303 research outputs found

    Social Capital and Farmers' Willingness to Adopt Countryside Stewardship Schemes

    Get PDF
    The EU provides farmers with incentives to adopt Countryside Stewardship Schemes (CSS) using subsidies in the framework of the agri-environmental regulation of the EU (2078/92), now included in the more general regulation on rural development In this paper, a case study of 36 farmers in the village of Bierbeek, was carried out to investigate the determinants of the willingness to adopt a scheme involving taking care of arable field margins in particular. Bivariate and multivariate logit analysis confirmed not only the importance of personal, structural and financial factors, but also showed the importance of social capital. Farmers who are more open to both professional and nonprofessional contacts are more likely to adopt a CSS. Hence, government and extension agencies should undertake more efforts to involve farmers as much as possible in activities of professional, but also non-professional, nature to stimulate them to adopt sustainable farming practices.Farm Management,

    Do Management Profiles Matter? An Analysis of Belgian Dairy Farmers

    Get PDF
    To assess the performance of a farmer and to identify best practice among a group of farmers, the assumption is often made that all farmers maximize profits and thus share the same business goals. However, performance differs due to personal characteristics, objectives and strategies. A survey carried out among 73 Belgian dairy farmers revealed that for only 34% of the farmers "profit maximization" is a primary objective. A regression analysis revealed that self-declared profit maximizers only obtained a higher farm income per liter, not per labour unit. Through cluster analysis, four main groups of farmers were found with similar objectives and management ideas: (A) risk-taking and progressive cow farmers, (B) riskaverse and progressive labour savers, (C) risk-neutral and relatively conservative profit maximizers and (D) risk-averse and conservative cow farmers. Gross margin per liter was highest for the labour savers. Other performance parameters were higher for cluster B only compared to cluster D. Scale economies were found for all performance parameters except for gross margin per liter.farm management, farmers' objectives, farm performance, dairy, extension, Farm Management,

    Sustainable Development of the Flemish Greenhouse Industry

    Get PDF
    This paper addresses the sustainable development of the Flemish greenhouse industry by investigating the optimal size, structure and location of its farms. It emphasizes the importance of a square shape of the greenhouse as optimal structure. Using Data Envelopment Analysis an optimal farm size that varies between 1.7 and 3 hectares has been found, depending on the method used. Location factors that matter in the future Flemish greenhouse industry include temperature, light, transportation costs, air pollution and land prices, while rainfall, wind, output price differences, soil and infection risk do not differentiate between regions.Farm Management,

    Commercialization and Subsistence in Transaction Agriculture: Empirical Evidence from Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania.

    Get PDF
    Present-day Central and Eastern European agriculture is characterized by a high incidence of small-scale farmers who are not producing for the market. This paper uses household level data from comparative farm surveys in Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania to analyze which farm household characteristics and endowments influence commercialization and subsistence farming.


    Get PDF
    Based on survey data on Bulgarian and Hungarian crop and dairy farms, a double-peaked distribution of technical efficiency is observed. Several factors explain differences in efficiency. Human capital matters not only through age and education, but also through gender as farms with a higher share of women are more efficient. Contracting with upstream processors increased efficiency through facilitating the adoption of technology and the access to credits. The superiority of family farms over corporate farms is confirmed for crops but not for dairy.Eastern Europe, Bulgaria, Hungary, technical efficiency, land tenure, governance, Agribusiness, Farm Management, Productivity Analysis,

    Characteristics of the agricultural sector of the 21st Century

    Get PDF
    The objective of this paper is to identify some of the salient characteristics of agriculture in the new millennium. The driving force behind economic change is technology and information, and information and knowledge will replace land, labour and capital as the sources of wealth in agriculture. The resultant cognitive-technical complex in farm production will lead to the true industrialisation of farming and thus placing the traditional family farmer at a distinct disadvantage. Technology developments combined with inverse population growth and ageing population, will not only negate Malthusian visions, but also lead to downward pressure on farm commodity prices, and thus increase the adoption rates of new technology. However, in reaction to the increasingly complex nature of modern society a demand is developing for terroir-based products. This range of products may not only significantly change some characteristics of agriculture, but also provide a new set of opportunities for farmers. Agricultural policy and development strategies should also be reconsidered in the light of this new environment.Agricultural and Food Policy,

    Proposing a life cycle land use impact calculation methodology

    Get PDF
    The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) community is yet to come to a consensus on a methodology to incorporate land use in LCA, still struggling with what exactly should be assessed and which indicators should be used. To solve this problem we start from concepts and models describing how ecosystems function and sustain, in order to understand how land use affects them. Earlier our research group presented a methodology based on the ecosystem exergy concept. This concept as based on the hypothesis that ecosystems develop towards more effective degradation of exergy fluxes passing through the system and is derived from two axioms: the principles of (i) maximum exergy storage and the (ii) maximum exergy dissipation. This concept aiming at the area of protection natural environment is different from conventional exergy analysis in LCA focusing on natural resources. To prevent confusion, the ecosystem exergy concept is further referred to as the MAximum Storage and Dissipation concept (MASD concept). In this paper we present how this concept identifies end-point impacts, mid-point impacts and mid-point indicators. The identified end-point impacts to assess are Ecosystem Structural Quality (ESQ) and Ecosystem Functional Quality (EFQ). In order to quantify these end-point impacts a dynamic multi-indicator set is proposed for quantifying the mid-point impacts on soil fertility, biodiversity and biomass production (quantifying the ESQ) and soil structure, vegetation structure and on-site water balance (quantifying the EFQ). Further we present an impact calculation method suitable for different environmental assessment tools and demonstrate the incorporation of the methodology in LCA

    Gender, social capital and empowerment in northern Ethiopia

    Get PDF
    This paper investigates the interactions between gender, social capital and empowerment in the rural areas of northern Ethiopia. We define empowerment narrowly as the power of households to make important decisions that change their course of life. Depending on the degree of control over decisions, the response of households is classified into passive, active and full control. A multinomial logit model is used to analyze empowerment levels of the rural households, first for the full sample of households and then for male headed and female headed households separately. Findings indicate that social capital, measured by the number of local associations a household is a member of, is an important factor in empowerment, but with significant gender differences. Social capital is significant for male headed households but not for female headed households; for the latter, education and access to credit are the strongest determinants of empowerment.Empowerment, Gender, Social capital, Ethiopia

    Tradable Substitution Rights: Simulation of the Cost-Efficiency of a Nitrogen Reduction in the Pig Finishing Sector

    Get PDF
    To comply with the European Nitrate Directive, the Flemish manure policy has been elaborated mainly on the base of command and control measures (maximum fertilisation limits etc.). In literature, however, tradable permits are described as a cost efficient and effective instrument. Applied to nutrient emission they might offer an alternative for the current, expensive manure policy. In this publication both policy instruments are compared by means of simulation models. Based on accountacy data from 190 pig finishing farms, it is shown that tradable rights may result in cost savings of over 88%, compared to the most cost efficient command and control model. This result indicates that tradable permits at least need to be considered as a plausible policy instrument for the agricultural sector.tradable permits, agriculture, command and control, nitrogen, linear programming, Livestock Production/Industries, C61, D23, H23, Q58, Q52,