The Relationship Between Different Approaches to Multifunctionality of Agriculture and Choice of Methods: A Critical Review
Keywords:Multifunctionality, Political Decision-Making, Research Methods, Theoretical Inquiry, Content Analysis, Policy, Agroecology
AbstractThe concept of multifunctionality in agriculture is significant to both academia and policy development. Agriculture can serve multiple purposes in addition to the production of food and fiber. It can aid in addressing environmental, economic, and social issues faced by rural communities. The purpose of this study is to explore and describe the relationship between how scholars make use of multifunctionality and what methods they apply to the study of this concept. The article first identifies five types of approaches to multifunctionality: a market and economically focused approach, a rural land-use approach, an ecological approach, a public regulation and policy approach, and an actor-oriented approach. Secondly, applying the method of content analysis, the article examines 50 primary research studies on multifunctionality in the context of agriculture. The hypothesis of this article is that each identified concept of multifunctionality will coincide with a type of method. The article concludes that certain approaches correspond to certain research methods, which can limit the development of multifunctionality as a concept and practice.
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