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.
A hoeing and spot-spraying device enables huge savings in the use of plant protection products. Although costs are higher than for conventional plant protection devices, motivated farm managers give this innovative technology genuine prospects for the future.
Thanks to their unique landscapes, the 15 regional nature 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.