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Agriculture - Planting the seeds for sustainable farming and forestry
“To find better ways to analyse and model the influence of multifunctional agriculture on Europe’s rural areas.”

The problem

There are many facets to agriculture’s ‘multifunctional’ impact on rural development. Produce is grown and sold, but there are also more indirect influences, such as farming’s impact on landscapes, which in turn can affect tourism and local prosperity. But it is difficult to gauge precisely how the multifunctional nature of agriculture can influence the economic, environmental, cultural and social health of a particular region.

TOP‑MARD  Harvesting knowledge of multifunctional agriculture


TOP-MARD will offer rural development policy-makers the information they need to draft better strategies. The project will:

  • Identify and analyse the multiple functions of agriculture in a range of rural contexts
  • Quantify the relationships between various goods and services, assessing the links between these multiple functions and the development of rural areas
  • Measure the influence of different EU, national and local policies on the above relationships and functions
  • Use special software to help build a policy model of multifunctional agriculture and rural development

Contribution to policy development:

  • TOP-MARD will inform local and regional programmes such as LEADER+ and Structural Fund Programmes, as well as the policies of regional development agencies
  • As a policy tool, it will allow rural development policy-makers to benchmark certain aspects of their performance

Project deliverables

  • TOP-MARD’s policy model – month 8
  • Data bank with survey results – month 25
  • Elaborate policy model with primary data – month 28
  • Final project report published – month 35


  • National User Groups disseminate findings to policy-makers – Months 4, 14, 24 and 30
  • Articles in scientific journals, speeches to relevant associations, publication of project ‘book’ – throughout project
  • Website to publish research output, news and related events – from start of project
  • Conference in Brussels to disseminate results – month 33

Technical information

Project acronym: TOP-MARD
Project’s official full title: Towards a Policy Model of Multifunctional Agriculture and Rural Development
Research priority: The modernisation and sustainability of agriculture and forestry
Specific webpage: Not yet available
Proposal/contract no: 501749
Start date: Not yet available
Kick off meeting: Not yet available
Completion date: Not yet available
European Commission scientific officer: Lucas Janssen (

Name: University of Aberdeen
Abbreviated name: UNIABDN
Address: The Arkleton Centre for Rural Development Research
University of Aberdeen
St. Mary's
Elphinstone Road
Aberdeen AB24 3UF
Country: United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 1224 273901
Fax: +44 (0) 1224 273902


Name: Agricultural University of Athens
Abbreviated name: AUA
Country: Greece

Name: Institute for Rural Development Research
Abbreviated name: IFLS
Country: Germany

Name: Federal Institute for Less-Favoured and Mountainous Areas
Abbreviated name: BABF
Country: Austria

Name: Business and Science Foundation, University of Barcelona
Abbreviated name: UAB
Country: Spain

Abbreviated name: TEAGASC
Country: Ireland

Name: Dipartimento di Economia Pubblica, University of Rome
Abbreviated name: DR
Country: Italy

Name: Nordic Centre for Spatial Development
Abbreviated name: NORDREGIO
Country: Sweden

Name: Norwegian Agricultural Economics Research Institute
Abbreviated name: NILF
Country: Norway

Name: University of Ljubljana
Abbreviated name: LJUB
Country: Slovenia

Name:Budapest University of Economics and Public Administrations
Abbreviated name: BUESPA
Country: Hungary