A combined approach to assess the impact of Ecological Focus Areas on regional structural development

This paper aims to investigate how the implementation of Ecological Focus Areas (EFA) measures of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will affect regional agricultural development, the economic performance of farms and land use changes in two case study areas in Sweden and Germany. The research approach combines agent-based modelling (ABM) with stakeholder interactions to evaluate how different policy scenarios involving a portfolio of selected measures will affect farm sizes, profits and incomes as well as farms’ choices of EFA measures. Results show that structural impacts of EFA measures are minor in both regions compared with general impacts of external and internal convergence of Pillar 1 payments. Most preferred alternatives (fallow land in Sweden and catch crops in Germany) are rather cost and income preserving than decisive for the conservation of biodiversity. However general concern regarding the future of biodiversity and potential benefits for a sustainable agriculture was revealed during stakeholder workshops. This should further encourage initiatives towards future exchanges in order to better spatially target ecosystem services and reward efforts and outcomes accordingly.

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149th EAAE Seminar ‘Structural change in agri-food chains: new relations between farm sector, food industry and retail sector’, Rennes, France, October 27-28, 2016

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-23

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