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Auswirkungen der Agrarhandelsliberalisierungspolitik auf den biologischen Landbau und seine relative Vorzüglichkeit gegenüber der konventionellen Landwirtschaft in der Schweiz

{Project} WTO: Auswirkungen der Agrarhandelsliberalisierungspolitik auf den biologischen Landbau und seine relative Vorzüglichkeit gegenüber der konventionellen Landwirtschaft in der Schweiz. [Impact of agricultural trade liberalisation policies on organic farming and its relative competitiveness compared to conventional agriculture in Switzerland.] Runs 2003 - 2006. Project Leader(s): Sanders, Jürn, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), CH-5070 Frick.

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Definition of the problem:
The agricultural policy conditions for the Swiss farming sector will continue to change significantly in the next decade due to the current WTO negotiations on agricultural trade liberalisation and the bilateral agreement between Switzerland and the European Union. The Doha-Round means for Switzerland that it must continue to reduce significantly in the medium–term (2005-2015) its agricultural support and protection measures. Besides the WTO negotiations the Swiss primary sector is also highly affected by the bilateral agreement with the EU that came into force in July 2001. The agricultural agreement consists of a reduction of customs duties for certain produces and the elimination of technical trade barriers.
The liberalisation of the protected Swiss market will be a major challenge for the agricultural sector in Switzerland. As most Swiss farms produce at higher costs per output and have consequently a much lower productivity in comparison to other EU farms (Rieder, 1998), improvements in market access as well as substantial reductions in trade-distorting measures will lead to a drop in producer prices and farm incomes and will hardening the competition for farmers. For this reason, the majority of Swiss farmers are forced to change the structure of their businesses to become more competitive and to be able to survive on the market without the depending on the current level of price support.
Until today the effects of the Doha-Round have been analysed only at a very high aggregation level using a general equilibrium model (Lips, 2002). According to this study, producer prices will drop up to 29%. In particular due to the lower milk price Swiss agricultural income will decline about 30%. However, in reality, the economic performances of individual farms vary significantly depending on the farm type and size, the farming system and the geographical location. Therefore, it is obvious that the coming trade liberalisation will not affect all producers in the same way. Further research is needed to know more about the effects of trade liberalisation on different types of farms and to provide farmers with more detailed information so that they are able to chose an optimal strategy for their farming business.
No information is currently available about the effects of trade liberalisation on the organic sector in Switzerland and the economic performance of organic farms in comparison to integrated / conventional farms. In the past years, in view of decreased producer prices, many farmers converted their farms with the prospect to achieve a higher farm income. Several studies have confirmed that organic farms are able to achieve higher economic performance in comparison to comparable integrated / conventional farms mainly due to high premium prices for organic produces, higher direct payments for organically managed farms and lower production costs (Hartnagel and Stolze, 2002; Offermann and Nieberg, 2000; Nieberg, 2000; Hilfiker, 1998). According to these studies the farm income was on average 10 – 15% higher on organic farms.
If in the past a conversion were a suitable strategy for some farms to adjust price reductions, it seems to be justifiable to pose the question, for what farm types and under which conditions organic farming would be a possibility for Swiss farmers to meet the challenge of the coming trade liberalisation.
Project aims:
The overall aim of this project is to analyse and compare the effects of the coming agricultural trade liberalisation (WTO Doha-Round, Bilateral Agreement) on organic farming in Switzerland and its economic performance in comparison to conventional / integrated farming systems. The scenarios shall express the likely effects of the coming liberalisation of agricultural trade on the policy conditions for Swiss farmers and will comprise changes in the farm output-level, producer prices, technical progress as well as direct payment level that will be derived from the outcomes of the ongoing WTO negotiations.
The overall aim of modelling and analysing the effect of the current WTO agriculture negotiations on organic and integrated farming may be divided into the following objectives:
• Review of relevant literature
• Generate representative farm groups
• Calculate input-output coefficients
• Estimate structural changes and technical progress in the ex-ante period
• Construct an optimisation matrix
• Analyse different policy simulations
• Synthesise the results and write the thesis
A comparative-static process-analytical programming model will be used to model and analyse the effects of different scenarios on farm production, factor allocation, supply of agricultural produces and farm income of different representative farm groups of the Swiss agricultural sectors. A similar model was developed by Jacobs (1998) and Schleef (1999) and can be used for this project. The model was also described by Offermann (2001). However, it needs to be adapted to the Swiss situation and be further developed according to the specific research question.

Summary translation

Die derzeitige WTO-Agrarhandelsliberalisierung (Doha Runde 2001-2005) stellt für die schweizerische Landwirtschaft eine grosse Herausforderung dar, der viele Akteur/innen mit Skepsis gegenüberstehen. Bedingt durch den hohen Agrarschutz ist die Landwirtschaft in der Schweiz, insbesondere in den Berggebieten, derzeit nur bedingt international wettbewerbsfähig.
Wenn am Ende der Verhandlungen die WTO Vertragspartner eine weitere Reduktion der Preisstützungen und Öffnung der heimischen Märkte beschliessen, wird der schweizerische Agrarsektor durch steigende Importe zunehmend unter Druck geraten. Vor diesem Hintergrund ist es für die Bäuerinnen und Bauern wichtig zu wissen, mit welcher Betriebsstrategie sie die Wettbewerbsfähigkeit ihres Betriebs optimieren können. Angesichts der begrenzten Intensivierungskapazitäten vieler Betriebe und der steigenden Nachfrage nach biologisch erzeugten Produkten stellt sich die Frage, inwiefern der biologische Landbau eine mögliche Option für die Zukunft sein könnte. Projektziele
Ziel des Projektes ist es zu klären, ob und unter welchen Voraussetzungen eine Umstellung auf eine biologische Wirtschaftsweise für Betriebe eine geeignete Betriebsstrategie sein kann, um in der Zukunft am Markt erfolgreich operieren zu können. Diese Frage soll mit Hilfe eines sektorkonsistenten Betriebsgruppenmodells untersucht werden, welches die Auswirkungen verschiedener Liberalisierungsszenarien auf das Einkommen und die Faktorallokation biologisch und konventionell/integriert wirtschaftender Betriebe untersucht.

EPrint Type:Project description
Keywords:Trade policy, relative competitiveness, Sozio-Ökonomie, Agrarpolitik, WTO
Subjects: Food systems > Policy environments and social economy
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Socio-Economics
Research funders: Switzerland > Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture FOAG
Related Links:http://orgprints.org/perl/search/advanced?addtitle%2Ftitle=&addtitle%2Ftitle_merge=ALL&authors=&authors_merge=ALL&editors=&editors_merge=ALL&abstract%2Fengabstract=&abstract%2Fengabstract_merge=ALL&keywords=Agrarpolitik%2C+WTO&keywords_merge=ALL&subjects_, http://www.fibl.org/de/schweiz/forschung/soziooekonomie.html
Start Date:1 January 2003
End Date:31 March 2006
Deposited By: Sanders, Jürn
ID Code:5746
Deposited On:02 Nov 2005
Last Modified:01 Sep 2010 09:47

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