Using cost/performance calculations, the profitability of four para-agricultural activities (contracted work for third parties, direct marketing, tourism and services) is investigated, with labour utilisation, i.e. the resultant hourly wage, serving as a criterion. With a focus on farm activities with a gross performance of between CHF 10,000 and CHF 100,000, there are 2339 observations available for the analysis. Whilst the performance of contract work – i.e. work for third parties – achieves a labour utilisation of CHF 40, the figure is CHF 25 for direct marketing. Tourism achieves CHF 24, and other services CHF 17. Para-agricultural activities are for the most part more economically attractive than the average hourly wage in agriculture (CHF 16). At the same time, the observations of the farm activities show an enormous heterogeneity in terms of the achieved performances and the costs. The most important cost differentials for the farm activity ’work for third parties’ are the machine costs; for direct marketing, the direct costs; and for tourism and services, the labour costs.
Policies to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions are more effective and more efficient if they are set at the regional level and not at the level of individual farms. This can help achieve climate targets.
Global food availability is expected to remain stable in the medium term. Food security challenges in Switzerland include the decline in agricultural land area per capita, higher incidence of extreme weather events and increased pressure from pests.
Different cultural backgrounds lead to different uptake of biodiversity agri-environmental schemes at the inner-Swiss French-German language border. Economic policy incentives could mitigate culture-driven behavioral differences.