Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon Research Station ART, CH-8356 Ettenhausen

Investments of individual farms and farming collectives

Farms can only maintain and improve their competitiveness long-term through investment. This paper attempts to determine whether the investment behaviour of farms changes when whole farms or certain production branches merge. To this end, data on individual farms from the investment support measures of the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) and the cantonal credit banks were analysed. During the period investigated (2003-2005), 2644 investments in farm buildings were supported in Switzerland. Over the same period, around 9.4% of the farming collectives (FCs) and partial farming collectives (PFCs), and nearly 4% of individual farms (IFs) in Switzerland invested. IFs as well as FCs and PFCs invested primarily in the new building and rebuilding of cattle housing. Farming collectives opted more frequently for new-build, while individual farms increasingly tended to rebuild existing buildings. On a regional level, a high rate of investment may be observed in West Switzerland (Fribourg, Jura and Neuchâtel cantons). With farming collectives, both the investments as well as the amount of investment funding received are higher on account of the size of the farm; however, consideration of the investments per hectare or cattle equivalent reveals almost no differences.

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