Evaluating the functionality of agricultural systems: social preferences for multifunctional peri-urban agriculture. The “Huerta de Valencia” as case study

  • Inmaculada Marques-Perez Department of Economics and Social Sciences, Polytechnic University of Valencia, Camino de Vera S/N, 46021, Valencia, Spain.
  • Baldomero Segura Dept. Economics and Social Sciences, Polytechnic University of Valencia. Camino de Vera s/n, 46021 Valencia
  • Concepcion Maroto Dept. Economics and Social Sciences, Polytechnic University of Valencia. Camino de Vera s/n, 46021 Valencia
Keywords: public goods, ecosystem services, social optimum, Analytic Hierarchy Process, priorities, consistency, social utility function, eigenvector

Abstract

The debate on the multifunctionality of agriculture and its connections with territorial policies are the basis of the most appropriate approach to legitimize public interventions in the agricultural sector. The main obstacle of this public intervention is to know the goods and services provided by agricultural systems and elicitation of the social preferences for them. We created a descriptive approach for the multifunctionality of agricultural systems that is based on the review of the scientific literature focused on multifunctionality and the goods and services of agricultural systems. The review shows a large variety of activities and approaches, which can be grouped by their economic dimension, social dimension and environmental dimension. Multicriteria techniques, such as the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), can help elicit the priorities and the relative importance of different functions attributed by the society as a whole. The authorities can take into account these results to inform and support their political decisions. This paper describes a methodological approach to determine the Social Welfare Function by using AHP. The proposed methodology is applied to the “Huerta de Valencia”, a rich peri-urban agricultural system with a variety of resources, around which there is an open political-institutional debate to define a protection scheme. The results are very interesting and useful to enrich this debate.

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Published
2014-09-19
How to Cite
Marques-PerezI., SeguraB., & MarotoC. (2014). Evaluating the functionality of agricultural systems: social preferences for multifunctional peri-urban agriculture. The “Huerta de Valencia” as case study. Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research, 12(4), 889-901. https://doi.org/10.5424/sjar/2014124-6061
Section
Agricultural economics