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Multifunctionality and Rural Development in Africa: An Evaluation at the Household Level


  • Filippo Arfini
  • Fabio Landini


This work offers an interpretation of the role that multifunctionality plays in the policies that sustain rural development. Assuming as a reference the livelihood approach, we analyse multifunctionality within a framework which differs from the usual Wto negotiations. We reappraise its significance as a variable that reinforces the livelihood strategies of the rural households. In terms of policy design we analyse the costs of the secondary services and the variables that allow for their reduction. A quantitative evaluation is then carried out on the basis of an LP model taking a multifunctional farm in Africa. The results obtained are that: multifunctionality is very costly; most of the private costs of multifunctionality are due to constraints on specialisation in production; both coupled and de-coupled payment sustain multifunctionality but in different ways; technological progress is a key variable for economic sustainability.

Suggested Citation

  • Filippo Arfini & Fabio Landini, 2009. "Multifunctionality and Rural Development in Africa: An Evaluation at the Household Level," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 2, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:rar:journl:0108

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alan Matthews, 2005. "Special and Differential Treatment in the WTO Agricultural Negotiations," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp061, IIIS.
    2. Ellis, Frank, 2000. "Rural Livelihoods and Diversity in Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296966.
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    More about this item


    Multifunctionality; Rural Development; Livelihood Approach; Linear Programming;

    JEL classification:

    • C02 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General - - - Mathematical Economics
    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy


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