Agriculture provides a wide range of functions and services that go far beyond the cultivation of agricultural land and the production of food. In addition to pure agricultural production or the production of marketable goods, farms produce a range of products and services (so-called non-commodity outputs or non-market goods) that represent different elements of "multifunctionality" in agriculture (OECD, 2001). These diverse products and services often have the characteristics of public goods. In order to assess the social value associated with the different functions or outputs of farms, multifunctionality can be considered in the context of (positive and negative) externalities. As by-products or effects of agricultural production or farm activities, these externalities are socially relevant.
In the course of the reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), non-commodity outputs or externalities of agriculture have been increasingly taken into account, especially in the context of rural development programmes. In the course of this, certain functions and services of farms (e.g. ecological or infrastructural functions) are also rewarded as a value for society.
The aim of the research project, which is coordinated by the Technical University of Munich (Prof. Dr. Johannes Sauer, Chair of Production and Resource Economics), is to analyse the functions and services of farms that go beyond agricultural production. The project title on the part of the main project management at the Technical University of Munich is "The Social Added Value of Farming - A Supraregional Study with a Focus on Bavaria". For Bavaria, the focus of this project is on the social added value of agriculture (i.e. services to society that go beyond pure agricultural production), which is achieved in particular through "rural agriculture". In accordance with the research questions, the characteristics of "rural agriculture" and relevant indicators for measuring them are to be recorded. On the other hand, the causal effects of "rural agriculture" and also the social evaluation or appreciation of these effects are to be determined. The studies can contribute to a clarification of the social significance of different forms of agriculture and thus to a further development of CAP measures in the course of its reforms.
The cooperation of the Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics in this project is an initiative of the Technical University of Munich and the BMNT. The tasks of the Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics are, in particular, to participate in literature research and the preparation of literature, in data provision, collection and analysis, in workshops, conferences and seminars, as well as in the preparation of project reports and other publications.
In 2016, the Federal Institute for Agricultural Economics carried out literature work on family farms (family farming), on the use of the term "farming", and on the functions and performance of farms and their evaluation. The results of the literature work were presented and discussed in the same year with the project partners at a workshop organised by the Federal Institute in Vienna. At this workshop, the project partners from the Technical University of Munich presented the planned methodological approaches (e.g. cluster analysis, regression discontinuity, choice experiments) as well as possible indicators for specific agricultural services. In the years 2016 to 2018, the project partners continuously checked the availability of data in the respective regions (Germany, Austria, South Tyrol, Norway) on farm characteristics and with regard to effects to be analysed. In 2017, the first results of the project partners from the Technical University of Munich for Germany (definition of "peasant" farms, analysis of the causal effects of farms) were presented and discussed at a workshop in Bolzano. In 2018, interim results of the project partners of the Technical University of Munich on causal effects of "peasant farming" in Germany on ecological, economic and social sustainability were discussed at a workshop in Oslo. The workshop also discussed the concept of the project partners of the Free University of Bolzano for a planned consumer survey for a Structural Equation Model (SEM) and a Choice Experiment. The aim is to analyse which values consumers associate with "rural agriculture" and what willingness to pay exists for this form of agriculture. All project partners also held a public seminar on "Family farming in Europe: What's at stake?" at the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO) in Oslo. Furthermore, in 2018, the Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics, in coordination with all project partners, collaborated in the development of the questionnaire of the project partners at the Free University of Bolzano and compiled a data set for the analysis of causal effects of family farming in Austria by the project partners at the Technical University of Munich.
In 2019, work on the country-specific analyses (Germany, Austria, South Tyrol, Norway) was completed in close cooperation between the project partners. The methodological work and empirical analyses of the causal effects of the farms were largely coordinated and carried out by the project partners at the Technical University of Munich. The consumer survey in Germany, Austria, South Tyrol and Norway was coordinated and analysed by the project partners of the Free University of Bolzano. In addition, the Federal Institute participated in further project-internal workshops, in the processing and interpretation of the results, in the development of recommendations for action, in the preparation of the interim and final report, in the presentation of the results in the context of conferences and seminars, and in the further utilisation of the results in the context of various publications.
Project start: May 2016
Project end: December 2019