Since the separation of price and income policies, the economic costs on the supply side of Swiss agriculture have decreased considerably. They amount to about half a billion Swiss francs, which corresponds to 0,15 % of the Swiss net social product in 2002. Compared to the overall costs in Swiss agriculture, the loss of social benefit through redundant production factors is therefore rather small. The emphasis in the discussion about agricultural costs should therefore shift to income redistribution issues.
Thanks to their unique landscapes, the 15 Swiss parks, the majority of which are located in the (pre-)Alps and in the Jura Arc, feature as tourist attractions. But do the parks also provide economic value-added for local agriculture?
To balance their nutrient cycles, Swiss farms export surplus farmyard manure to farms with free uptake capacities or to composting and anaerobic digestion facilities. Between 2015 and 2020 the volumes of organic manure and recycled fertilisers transported rose significantly, with a consequent increase in transport costs.
Employment in the agricultural sector is declining in many European countries, especially in livestock farming. Direct payments can counter this trend and lead to the employment of more – especially female – family members on the farm.