Evaluating jointness of multifunctional agriculture: the educational function of dairy farming in Japan
Wit Transactions on Ecology and The Environment
The significance of the educational function of multifunctionality has been pointed out as a new role of agriculture. It lets people recognise rural resources such as rural heritage and farm life and it is expected to eventually lead to a wellbalanced resource allocation nationwide between urban and rural areas. However, the connection between farm structure, especially aspects of farming production, and this function has been little clarified either from conceptual or empirical viewpoints.
... point is crucial in exploring new possibilities of agriculture and in designing policy measures to promote diversification in connection with multifunctionality. Thus, to clarify this relationship it is necessary to investigate how the jointness of farming production and this multifunctional activity is actually determined by the farm structure. To approach this aim, firstly, we give conceptual consideration to characteristics of educational function. Secondly, based on that consideration, we conduct comparative analysis on two types of Japanese dairy farms with an open farm policy for visitors, Dairy Educational Farms and Open Dairy Farms, to clarify statistically their multifunctional activities and the characteristics of these farms. The results are as follows. The educational function of dairy farming has no correlation with farm size, which means the externality is decoupled. The jointness is not fixed, but variable in terms of both technical and institutional aspects. Among other things, family farms certified as Dairy Educational Farms have firmer technical and institutional jointness, therefore there can be less substitution of other similar educational services. Consequently, policy implications are as follows: the educational function does not have a productionstimulating effect and a policy program aiming at promotion of this function is effective especially for family farms.