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Open AccessArticle

How Can Multifunctional Agriculture Support a Transition to a Green Economy in Africa? Lessons from the COMACO Model in Zambia

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Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, The University of Zambia, P. O. Box 32379, Lusaka 10101, Zambia
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United Nations University-Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) Green Economy Project, International House, University of Ghana, Legon Campus, Accra, Ghana
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gbadebo Oladosu
Agriculture 2016, 6(3), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture6030048
Received: 2 August 2016 / Revised: 7 September 2016 / Accepted: 12 September 2016 / Published: 21 September 2016
This paper examines the link between the green economy and multifunctional agriculture. In particular, the paper uses the case of the Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) initiative, an agro-based enterprise promoting a multifunctional agriculture model in Eastern Zambia, to examine how the potential of smallholder farmers can be harnessed to support a transition towards the green economy. The empirical data on which the paper is based were collected through questionnaire surveys and in-depth interviews conducted with farmers and other actors in the agricultural sector. The results of the study show that a number of elements underpinning the COMACO model including sustainable land management practices, conservation outreach, community markets, value addition, and conservation dividends have great potential to deliver benefits related to the green economy. However, to truly foster a transition towards a green economy, a number of constraints need to be overcome. These include lack of a supportive policy and institutional framework, technological backwardness, and lack of consumer awareness of environmental information instruments such as eco-labelling. View Full-Text
Keywords: multifunctional agriculture; green economy; smallholder farmers; agro-based enterprise; community markets multifunctional agriculture; green economy; smallholder farmers; agro-based enterprise; community markets
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Mfune, O.; Chisola, M.N.; Ziba, I. How Can Multifunctional Agriculture Support a Transition to a Green Economy in Africa? Lessons from the COMACO Model in Zambia. Agriculture 2016, 6, 48.

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