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TOP-MARD Résumé de rapport

Project ID: 501749
Financé au titre de: FP6-POLICIES
Pays: United Kingdom

Final Report Summary - TOP-MARD (Towards a Policy Model of Multifunctional Agriculture and Rural Development)

There are many facets to agriculture's 'multifunctional' impact on rural development. Produce is grown and sold, but there are also more indirect influences, such as farming's impact on landscapes, which in turn can affect tourism and local prosperity. But it is difficult to gauge precisely how the multifunctional nature of agriculture can influence the economic, environmental, cultural and social health of a particular region.

The aim of the TOP-MARD project was to build a policy model of multifunctional agriculture and rural development which would link the multiple functions of agriculture with the development and quality of life of rural regions, and explore the influence of different policies on rural development outcomes.

The unique aspect of TOP-MARD concerns the linking of functions of agriculture with the development of the local territory and quality of life in a large range of different rural contexts. In exploring this intellectual and policy domain, conventional tools of economic, social and geographical analyses are not adequate. We have therefore opted for a systems approach, so that the dynamic relationships between agricultural functions (market, non-market, and hybrid) and the success or failure of local economies and societies, and the role that different policies have in these relationships, can be formally explored and tested. In this way, we have a model that can examine the impacts on both farm households and local communities of expansion or contraction of policy effort in different areas and different contexts. The model should thus be helpful for policy development and prioritisation at both local and European Union (EU) levels systems modelling approach was adopted.

The TOP-MARD team has built a core model to explore the relationships between agricultural multifunctionality, territorial rural development and quality of life, and the impacts of different kinds of policies on these relationships. It is 'work in progress'. The model is being adapted to the 11 participating rural regions.

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United Kingdom