In the project eTOMATO, we define the dimensions of Multifunctional Agriculture as relating to Rural Tourism, Social and Didactic Farming, and Short Food Supply Chain. These are the most prominent categories of MA but, as underlined by Renting et al. (2009), Tripathi et al. (2015) and Padmos (2019) MA also work in the dimension of Nature Preservation or Management.

The graph as shown below developed by Tripathi et al. (2015) better summarizes the dimensions of MA as well as their relationships. It appears clear from it which are the details and operational fields that farms involve when working in the Nature (or Environmental) dimension. They would relate to the soil, water, climate, and biodiversity of the territories they are located upon for a Valuation of environmental services, and/or Recognition of traditional and diversified land use. The graph also shows how such dimensions are in reality interconnected to one another, and base on the assumption of a primary activity to be undertaken, i.e. Food production.

Some examples of the Nature dimension relate to:

  • Provision of safe water and encouragement of efficient water use practices;
  • Decrease of greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Minimization of the adverse impacts of climate change through integration of new and improved crop varieties and livestock breeds into diversified, resilient, risk-adverse farming systems;
  • Maintenance and enhancement of environmental and cultural services through support of agroecologically sound practices;

Those practices and more are also belonging to the activities of the farms’ partners of eTOMATO. Nonetheless, providing the tools to future agricultural entrepreneurs to embrace such aspect of Multifunctional Agriculture do base mostly on the specific biological knowledge they can acquire for the territory and environment they will work on, rather than an entrepreneurial approach our course will be able to provide.

Claudia Delicato