In the Swiss agricultural sector, the development towards larger farms and consequently towards more economically favourable cost structures is relatively slow. A dynamic simulation model is used to investigate where an extrapolation of the present development could lead in future and what form alternative development paths could take. The simulations indicate that, compared to a continuation of the current development, more cost-effective structures can be achieved without more frequent, non-age related farm closures. A reduction in the number of start-ups or a development towards a dual agricultural structure can be identified as socially acceptable and politically realisable opportunities for improved competitiveness. In view of future challenges, this potential should be exploited to the full. This demands that agricultural policy demonstrates a firm commitment to more efficient cost structures and thus to larger farms.
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.