Poverty Orientated Agricultural and Rural Development (Routledge Studies in Development and Society)

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The multifunctional concept, while paying attention the agricultural sector, acknowledges new activities in rural areas, and emphasizes a new mix of production, consumption and conservation goals Goodman ; Marsden and Sonnino ; Wilson Wilson conceptualized multifunctional agriculture as a spectrum bound of production and non-production thought and action. While production thought and action focus on the production of food and fibers, non-production thought and action focus on generating new sources of income through the expansion of new businesses Wilson The focus of multifunctional agriculture is on ecosystem services, building new markets for environmental services, and stimulating diversification Wilson The purpose of productivism was to increase production for achieving self-sufficiency at the national and local levels.

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In post-productivism, achieving self-sufficiency was diminished. In multifunctional agriculture, it is emphasized that food security and self-sufficiency are inextricably related, which is why achieving self-sufficiency was re-emphasized Wilson Productivism is associated with specialization, and the focus of agricultural production is on the transformation and evolution of mixed agricultural units into specialized agricultural units or livestock farming businesses.

This led to an increase in the opportunity for large economical farms and, on the other hand, to reduction of the opportunities for small family farms Wilson In post-modern agriculture the emphasis has been placed on shifting agricultural production toward attention to local and suburban areas, and more attention has been paid to the role of those who have been neglected in previous systems such as the poor and smallholder farmers Wilson In this type of agriculture, the use of external inputs decreased.

In MFA, agricultural sector stimulates diversification and innovative entrepreneurship. Multifunctional system has a systemic and more global viewpoint, which means that through agricultural activities, commodity will be produced that are not necessarily provided for market demand but production of them is due to agricultural activities. In terms of multifunctional farming, environmental considerations have a high footprint. In this regard, consideration of green spaces and natural perspectives and correct nutrition are among the most important ones Phelan ; Wilson In other words, multifunctional agriculture provides the opportunity to go beyond productivity issues and market competition toward sustainable development topics and strategies Losch Quantity has been emphasized more than quality by productivism Wilson During this period, the modernization and industrialization of agricultural systems have led to an overproduction of many basic foodstuffs.

Farmers have intensified production and specialized in fewer enterprises Ilbery Therefore, the common agricultural policy until the early s was almost entirely focused on providing a political framework for increasing agricultural production and encouraging agricultural intensification Evans et al. As part of this process, farmers have been placed on a treadmill where the decline in food demand relative to income levels leads to the costs of production to rise at a greater rate than the price of food Ilbery The political period after was changed from intensification toward non-limited and extensification in agriculture, from focusing on production to preserving diversity and quantitative maximization of production to less production but more qualified Phelan For post-productivism supporters, one of the important reasons for the support of the transition from agricultural productivism to post-productivism is the recent growth of interest and attention to quality of food Evans et al.

In MFA system, the close relation with the market and the transition from the livelihood approach has led to a fundamental shift in the structure of agricultural production. Under the pressure of the market mechanisms and the technological and mechanization changes a kind of informal reforms are in progress, the effects of which can be combination and integration of some agricultural systems and the dissolution of other systems that are not able to balance the effective changes.

Concurrent with the changes in the conventional production and utilization structure, along with conventional utilization systems, it can be traced that the rise of agricultural businesses to cover all agricultural chains with an entrepreneurial approach. These businesses, due to the multiplicity of constituent components, are integrated and dynamic universality, process-oriented, and program-oriented and are formed in line with profitability, value-added, dual equilibrium of supply and demand dimensions with priority of demand dimension demand-basis , competitive and market orientation activities, innovation, and the combination of technology and the combination of resource productivity and have an entrepreneurial approach APO ; Kanniainen and Timo ; Kreft et al.

Productivism decisions are focused on, externally developed innovations in mechanization, in animal and plant breeding and in pasture management Galloway and Mochrie ; Fernandez-Cornejo et al. The intensification and pursuit of productivity through investing in machinery, infrastructure, and the use of chemicals and biotechnology is the techniques of agricultural productivism Phelan The decline in agricultural labor force by increasing the mechanization of farms is a characteristic of productivism.

In order to profit economically, there was a necessity for farmers to increase the size of their land, their productivity, and their external inputs and to minimize their labor force per hectare Wilson Post-productivism and multifunctional agriculture allow farmers to choose their own focus and driving forces and take different paths for food production, so post-productivism and multifunctional farming will lead to differentiation and new rural spaces Evans et al. Multifunctional farmers, as agricultural entrepreneurs, are engaged in activities such as flowering, horticulture, medicinal plants, cultivating cash farming crops, poultry, aquaculture, livestock breeding, dairy processing, food industries, and other agricultural industries, while using modern methods of production, irrigation facilities, fertilizers, mechanized processing lines, new management systems, materials and techniques for controlling pests and diseases, and many other, to achieve greater returns and profits Mohanty In this system, the increase productivity in the agricultural sector is mostly due to the effective use of inputs and sources, using modern technologies and management of agricultural systems.

This requires the appropriate combination of knowledge and technology in agricultural chains from production to supply APO ; Kanniainen and Timo ; Kreft et al. Agricultural businesses are agricultural commercial units that link various agricultural chain rings and their management requires specialized knowledge and skill and the use of new technologies for value added, continuous improvement of productivity and improvement of the quality of products and services supplied to the market APO Further, in these two periods, awareness about the importance and credibility of indigenous technical knowledge and the ability of the poor people to solve their problems increased Rumbewas The concepts of post-productivism and multifunctional agriculture are moving toward eco-friendly practices and use of knowledge inputs knowledge-based instead of physical inputs.

Moving toward sustainable agriculture organic agriculture and precision farming is considered as part of the concepts of post-productivism and multifunctional agriculture Wilson Knowledge based means that such systems, technologies, and activities require more delicate, precise, and complex forms of observation, analysis in field, and farm level action Leeuwis Certain researchers believed that post-productivism transition is basically an environmental transition, which is characterized as a period of severe environmental imbalances between food production and environmental protection Wilson In fact, the solution to the environmental problems created by the agricultural sector was the responsibility of the sector which was conceptualized beyond productivism and denies the possibility of the development of environmental sensitive agricultural through the development of the principles of productivism Evans et al.

Postmodern theories take priority to environmental, ideological, and cultural issues—even if these goals are in conflict with maximum economic growth and a shift is being called from materialism to extra-material values Eckersley Though, multifunctional agriculture, considering environmental issues and high emphasis on ecology and ecological care, also addresses economic issues, and it is believed that there is no conflict between economics and the environment Wilson Political framework of productivism is based on subsidies and financial support for production.

For this reason, the government is the main actor Evans et al. Politically, post-productivism is manifested by the reduction of government subsidies and represents the movement from state-basis production models. Post-productivism is characterized by losing central agricultural position in the community Wilson In this regard, rural development approaches are changed from a top-down development, blueprint, dependent on external technologies and government policies approach at the national level to a development approach in which planning is from the local level and bottom-up.

In this approach, development was seen as a process, not a product. This approach transforms rural development into a participatory process that empowers villagers to determine their priorities in order to make certain change. Some of the key developmental features of this view are the emphasis on structural adjustment and market liberalization, which led to the withdrawal of governments from the large-scale agricultural management that was observable in the past Rumbewas In post-productivism governmental support has decreased, competition in the farming sector has increased and the potential profits on many farms significantly decreased Alsos et al.

Agriculture in multifunctionality was considered valuable and important, but it was believed that agriculture is a multi-product activity, not a single product Groenfeldt In multifunctional agriculture, the role and involvement of the government in the creation of markets for non-commodity products should not be overlooked. In the concept of productivism, technological innovations were developed in research centers. In this regard, the researchers were not interested in going to the field and understanding the local strategies. In addition, research conditions with fertile soils, desirable facilities, and a large workforce could not represent the conditions of the rural community, which in most cases faces a shortage of labor and a lack of fertility Warren et al.

In such conditions, the production of knowledge and technology was essentially known as the duty of the scientists, and there was a strong belief that this process was guided and ruled over by researchers. Researchers in multifunctional agriculture should act as innovation brokers. Innovation brokers paying to predict, diagnose and process of information and knowledge and combine and recombine it, test and validate, protect the results, commercialize, and evaluate the results.

Innovation brokers act as facilitators supporting the innovation process, but innovation is not created or transmitted by a specific provider. This contrasts with other interventions in which researchers play an important role in the initiation and development of innovation Klerkx and Jansen Within the modernization system, the main extension trajectory was based on a classic model in which extension agents were considered as known and well-informed people, while farmers were considered ignorant and uninformed.

Based on the classic extension model, farmers were considered as passive people who should fill their brains with what extension agents know. Regarding this, the extension role base of the modernization paradigm was a mechanical role including the transfer of new ideas from the government or companies to farms and farmers agricultural training centers Pillmann ; Ahmadvand and Karami In the concept of post-productivism, the role of extension has been attracting the active participation of villagers in creating, evaluating and diffusion of ideas in line with their biological, environmental, and psychological conditions Chitnis In this regard, general public, farmers, extension agent, NGOs, and environmentalists have been considered as agricultural stakeholders Ahmadvand and Karami In multifunctional agriculture, in addition of technology transfer, it is necessary that other supportive and capacity-making functions that help promoting entrepreneurship in the agricultural sector be considered.

If the agricultural extension wants to go beyond the increase production and move toward inclusive subjects, it is necessary that the agricultural extension actors which are made up of interactive components understand the necessary changes and put purposeful efforts in their agenda for their implementation and institutionalization APO ; Kanniainen and Timo ; Kreft et al. Considering innovations to be highly recommended by the both approaches for agricultural actors, it is not as an exogenous feature but rather as a co-production among various actors including farmers, extension services, applied research institutes, etc.

Agricultural innovations are not exogenous and linear and transmitted from research to farmers. Participatory approaches are highly recommended in the both frameworks in order to gain applicable knowledge Labarthe In productivism, the extension services are often supply driven and focus on a linear paradigm of innovation. However, agricultural extension was increasingly criticized for being as a part of a linear innovation system.

Thus, agricultural firms require to create and maintain new relationships with external actor that needs to construct and optimize new social networks Marsden et al. The development of innovation both technical and institutional by farmers requires knowledge and information input from the extension agents. Knowledge and information are exchanged and processed in interactive training streams and in the form of participatory farmers, researchers, educators and extension agents, etc.

Extension agents have to response to the special needs of farmers to receive information and perform the process, in order to generate knowledge and apply it with a participatory, contingent, and flexible approach. Strengthening the entrepreneurial knowledge and skills of farmers in order to integrate information, knowledge, and technology with contingency approach and change it to an optimal mix of production resources provides a way to achieve productivity in the agricultural sector Sidhu and Sukhjeet It is obvious that the involvement of different stakeholders requires a process that is guided and controlled by a facilitator.

These facilitators are supposed to have the knowledge and awareness to support and guide of learning, negotiation, and decision-making processes. Most importantly, it involves a negotiating process among stakeholders.

This is because any significant change and escape from the current situation is probably accompanied by tension between those involved and affected by the problem Leeuwis In fact, farmers should be dictated what to cultivate and how to keep their animals and crops against pests and diseases Wilson In this period, farmers considered as farmers engaged in farm-based economic activity or a person who is unwilling to engage in diverse activities and is dependent on pressure factors.

In this thinking, agricultural actors learn to act as craftsmen, producing food and fibers and development of an entrepreneurial identity, skills, and behavior that are not evident Vesala et al. Postmodern logic emphasizes on cultural issues and the uniqueness of the individual and local experience; for this reason, an active role for farmers is usually considered Rumbewas Multifunctional means that the farmer not only known as a producer of goods and services, but also recognized as the manager of environment and rural space, as well as being one of the main stakeholders in local development, seek to explore new business opportunities, build business networks, and measure and capture opportunities Durand and Van Huylenbroek When diversification is considered as an expected agricultural practice, farmers are increasingly recognized as entrepreneurs while needing to develop new skills and capabilities to maintain their competitive ability McElwee ; Vesala and Vesala Farmers have entrepreneurial orientation in a way that they are willing to innovate in order to improve market offerings, take risks, and try out new products, services, and markets, and be more active than other competitors in understanding market opportunities Wiklund and Shepherd ; McElwee In addition, some researchers have considered multifunctional farmers as portfolio entrepreneurs who simultaneously own and develop multiple businesses Carter and Ram In productivism, all farm potentials and capacities are used and a mechanical perspective for production process is created Wilson In this period, there is a roughly one-side concept of cultivation, and the farm is considered as a bundle of resources.

In post-productivism agriculture, the farm is considered as an agro-ecological phenomenon because it is believed that the main task of designers of farm systems is ecological farming by replacing physical-chemical methods with biological methods Leeuwis In multifunctional agriculture, the farm is seen as a firm.

Therefore, as the results of the research show, entrepreneurship is the heart of multi-functional agriculture. By , Iranian agricultural system was traditional and subsistence Taher Khani and Rahmani There was no particular ideology on this agricultural system. Agriculture had a central position in the villages, and the technologies were too simple and elementary.

This agricultural system was based on the daily needs of farmers Rezaei-Moghaddam et al. The agricultural cultivation pattern in traditional agricultural systems was based on the diversity of cultivation and the purpose of production was more to meet the household needs and self-consumption. Their planting and harvest were carried out on the basis of traditional activities, which were incorporated into their custom by parents and ancestors. Innovations were not continuously profitable, and their rate of adoption was slow.

Biodiversity was a part of traditional practices which had been rooted in the need of farmers to be self-sufficient with greater diversity Taher Khani and Rahmani This agricultural system could be called sustainable. This sustainability was not achieved consciously; indeed, it was because of the lack of knowledge of farmers in accessing the tools for harming the nature Rezaei-Moghaddam et al.

In this period, the system of land utilization called landlord-peasant. Land ownership belonged to the Khan, and the farmers named peasant was under the domination and guardianship of Khan by giving their workforce in the process of farming production and small amount of production was allocated to them, and agricultural production was carried out in the traditional system called Buneh in the agricultural and rural sectors Amirani The main function of Buneh was the efficient exploitation of the land with the precise use of the available water in which, all of the members of each Buneh had the same social class including peasants and poor rural with low accessibility to the resources.

In , land reform took place in Iran. Land reform aimed at eliminating the power and influence of landlords and replacing state domination on rural areas led many farmers get landowner and created a small holding. This led each of them cultivate independently and structure of the Buneh subsequently collapsed. Therefore, the family farm utilization system expanded in Iran.

In this type of utilization system, the main combination of cultivation is determined based on a mix of household livelihood and production needs for the market Amirani The commercial utilization system and capitalism continued in two ways: first, through private sector investment in the area of personal and nationalized land belonging to the natural resources provided by the government to these units, and the second from is the current government decided to invest directly in agriculture through taking high quality and fertilizer agricultural land and using the modern and advanced technologies, through the established farm corporations and agro-industry units Lahsai Zadeh Green revolution as a subset of high pay-off input model was the dominant agricultural policy at that point of the time Forouzani and Karami This has been accompanied by the replacement of subsistence farming patterns with crop production for export and the simultaneous elimination of a sustainable traditional farming system.

At this time, the main concern of agriculture was maximum food production to ensure national or regional self-sufficiency. Policy structures were top-down and high inputs and heavy machinery was used as an agricultural technique. Thus, Iran experienced a double setback. The modernization was not as a result of society natural transformation in Iran, since the emphasis of modernity was on universality and integrity; the technologies that were created in the rainy areas of Europe and the USA were prescribed for a climate and a relatively unfavorable environment of Iran.

Oil revenue countries intend to use capitalist technologies.

Poverty Oriented Agricultural and Rural Development

With use of these technologies, not only the income of other economic sector did not increase, but also the income of some sectors such as agriculture had stagnation. For this reason, modernization of agriculture has left many adverse effects on the Iranian agricultural sector Rezaei-Moghaddam et al. In order to evaluate the six development plans of Iran regarding different agricultural transition periods, quantitative content analysis method was used for the objective, regular, and quantitative description of communication messages Rezayat In a quantitative content analysis approach, the goal is to measure the number of the subject concepts.

The stages of content analysis in this study, according to Gall et al. Deductive content analysis is often used in cases where the researcher wishes to retest existing data in a new context. This may also involve testing categories, concepts, models, or hypotheses.


In quantitative content analysis methods, the text or documents are counted according to a quantitative number of categories. In this research, the text of development plans has been counted and compared with each other according to the frequency of each categories and sub-categories of agricultural transition periods. Descriptive criteria are categories and sub-categories related to agricultural transition periods.

The research analysis unit of this study includes each development plans and the recording unit contains phrases, propositions, sentences, and words of the development plans that include the contents and concepts related to the categories and subcategories of the agricultural transition periods. In order to increase the processing power of data in content analysis and to determine the priority and process of attention to the triple periods of agriculture in the six planning development periods of Iran, a Hierarchical Additive Weighting Method of decision-making models was used.

These models are the basis for prioritizing a number of options based on some indices. In the HAW method, effective factors and sub factors in decision-making are expressed in a hierarchical order Pourtaheri In this paper, a three-level model including the goal of decision-making at the first level, the indicators affecting on decision-making purpose in second level, and policy documents of six development plans regarding agricultural sector at third level was used.


Poverty Oriented Agricultural and Rural Development by Hartmut Brandt

In these models, determining the indices weights is very important for assessing the importance of each index regarding to other indices. The selection of decision-making model and weighting is based on available information. According to obtained information from the content analysis, Shannon entropy weighting method was used. This method calculates the weights of each index based on the distribution of the values of the indices.