This chapter gives several explanations as to why peasant agriculture results in sturdy and sustainable growth – it also identifies the factors that undermine this capacity. Peasant agriculture entails a constructive capacity: it includes mechanisms that are used to make agriculture grow and to face adverse conditions. And when the ‘normal’ level of resilience does not suffice, the constructive capacity is employed to redesign and materially rebuild agriculture through the development of new products, services and markets. This capacity leads to a new farmer’s empowerment that have in the multifunctionality the key to go beyond the classical agricultural system where the farming capacity is completely expressed out of the farm leaving farmers to do only mechanical operation. The chapter illustrates several examples of how farmers are reclaiming control over their own resources by defining a new level of farm autonomy and by oriented their farm towards multifunctional activities and the concept of peasants agriculture. The ‘new peasantry’ is consolidating itself and becoming a highly effective alternative: a viable way of addressing the multifaceted crisis that beleaguers farmers, the increasing strictures they face and the ongoing challenges of sustainability.
Milone, P. and Ventura, F. (2015), "Is Multifunctionality the Road to Empowering Farmers?", Constructing a New Framework for Rural Development (Research in Rural Sociology and Development, Vol. 22), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 59-88. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1057-192220150000022003
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2015 Emerald Group Publishing Limited