Institute of Agricultural Ecomonics, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich

Agriculture and decentralised settlement

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the manner in which agriculture fulfils the obligations relating to its contribution to decentralised settlement and the respective measures implemented by the Federation. In the first stage, we investigate the role of agriculture in the situation threatening decentralised settlement and come to the conclusion that the sector only makes a significant contribution to decentralised settlement in a relatively low number of boroughs in Switzerland. We then look into the question of the costs of decentralised settlement in today’s agricultural policy system. Our results show that the flow of funds generated by the Federation with a view to promoting decentralised settlement are not entirely justifiable under the terms of Art. 104c of the Federal Constitution. Thus, Switzerland pays for agriculture with small-scale structures whose constitutional obligation, namely a significant contribution to decentralised settlement, is only partially fulfilled.

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