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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Sustainable agriculture and multifunctionality in South Australia's Mid North region

Dubois, Alexandre; Carson, Dean


This paper discusses the pathways to agri-food sustainability in the context of the historical broadacre farming region of Mid North South Australia. Using notions of sustainable agriculture and multifunctional rural transitions to explore the geohistorical development trajectory of the region, it discusses the tensions and opportunities inherent to the future of farming in the Mid North and their impact on community development. We aim to contribute to a wider reflexion on the role of territoriality in the sustainable food transition debate, and its relevance in a traditionally productivist but marginal landscape. The paper proposes an extensive review of the historical, agricultural, socio-economic and institutional contexts of regional Australia before discussing the farming future(s) of the Mid North. We use a typology of 'modes of occupance' to reflect upon the compatibility between the emergence of differentiated multifunctional rural spaces in the Mid North and the realisation of agri-food sustainability transitions across its territory.


Sustainable agriculture; agri-food transitions; multifunctional rural spaces; South Australia; rural policy; community development

Published in

Australian Geographer
2020, volume: 51, number: 4, pages: 509-534

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Urban and Rural Development
Carson, Dean
Central Queensland University (CQUniversity)

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG2 Zero hunger

UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)