Production / farm management
Agricultural productivity and efficiency analysis provides evidence for policy and management decisions, regarding growth and development, food security and sustainable resource use. Research in this area uses empirical methods to analyze factors and dynamics of productivity, efficiency and technological change at the levels of the firm, the enterprise and the whole sector. Both technical and allocative tendencies are considered.
Strategies to improve the competitiveness of the agricultural sector and farming income in response to trade liberalization
The fertilizer subsidy in Taiwan has successfully led to a significant increase of production in previous decades. However, the result has been an over application of fertilizer as well as environmental problems. Agri-environmental contracts are widely used to provide incentives to reduce negative environmental impacts.
The success of the agri-environmental scheme will highly depend on the farmers’ participation. This research project focuses on specific scheme design factors to investigate farmers’ preference on different attributes of chemical fertilizer reduction scheme in order to provide the authorities with useful information. This information pertains to developing a more attractive scheme for farmers in the future. The data were collected from rice farmers in Taiwan. (Erin Chang)
Review and the improvement of the system for income determination and income forecasting for the Bavarian Agricultural Report
The evolution of agricultural/farmer income represents an important chapter in the BavarianAgricultural Report. The Bavarian State Research Center for Agriculture (BSRCA) is the institution responsible for estimating and forecasting the income development and trend presented in this report. The quality of the income information is highly reliant on the features of the statistical methods utilised. The methods currently used are obsolete. Thus, the statistical results reported by the BSRCA are incomparable with other agricultural statistics, both at national and at EU level. Therefore, there is an urgent need for using both a current methodological framework and an appropriate data storage system.
The goal of this research project is to employ a modern statistical method, namely unbounded extrapolation, as an estimation technique to determine and forecast the income reported in the Bavarian Agricultural Report, and simultaneously to improve the evaluation methods for farmers’ income in Bavaria.
In terms of methodology, the project will assess and verify which statistical methods are most suitable for the unbounded extrapolation technique. If necessary, Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS)-statistics datasets could be incorporated in the newly developed system. The research project will take into account the need for comparability with other agricultural statistics at all levels (national and EU). Also developed will be a standardised reporting form, elaborated in close cooperation with the BSRCA and approved by the Bavarian State Ministry for Nutrition, Agriculture, and Forestry.
The project is funded by the Bavarian Ministry for Nutrition, Agriculture and Forestry (StMELF). (Lucian Stanca)
Optimization of manure use on farm level “IOFarm”
The input of nutrients and the least cost combination of fertilizers are calculated with help of a model-based optimization program. Beside economic criteria, such as machine costs or fertilizer prices, there are embedded ecological restrictions. Great value is emphasized to the improvement of the utilization of the supplied nutrients. (Michael Tröster)
Impact and adaptation of climate change on agriculture
The overall impact of climate change is believed to be negative, impact unevenly distributed across regions. Subsistence farmers in Ethiopia are among communities at higher risk. Understanding the potential impacts of climate and potential benefits from plausible adaptation measures has practical relevance in policy making related to minimizing impact at local level and for actions against climate change at national and global level. Heterogeneity in existing physical environment and socio-economic conditions necessitate climate change impact studies which take into consideration local conditions. This project attempts to assess the potential impacts of climate change and potential benefits of adaptation measures on farming systems of Ethiopia based on recently collected primary data and other relevant secondary sources. Ongoing farm level adaptation measures and farmers climate change perceptions are also part of the focus of this project. (Habtemariam Lemlem Teklegiorgis)
The added value of family farming in Bavaria – A trans-regional study focusing on Bavaria
For a growing number of people contact points with agriculture are decreasing. Due to a lack of visibility and knowledge about all services provided by agriculture, the understanding for transfer payments is fading in society. Therefore, agriculture and its political objectives need to be categorized into societal and economical contexts and properly explained. One possible approach to do so is to calculate the added value of agriculture i.e. to quantify the services for society going beyond pure agricultural production and thereby obtaining a more objective illustration.
Given the structural conditions and objectives of agricultural policy in Bavaria, the value that is especially added by family farming is of paramount importance. Family farming – in contrast to industrial agriculture – is characterized by family-run businesses that produce healthy food, use resource-saving farm practices, keep livestock in a way that meets welfare requirements, make an active contribution to climate protection, and provide a viable rural area that allows for development through diverse entrepreneurial activity.
Against this background, this research project investigates whether family farming, as compared to more industrial forms of agriculture, creates added value from an economical, societal, and ecological perspective.
The overall project is carried out in cooperation with research partners from Austria, Italy/South Tyrol and Norway, The analysis for Bavaria is funded by the Bavarian State Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry (StMELF). (Stefan Wimmer)
Optimizing the Agricultural Value Chain through Cooperation – Empirical Policy Advice for Bavaria
Cooperation is an appropriate instrument for every farmer to strengthen operations and improve the value chain, irrespective of its design—horizontal, vertical, or diagonal. Cooperation supports the optimizing of costs and labor time. Success is most likely if cooperation reaches beyond the collaboration of colleagues within the same value chain by including down- and upstream companies of the same region. Particularly in Bavaria, cooperation amongst the high number of small agricultural and rural family businesses affords the opportunity for maintaining competitiveness in production and marketing, and hence retaining income within the region.
Regardless of the potential advantages of cooperation, different concerns still keep farmers from collaborating with competitors and affiliates. The high levels of efficiency, productivity and cooperation form an essential aspect of improving their economic capability and standing within the value chain. Both the technical literature (lack of empirical work on this topic) and operational experience fail in providing a suitable approach on how to measure the success of cooperation.
This research project focuses on the following aspects:
- Relevance and stability of cooperation within agriculture
- Motivation of partners for cooperation
- Parameters for the collective success of cooperation and their design
- Economic effects of different cooperation models
- Perception of the cooperation model´s success by its members
- Actions taken by the affiliates and their effects on the success of the cooperation model and the dependence of the partners´ standing within the value chain
- Experiences with cooperation in neighboring European states
- Benefits and options of how to promote cooperative behavior
- Design and combinations of state actions for increasing the probability of cooperation and its stability
- Contribution of the Bavarian Agrarwirtschaftsgesetz [agricultural economic legislation] in promoting cooperative collaboration
Course of action: Record different kinds of cooperation and their meaning within the European agricultural sectors alongside the value chain and categorize them according to existing cooperation in various sectors and regions. Then investigate the economic effects of such cooperation and their organizational stability from a theoretical perspective. Thereafter, formulate hypotheses for increasing economic capability of cooperation. Then choose various sectors with differing forms of cooperation, company specific data sets and analyze for efficiency, cost-effectiveness, members’ income etc. in the empirical part of the project with using statistical tools such as regression analyses. Enrich these data sets with the results of surveys spread to producer and working partnerships. Finally, conduct choice experiments for identifying proper business and policy actions for initiating and strengthening cooperation in individual sectors.
The project is undertaken in cooperation with the Bavarian Central Authority for Agriculture (LfL), Institute for Food Industry and Markets.
It is funded by the Bavarian Ministry for Nutrition, Agriculture and Forestry (StMELF). (Fabian Frick)
Cost and productivity implications of specific animal welfare criteria for milk production when taking consumer concerns into consideration
Animal welfare is widely discussed in society and becomes increasingly important. Consumers demand a strict compliance with “special” animal welfare criteria in agricultural production and request appropriate verification. According to the “BMEL-Ernährungsreport 2017” (Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture – Nutrition Report 2017), 88% of the sample of a Forsa study would be willing to pay more for consumer goods with animal welfare labels. The active and reactive marketing of products being produced under compliance with animal welfare criteria thus becomes increasingly important for the retail market. This framework influences production and investment decisions of milk producers as success can only be achieved by attuning animal welfare to economics.
Therefore, the project aims at quantifying both the willingness of milk producers to provide animal welfare services and benefits as well as the willingness of consumers to pay for it. Further, possible agreements between the demand and supply side will be discussed. (Fabian Frick, Stefan Wimmer)