Author(s): Y. Ohe
Multifunctionality in agriculture indicates the performance of various functions
of positive externalities.
However, unless these externalities are internalized in
farming activity, they will not be sustainable over the long term.
In the livestock
farming arena, a program was started in Japan in 2000 whereby dairy farmers
would offer farm experiences mainly to youngsters.
Although this service is
considered to be a by-product of dairy farming with positive externalities, this
subject has received minimal attention.
Therefore, this paper sheds light on how
dairy farmers cope with this new situation by empirically examining national
survey data on this activity, presenting study cases, and conceptualizing
problems and ways to find solutions.
The main findings were as follows:
1) Dairy farms providing farming experiences play a positive role in teaching
about farm life, how food is produced and the stress relief provided by the rural
environment, especially for compulsory school-age children at elementary and
junior high schools in local communities.
To cope with the rising number of
visitors, minimal necessary facilities such as toilets should be prepared.
2) Farming experiences have an educational effect not only on visitors, but also
on the farmers themselves.
This is because farmers can discover new
possibilities for agriculture, which eventually leads to a deepening realization of
new environmental and educational services that benefit society.
3) However, it is often difficult for farmers to harmonize the provision of the
service of a farming experience to visitors with performance of their own
Farmers often face the dilemma of whether to offer farming
experience services on a voluntary basis free of charge or to sell such services as
a new farm product, such as traditional milk products, in exchange for money.
Therefore, it is necessary to raise the social recognition of the educational
function generated by those farmers who provide farming experience services.
multifunctionality in agriculture, externality, educational function,
internalization, environmental and educational services of dairy farming, farm
diversification, sustainable rural-urban relationship.
Size: 417 kb
Paper DOI: 10.2495/ECO070401
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