Alpine pasturing subsidies are now being introduced under the 2014–2017 Agricultural Policy. These subsidies are meant to offer lower-altitude farms a further incentive to move their livestock to alpine pastures during the summer season. Calculations made with the agent-based model SWISSland show that the alpine pasturing subsidies in combination with the previous summer pasturing subsidies strongly support the stocking rate. Despite this, the summer- and alpine pasturing subsidies are not sufficient to halt the decline in livestock population in the summer pasturing areas. Above-average decreases are to be expected for sheep and goats, whilst the number of summer-pastured suckler cows, other cattle and dairy cows is decreasing to a lower extent. The main reason for the decline in summer-pasturing numbers is the reduction in the livestock population on the farms, which goes hand-in-hand with the implementation of the 2014–2017 Agricultural Policy. It remains to be seen just how strongly the use and upkeep of summering pastures can be supported by the new measures for the promotion of biodiversity and landscape quality.
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.