Emerging Environmental And Educational Service Of Dairy Farming In Japan: Dilemma Or Opportunity?
Free (open access)
Multifunctionality in agriculture indicates the performance of various functions of positive externalities. However, unless these externalities are internalized in farming activity, they will not be sustainable over the long term. In the livestock farming arena, a program was started in Japan in 2000 whereby dairy farmers would offer farm experiences mainly to youngsters. Although this service is considered to be a by-product of dairy farming with positive externalities, this subject has received minimal attention. Therefore, this paper sheds light on how dairy farmers cope with this new situation by empirically examining national survey data on this activity, presenting study cases, and conceptualizing problems and ways to find solutions. The main findings were as follows: 1) Dairy farms providing farming experiences play a positive role in teaching about farm life, how food is produced and the stress relief provided by the rural environment, especially for compulsory school-age children at elementary and junior high schools in local communities. To cope with the rising number of visitors, minimal necessary facilities such as toilets should be prepared. 2) Farming experiences have an educational effect not only on visitors, but also on the farmers themselves. This is because farmers can discover new possibilities for agriculture, which eventually leads to a deepening realization of new environmental and educational services that benefit society. 3) However, it is often difficult for farmers to harmonize the provision of the service of a farming experience to visitors with performance of their own farming activity. Farmers often face the dilemma of whether to offer farming experience services on a voluntary basis free of charge or to sell such services as a new farm product, such as traditional milk products, in exchange for money. Therefore, it is necessary to raise the social recognition of the educational function generated by those farmers who provide farming experience services. Keywords: multifunctionality in agriculture, externality, educational function, internalization, environmental and educational services of dairy farming, farm diversification, sustainable rural-urban relationship.
multifunctionality in agriculture, externality, educational function,internalization, environmental and educational services of dairy farming, farmdiversification, sustainable rural-urban relationship.