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

Determinants of farm succession

Agroscope FAT Tänikon investigated the farm succession situation in Swiss agriculture on the basis of a postal survey of a representative sample of 776 Swiss male and female farm managers aged 40 and over and their children living on the farm as well as several focus groups. An analysis of the factors and processes determining whether a farm is handed down to the next generation or given up is central in order to understand the structural change in agriculture. 46 % of the interviewees declared that they had a succession, 27 % of them have none or do not know yet. A comparison of farms with and without succession showed that economic, social and cultural factors influence the probability of farm succession. Farm succession depends not only on economic criteria such as farm size but also on processes and values within the family. No secure existence and the lack of interest of the children were the main reasons for giving up agriculture.

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