pages 14
Editor Paul Cloke
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Collection year 2009
Language eng
Subject 160804 Rural Sociology
960705 Rural Land Policy
Abstract Ideals of productivist agriculture in the Western world have faded as the unintended consequences of intensive agriculture and pastoralism have contributed to rural decline and environmental problems. In Norway and Australia, there has been an increasing acceptance of the equal importance of social and environmental sustainability as well as economic sustainability. Alongside this shift is a belief that primary production needs to move away from an intensive, productivist-based agriculture to one that may be defined as post-productivist. In this paper, we argue that the dualism of productivism and post-productivism as concepts on agricultural policy regimes are too simplistic and discuss whether multifunctional agriculture is a better concept for a comparison of rural primary production at two extreme points of the scale, the market-oriented, liberalistic Australian agriculture and the market-protected small-scale Norwegian agriculture. We argue that multifunctionality in Australia rates relatively weakly as an ideology or policy and even less as a discourse or practice and hence is situated toward a ‘weak’ end of a continuum of a level of multifunctional agriculture. In Norwegian agriculture, multifunctional agriculture has thrived within a protectionist setting with the support of the public, the state and agricultural actors. In this sense it is very clearly a policy, practice and discourse that aims to preserve and conserve rural spaces, the cultural landscape, the farming way of life and food safety. Norway is as such situated toward a ‘strong’ end of a continuum of a level of multifunctional agriculture.
Keyword Norway
Australia
Comparative analysis
Multifunctionality
Post-productivism
Sustainability
Political economy
Green liberalism
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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Created: Tue, 31 Mar 2009, 15:57:18 EST by Margaret Gately on behalf of School of Social Science