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Setting up and management of public policies multifunctional purpose. The case of Developing Countries : Capitalisation of research results on the multifunctionality of agriculture and rural areas

Bonnal P., Losch B., Van Vliet G.. 2005. s.l. : s.n., 23 p..

The notion of multifuncionality appeared for the first time in 1992 in the proceedings of the International Conference of the United Nations on Environment and Development. But, the notion was and is mainly used by developed countries, particularly in Europe, with the purpose of preserving and reinforcing the involvement of agriculture in social and territorial fields. For many developing countries, multifunctionality is out of step since (i) a lot of them have severe social, political, institutional and budget constraints, (ii) the concept is not coherent with the liberalization patterns proposed and often imposed by international donors (withdrawal of the state, market and trade oriented policies), and (iii) multifunctionality is perceived as a tool used by the European countries in the context of trade negotiations to justify the subsidies to their agriculture, and consequently contrary to their own interests. However, changes seem to appear in some developing countries regarding the notion of multifuncionality considering the impacts of liberalization and the new rules for trade on their agriculture and rural areas. During the last two decades, most of the developing countries shifted their former integrated public policies (IP) - implemented before the debt crisis - to segmented (SP) or differential policies (DP) dedicated to targeted objectives. In that context many policies were implemented to create social safety nets or for the preservation of natural resources. In the agricultural sector, most of the policies are now residual (RP), but some countries, such as Brazil, are implementing differential policies targeted on territorial development or family agriculture. In most DCs market driven approaches to multifunctionality are not relevant because of a lack of national public funding, low institutional capacity, and narrow demand. Alternative modes of funding have to be designed, mixing public and private tools. In that perspective, some Asian countries have implemented innovative approaches encouraging a partnership between village communities and the state based on local know-how and public supports for marketing. Due to the very specific context of DC¿s, the main recommendations to the EU are: (i) to go deeper into the policy oriented research on the setting and management of multifunctionality, (ii) to take into account the consequences of the distortions due to its own public policy and to engage in a work about how to compensate market distortions or negative externalities for the DCs, (iii) to increase cooperation between EU and DCs on the processes of policy making related to agriculture and rural areas, (iv) to implement specific fundings to enhance the recognition of the different functions of agriculture and to fill the research gaps in the comprehension of the processes at stake necessary for the definition and implementation of a negotiated reform agenda based on the specificity of each national and local contexts.

Mots-clés : politique agricole; multifonctionnalité

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