Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, Birmensdorf

Further development of the direct payments system and land-use change in mountain regions

The re-allocation of head based animal to area based direct payments in the context of the next agricultural policy reform (AP 14–17) should reduce the incentive keeping high stocking densities and thus reduce emissions from agricultural production. In this contribution, we quantify the impact of this re-allocation on land-use intensities in two different mountain regions using an agent-based model. The model has been applied to the region of Visp, which is currently dominated by small part-time farmers, and to a region in the Jura, dominated by large fulltime farmers. Our findings show that resulting land-use intensities depend on the initial agricultural structure and the production activities of the farms in the different regions. To achieve proposed environmental goals in regions with different agricultural structures, concomitant policy instruments such as payments supporting resource efficiency should not be neglected.

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