Pluriactivity as a livelihood strategy of Irish farm households and its role in rural development

Kinsella, J.; Wilson, S.; Jong, F. de; Renting, H.

Sociologia Ruralis 40(4): 481-496

2000


ISSN/ISBN: 0038-0199
DOI: 10.1111/1467-9523.00162
Accession: 003527429

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Abstract
The role of off-farm employment in the viability of Irish Republic farm households is central to both farming and the sustainability of rural communities. This article examines the importance of pluriactive farm households at both local and regional levels by referring to case studies drawn from the West of the Irish Republic. It shows that off-farm work by Irish farm families is neither a new phenomenon nor purely the result of economic necessity. It also indicates the considerable socioeconomic and environmental importance of pluriactivity. The article concludes by relating the realities of pluriactivity to the future rural and agricultural policy of the European Union. It suggests that the growing role of pluriactivity for farm households should be viewed more as a key strategy in the maintenance of a 'living countryside' than as an indicator of conventional agriculture's failure to sustain farming populations.

Pluriactivity as a livelihood strategy of Irish farm households and its role in rural development