Agroscope, Institute for Sustainability Sciences ISS, Switzerland

Administrative simplification in agriculture: analysis and optimisation approaches

In addition to their own record-keeping as part of management and planning activities, farmers are nowadays obliged to record data and fill in forms for statistical purposes as well as for the disbursement of government or label-related funding. Two surveys of 26 Swiss farms with different agricultural activities conducted in 2012 and 2015 revealed that data on administrative working-time input varied greatly, but tended to show an increase from 2012 to 2015. The numerous personal comments showed that farmers attached a great deal of importance to the topic of administrative effort, and that many of them wish to reduce time and effort spent. From the results, four optimisation approaches were developed: (1) An expert- system app for supplying the current forms at farm level, as well as for the linking of various information tools; (2) Training and advice on office organisation as well as on application processing and filling in forms on all levels of agricultural education and training; (3) A bonus or reward system in the sphere of controlling; and (4) The automation of record keeping.

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