From "Reports on Agriculture", March 2004

The instrument of competition as an impetus for regional cooperation - Evaluation results of the competition "Regionen Aktiv", concerning the consequences for "non-winner-regions" -

Silke Brocks, Coesfeld and Katrin Weiß, Dortmund

Till now evaluations of competitions take mainly the "winner-regions" into consideration. The field of research disregards largely the instruments´ enormous potentials and problems regarding the "non-winner-regions". The authors show their new approach in the following article by explaining the research results of the federal competition "Regionen Aktiv" and its impulses for regional cooperation in the "non-winner-regions".

The authors look at the instrument of competition in the context of the current discussion about development-policy and the new requirements and challenges of a more integrative, spatial program-development.

Compensatory allowance in less favoured areas in the Federal Republic of Germany

Reiner Plankl, Katja Rudow and Christoph Klockenbring, Braunschweig

The funding of farms in less favoured areas has many goals. A description of the less favoured areas, as well as the current arrangement and budget for the payment of allowances for these areas, stress the importance of this funding instrument in Germany. The main focus of the paper is to show the success of the compensation of disadvantages due to poor natural soil and climatic conditions. It became evident that usually only a small part of the differences in farm income are compensated by the allowance. The results vary depending on the situation in the different German federal states.

Current data is inadequate for determining how the other goals of the allowance program are being met. For future investigations - especially with regard to new agricultural policies of the EC - the quality of data and methods must be improved. In addition, a better definition of the goals would be helpful for further evaluations of the allowance for less favoured areas.

Economic Impacts of the CAP Reform 2003 on dairy farms in Austria

Leopold Kirner, Wien

On June 26th, 2003 EU farm ministers adopted a fundamental reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The key elements of the CAP-Reform were the introduction of a single payment scheme for EU farmers (decoupling), a reduction of direct payments (modulation) and a corresponding increase in the budget for rural development policies, and the linkage of payments to compliance with environmental, food safety and animal welfare standards (cross-compliance). The present study is an analysis of the possible impacts of the new farm policy on dairy enterprises in Austria; it examines the economics of different szenarios of farm adjustment under the new conditions. Linear programming was used to determine the gross margins before und after CAP-Reform for five dairy farms modeled in this study. These model farms represent the most common farm sizes and production systems in Austria. Without major adaptations, the model came up with slightly reduced gross margins for all five farms after CAP-Reform, mainly due to the reduction in the price of milk. Also farm growth becomes less economical. Some changes in farm business management lead to a compensation of most of the losses of income due to CAP-Reform. The new system of direct payments implemented with CAP-Reform provides new opportunities for farm development. In order to achieve economic sustainability, farmers must adapt to the new conditions quickly and increasingly focus on market developments, consumer demands and environmental and animal-friendly husbandry.

Analysis of the Consumer Behaviour With Regard to Direct Purchasing on the Example of the Lower Saxony Survey Region

Silvia Zenner, Bernd Wirthgen, Kassel and Marianne Altmann, Luxemburg

This contribution presents the results of empirical research into the analysis of consumer behaviour and attitudes towards direct purchasing. To this purpose, face-to-face surveys were conducted in autumn 2002 in the Hanover region (n = 202) as well as in seven other survey regions (n = 759).

For the analysis of the consumer behaviour, a so-called purchasing pattern index (Kaufverhaltensindex; KVI) was established. A comparison of the different regions reveals that the survey regions of Baden-Wuerttemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony have by far the highest KVI while the eastern survey regions have the lowest KVI.

As regards the attitude measurement (factor analysis), the following six attitude dimensions could be extracted: confidence in the emotional product quality, price consciousness, confidence in the range of conventional foodstuffs, attitude towards convenience food, health consciousness and social-orientation. The analysis of the purchasing pattern relevance (regression analysis) shows the distinct dominance of the attitude dimension ´price consciousness´.

Farm management and economic effects of organic intensive livestock farming in the region Mostviertel-Eisenwurzen (Austria)

Ruth Kratochvil, Oliver Kaliski, Michael Dorninger, Josef Hambrusch, Wien

The objective of the contribution presented is to evaluate a widespread adoption of organic livestock farming in the region Mostviertel-Eisenwurzen from a farm management and economic point of view. The comparison between conventional and organic production is based on Linear Programming (LP) Models drawn up for seven different farms (farm types fattening pig, breeding pig, fattening & breeding pig, each of it with a model for extensive and intensive farming, one model for the farm type fattening cattle). The results of the LP-Models show differences in marginal income and the marginal income less additional costs caused by conversion to organic farming like investments, inspection fee etc. Based on the LP-Models, the potential emissions of greenhouse gases of each farm model are quantified. In a next step, the external costs of different farming systems are assessed by linking the emissions to cost factors. In the case of premium prices for organic produce, marginal incomes are as a rule higher in the organic pig farms. Contrary, marginal income is lower in the fattening cattle farm. When assuming conventional prices, marginal incomes decrease sharply in organic farming. The aggregation of the findings for the single farm models to the regional level shows a reduction in external costs under organic cultivation which is due mainly to the avoidance on N fertilizers and a lower input of bought in concentrates.

Vocational field analysis: master and technician in the horticulture

Walter von Danwitz, Straelen

At present there are so far no qualification profiles in closed form for the vocational field of master gardeners and horticulture technicians. The available vocational field analysis was therefore developed on initiative of the Bundesverband Ehemaliger Gartenbau Fachschüler Deutschlands e.V., in which participated organizations of former students of altogether 19 horticultural technical schools providing one and two year education respectively. The goal of the investigation was to receive information about the vocational career of technical school graduates, about the connected professional activities and requirements as well as a subsequent evaluation of the technical school attendance. Because of decreasing numbers of students throughout the country the results are to supply initial stages for an evaluation of the teaching offer as well as for required and future-oriented reforms of the technical school. The results are to be understood also as a guideline assistance for professional organizations and potential technical school attendants.

Quality assurance and risk management in the agri-food industry: Report on the 82nd European Seminar of the European Association of Agricultural Economists (EAAE)

Melanie Fritz und Gerhard Schiefer, Bonn

The challenges posed by quality assurance and risk management for the agri-food industry are also challenges for agricultural economic research. The European Association of Agricultural Economists has accepted this challenge together with the University of Bonn and requested in 2003 agricultural economists at a global level to engage in discussions on development projects and consequences. The contribution provides an overview of the presentations and results of discussion. While the presentations mirror a broad range of current research initiatives, they also show the special focus of current research on priority areas concerning chain management and consumer habits.

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