In Switzerland, farmer’s compliance costs of participating in voluntary agri-environmental measures are supposed to be compensated by direct payments. Information about these compliance costs can inform policy makers about the effectiveness and efficiency of the corresponding policy scheme. In this study, we calculate average compliance costs based on full-cost accounting and Monte-Carlo simulation of payments for biodiversity conservation and landscape maintenance. Results show the heterogeneity of compliance costs for each scheme across production zones, farm structures and market environments. This heterogeneity implies that average cost calculations can hardly be com-pared with existing direct payment levels. In addition, the results show that compliance costs are highly influenced by the foregone income when switching from more intensive to less-intensive land-use regulated by the agri-environmental scheme. The importance of these opportunity costs imply that agri-environmental schemes must be carefully reconciled with other instruments in particular with respect to other direct payment schemes in Switzerland.
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.