To date, evaluations of direct payments have, in the main, neglected to consider the costs of enforcement and control. However, the question of the degree to which these policy related transaction costs influence the implementation and efficiency of agricultural policy measures is relevant for the development of agricultural policy. An assessment of policy related transaction costs in the cantons Grisons and Zurich show that these costs amount to roughly CHF 1’100 per farm. Local government pays 36 % (Grisons) and 38 % (Zurich). In relation to overall direct payments, the costs lie between 1,8 % and 2,8 %. Thus, today’s direct payments system is characterised by a relatively high transfer efficiency. By linking direct payments to the multi-functional services provided by agriculture, it is possible to interpret enforcement and control costs as part of the quality control costs for these services. This, in turn, contributes to the credibility of the direct payment system and society’s acceptance of the funds used for this purpose.
Policies to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions are more effective and more efficient if they are set at the regional level and not at the level of individual farms. This can help achieve climate targets.
Global food availability is expected to remain stable in the medium term. Food security challenges in Switzerland include the decline in agricultural land area per capita, higher incidence of extreme weather events and increased pressure from pests.
Different cultural backgrounds lead to different uptake of biodiversity agri-environmental schemes at the inner-Swiss French-German language border. Economic policy incentives could mitigate culture-driven behavioral differences.