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Principles of multifunctional agriculture for supporting agriculture in metropolitan peri-urban areas: the case of Greater Melbourne, Australia

Version 2 2024-06-05, 03:06
Version 1 2020-05-07, 10:02
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-05, 03:06 authored by A Spataru, Robert FaggianRobert Faggian, Annemaree DockingAnnemaree Docking
Agriculture in metropolitan peri-urban areas is influenced by structural changes associated with increased input costs, an aging farming population, difficulty in retaining labour, and fluctuations in market conditions. In the absence of clear planning policies, the proximity to the city has fuelled land fragmentation, encroachment, and increased land value, thus increasing pressure on existing farms. Using the case of Greater Melbourne in Victoria, we argue that metropolitan planning policies have diminished the agricultural potential of peri-urban agriculture by creating a precedent for more urban uses in otherwise agricultural landscapes. The future of peri-urban agriculture requires alternative models that address emerging issues of resilience and viability. The concept of Multifunctional Agriculture (MFA) presents a useful model to re-evaluate metropolitan peri-urban agriculture beyond food production functions by integrating the environmental and socio-cultural role into local and regional economies. Based on the adopted definition and broad characterisation of MFA as implemented in the European Union, we discuss a set of six principles of multifunctionality: flexibility, collaboration, smaller-can-be-better, long-term strategies, use of technology, and circular resource use. These principles aim to expose the fundamental processes required for transforming agriculture in Australian metropolitan peri-urban areas.

History

Journal

Journal of rural studies

Volume

74

Pagination

34-44

Location

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ISSN

0743-0167

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Publisher

Elsevier