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Multifunctionality, or multifunctional agriculture are terms used to indicate generally that agriculture can produce various non-commodity outputs in addition to food.

The working definition of multifunctionality used by the OECD associates multifunctionality with particular characteristics of the agricultural production process and its outputs:

(i) the existence of multiple commodity and non-commodity outputs that are jointly produced by agriculture; and that
(ii) some of the non-commodity outputs may exhibit the characteristics of externalities or public goods, such that markets for these goods function poorly or are non-existent.

Idea that agriculture has many functions in addition to producing food and fibre, e.g. environmental protection, landscape preservation, rural employment, etc (Doha World Trade Organisation Ministerial: Glossary of Terms. Available at http://www.wto.org/wto/english/thewto_e/minist_e/min01_e/brief_e/brief22_e.htm#_Toc528136428).

Source Publication:
Agricultural Policies in OECD Countries: Monitoring and Evaluation 2000: Glossary of Agricultural Policy Terms, OECD.

Statistical Theme: Agriculture and fisheries statistics - Agricultural policy indicators

Created on Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Last updated on Monday, March 10, 2003