This paper outlines the development and use of a policy model for multifunctional agriculture and rural development. The model is an important part of the EU research project, TOP-MARD (Towards a Policy Model for Multifunctional Agriculture and Rural Development).. It sets the discourse on multifunctional agriculture in the context of what OECD calls the ‘New Rural Paradigm’, and explores the ways in which both market and non-market ‘functions’ of agriculture and farm households link with economic development and quality of life in different rural territories, and how different kinds of policies influence these linkages. We develop a policy model based on an approach closer to ecological economics, adopting a systems analytic approach.We seek to capture both commodity and non-commodity relationships between farms, rural economies and quality of life. In this paper the model is applied to the Norwegian study area, Hordaland County, exploring how different policy scenarios might impact on agricultures different functions, rural economic development and quality of life.


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