Refers to the many functions that agriculture has, other than supplying food and fibre. It includes the broader contributions that the sector can make to the overall economy and well-being of society, such as food security; protection of the environment (biodiversity); maintenance of the rural landscape; viability of rural communities; food safety; animal welfare; and the protection of traditional cultural practices (e.g. rice paddies).
The concept that agriculture is inextricably linked to social and environmental benefits that cannot otherwise be produced by society. Thus it is argued that agriculture should be provided with support to continue to produce these social and environmental benefits. See Adler
Refers to the purposes that an industry may serve in addition to producing its output. Most often applied to agriculture by countries that wish to subsidize it, who argue that subsidies are needed to serve these other purposes, such as rural viability, land conservation, cultural heritage, etc.