The Common Property Option
Agrifood systems resources are classified as private, public, or common pool (CPRs) by the costs of excluding others from using them and the extent their value is reduced with use (subtractability). CPRs (e.g., irrigation water and farming knowledge) are amenable the widest range of management regimes: open access (unmanaged) or private, government, or common property management (CPM). Key for sustainably managing CPRs is internalization of negative externalities, the costs of farming born by society, not the farmer (for example, water pollution from fertilizer). Internalizing those costs within farming is done in CPM by extending benefits to future generations and other people, illustrated by game theory. Crop genetic resources and irrigation water can be successfully managed as common property.
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