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Abstract

This paper develops a thorough yet easily implementable approach to measuring agriculture’s contribution to rural viability. The approach is based on input-output modelling. It adopts a number of concepts from input-output modelling such as determining the explicit geographical origin of input requirements and the geographical destination of farm household expenditures without formerly developing an input-output table. The approach is applied to four case studies in the Swiss mountain regions and tested for three scenarios. Our results clarify the role that agriculture still plays in the context of rural viability. They demonstrate that agriculture’s contribution to rural viability differs considerably between the case study regions and that future developments lead to a marked decline in this contribution. Rural development strategies have to take these specific regional characteristics and development perspectives into account. Keywords: This paper develops a thorough yet easily implementable approach to measuring agriculture’s contribution to rural viability. The approach is based on input-output modelling. It adopts a number of concepts from input-output modelling such as determining the explicit geographical origin of input requirements and the geographical destination of farm household expenditures without formerly developing an input-output table. The approach is applied to four case studies in the Swiss mountain regions and tested for three scenarios. Our results clarify the role that agriculture still plays in the context of rural viability. They demonstrate that agriculture’s contribution to rural viability differs considerably between the case study regions and that future developments lead to a marked decline in this contribution. Rural development strategies have to take these specific regional characteristics and development perspectives into account.

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