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Abstract

Organic farming is promoted financially in the Federal Republic of Germany since 1989. The entire segment shows a very dynamic development since that time. In the past eleven years, the organically managed land area has increased more than ten-fold. Now, a large bouquet of measures are offered which target the promotion of organic farming. Among the supports are grants for organically managed land, investment incentives, the promotion of producer co-operatives, the promotion of on-farm processing and direct marketing, publicity measures and measures to raise consumer awareness as well as the support of training, extension and research in the field of organic farming. In addition, a series of pilot and demonstration projects in the area of processing and marketing of organic products have been carried out. Since large portions of the agricultural structure and the agri-environmental policy fall under the jurisdiction of the federal states (the “Bundesländer”), the concrete forms of the support measures as, for example the rates of payments for organically managed land, differ significantly from state to state. This is also reflected in the varying reaction of the states to the new orientation in agricultural policy taken by the federal government. It begins to emerge that the emphasis of support policy for organic farming will remain on the payment of area related premiums despite the new accents in national policy. This article identifies and discusses the current form of these support measures as well as possible approaches for further development. With regard to the total spectrum of measures promoting organic farming, a better co-ordination of the existing activities is recommended, for example within the internationally approved framework of an action plan for organic farming.

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