Advanced

Essential multiple functions of farms in rural communities and landscapes

Milestad, Rebecka; Ahnström, Johan LU and Bjorklund, Johanna (2011) In Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 26(2). p.137-148
Abstract
As farms are consolidated into larger operations and small farms close down for economic reasons, rural areas lose ecological, social and economic functions related to farming. Biodiversity and scenic, open-vista landscapes are lost as fields are left unmanaged. Social and economic benefits such as local job opportunities and meeting places disappear. Four Swedish rural communities were examined to increase our understanding of the functions that a diverse agriculture provides and which of these are lost as farms cease operation and overall rural social capital is depleted. Workshops and interviews with village action groups and with farmers were carried out. Both groups identified key functions from farming that are important to the rural... (More)
As farms are consolidated into larger operations and small farms close down for economic reasons, rural areas lose ecological, social and economic functions related to farming. Biodiversity and scenic, open-vista landscapes are lost as fields are left unmanaged. Social and economic benefits such as local job opportunities and meeting places disappear. Four Swedish rural communities were examined to increase our understanding of the functions that a diverse agriculture provides and which of these are lost as farms cease operation and overall rural social capital is depleted. Workshops and interviews with village action groups and with farmers were carried out. Both groups identified key functions from farming that are important to the rural community, such as production of food and fiber, businesses and jobs, human services, local security, ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling and biodiversity, and functions pertaining to quality of life. Several ways in which village action groups can support agriculture were identified that current industrial agriculture and even agri-environmental schemes fail to achieve. These include organizing local meeting places, encouraging local processing and consumption and supporting farmers in their work. We conclude that agriculture and village action groups match well in community development and that policies supporting this match would be useful. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
multifunctional agriculture, ecosystem services, village action groups, rural development, Sweden
in
Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems
volume
26
issue
2
pages
137 - 148
publisher
Cambridge University Press
external identifiers
  • wos:000290522000005
  • scopus:79956161176
ISSN
1742-1705
DOI
10.1017/S1742170510000529
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
0dacac09-9207-47fa-9368-5e0e01009268 (old id 1986652)
date added to LUP
2011-06-29 11:04:22
date last changed
2017-10-01 04:16:23
@article{0dacac09-9207-47fa-9368-5e0e01009268,
  abstract     = {As farms are consolidated into larger operations and small farms close down for economic reasons, rural areas lose ecological, social and economic functions related to farming. Biodiversity and scenic, open-vista landscapes are lost as fields are left unmanaged. Social and economic benefits such as local job opportunities and meeting places disappear. Four Swedish rural communities were examined to increase our understanding of the functions that a diverse agriculture provides and which of these are lost as farms cease operation and overall rural social capital is depleted. Workshops and interviews with village action groups and with farmers were carried out. Both groups identified key functions from farming that are important to the rural community, such as production of food and fiber, businesses and jobs, human services, local security, ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling and biodiversity, and functions pertaining to quality of life. Several ways in which village action groups can support agriculture were identified that current industrial agriculture and even agri-environmental schemes fail to achieve. These include organizing local meeting places, encouraging local processing and consumption and supporting farmers in their work. We conclude that agriculture and village action groups match well in community development and that policies supporting this match would be useful.},
  author       = {Milestad, Rebecka and Ahnström, Johan and Bjorklund, Johanna},
  issn         = {1742-1705},
  keyword      = {multifunctional agriculture,ecosystem services,village action groups,rural development,Sweden},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {137--148},
  publisher    = {Cambridge University Press},
  series       = {Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems},
  title        = {Essential multiple functions of farms in rural communities and landscapes},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1742170510000529},
  volume       = {26},
  year         = {2011},
}