The importance of agriculture within the regional economy consists not only of the direct employment and added value generated, but also of the effects it has on the rest of the economy. A quantitative survey in four mountain regions in Switzerland shows that basically, that part of agriculture’s contribution to rural development over and above land-use could be de-linked from production. In many regions, support for this employment is inefficient since the costs generated by agriculture are probably higher than those resulting from the creation of alternative employment opportunities. Those regions with a distinct agrarian character in which it is hardly possible to create jobs outside of agriculture are an exception.
Employment in the agricultural sector is declining in many European countries, especially in livestock farming. Direct payments can counter this trend and lead to the employment of more – especially female – family members on the farm.
Despite the current challenges of e.g. the war in Ukraine and climate change, the Swiss food sector is relatively resilient. This is the conclusion reached by Agroscope’s report on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office for National Economic Supply.
The pandemic has influenced not only our everyday life but also our behaviour. Agroscope looked at which population groups and behaviours experienced or underwent particularly significant changes, and what this means for our health.