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Direct payments coupled to labour force – socio-economic consequences to organic farming –

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  • Policy Environments And Social Economy
  • Agricultural Science
  • Economics


Discussion Labour input on organic farms in Switzerland and Germany is on average 20% higher than on comparable conventional farms (Offermann and Nieberg 2000). Therefore, it is not surprising, that policy-makers expect positive impacts both on organic farming development and on rural employment by modifying the current direct payment approach. However, Dabbert et al. (2002) expect only minor effects to agricultural employment due to the small size of the sub-sector. The supporters of modified payment schemes argue, that coupling direct payments to labour force might lead to a fairer allocation of subsidies. ‘Fairer allocation’ in this context means reallocation of payments from large farms with low labour input per hectare to small family farms where labour input per hectare is higher. The opponents on the other side point out that structural change would slow down.

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