Agroscope FAT Tänikon, Swiss Federal Research Station for Agricultural Economics and Engineering,CH- 8356 Ettenhausen

Labour-market-dependant agrarian structural change in the Swiss mountain region

The SULAPS Project uses an agrarian structure model to make prognoses on the development of mountain farming in two investigation areas in the Mittelbünden region (Canton of Grisons) for a time frame of 10-15 years. Two of the scenarios under consideration assume a major liberalisation of the agricultural markets and a halving of direct payments: In the ‘liberalisation with job availability’ scenario, the regional economy increasingly offers farmers additional and part-time job opportunities via which agricultural structural change can be effected by means of generational succession. In the ‘liberalisation with job shortages’ scenario, on the other hand, the previous non-farming jobs are partly lost, leading to a doubling of the farm abandonment rate. Many farmers are forced to opt out of agriculture, enabling the remaining farms to grow in size. This, however, cannot cushion the losses in household income resulting from a reduction in part-time employment.

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