Economies of scale can significantly improve the competitiveness of the Swiss agricultural sector. In order to understand the development behind the farm size structure, the underlying sub-processes of land transfers are examined in-depth. Each year, between 4 % and 5 % of the total utilised agricultural area are transferred due to the closing down or start-up of farms, intergenerational farm transfers or the growth and shrinkage of farms. While this share is significant, the theoretical potential for a net shift of surfaces towards bigger farms is by no means fully exploited. Only few farms of above-average size are set up, numerous small and middle-sized farms are taken over by the next generation and surfaces which become vacant are concentrated in middle-sized farms. However, the ongoing development of size structure is slow and restricts the potential reduction of production costs which is so important given the challenges to be expected in the future.
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.
The agricultural sector as an aggregate proved resilient to the COVID-19 shock. But how did it impact agribusiness firms within the sector? Using the Swiss case, we provide the first set of evidence on how agri-food importing firms survived the pandemic economically.
Agricultural economics research uses a multitude of methods and approaches to assess existing and new policy measures. This is the basis for agricultural policy that demonstrably makes a difference, i.e. is evidence-based.