The importance of multifunctional farming activities is clearly demonstrated by the significant changes made to the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in its rural development policy. Multifunctionality has received a lot of attention over the last decade from scholars and policy-makers. A new rural paradigm stands out as the interrelationship between agriculture, landscape protection and social services (e.g. Social Agriculture, Teaching Farms, Social Farms, Horticultural therapy and so on). Models based on forms of solidarity or trust could be a crucial driver for fostering the competitiveness of rural areas. Evaluation tools are needed for analyzing the current system and for improving the social approach. The aim of this paper is to provide an analysis of the educational and social opportunities deriving from multifunctional agriculture. Furthermore, we define indicators focusing on the social/education dimension. The paper is structured as follows: after a review of literature and policies on the social/health dimension of rural development, we investigate the role of didactic agriculture and the ‘helping relationship’ and so we define new Non-Commodity Outputs (NCOs). In addition, starting from the house of functions model by Fleskens (2009), we define a Multifunctional Agricultural House taking into account the educational and network dimension of an agricultural system; we then select indicators having an educational, social and helping dimension. Finally, conclusions are drawn.


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