01 Jul 2005

Evaluating the Impact of Alternative Policy Scenarios on Multifunctionality

A Case Study of Finland

Heikki Lehtonen / Jussi Lankoski / Jyrki Niemi

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European Network of Agricultural and Rural Policy Research Institutes (ENARPRI) Working Paper No. 13, 26 pages

This paper provides first results of the sector-model approach to analysing the effects of alternative policy scenarios on the multifunctional role of Finnish agriculture. In terms of environmental non-commodity outputs, this study focuses on nutrient runoffs, landscape diversity and biodiversity. As regards other non-commodity outputs, the paper considers rural socio-economic viability. The results suggest that, on the whole, reform of the common agricultural policy is not likely to result in any drastic decline of agricultural production in Finland. The amount of green fallow will increase considerably when agricultural support payments are decoupled from production, and as a result the remaining cultivated agricultural land will become biologically richer. The agricultural labour force is likely to decrease substantially irrespective of agricultural policy. The study concludes that the credibility of the production economics and biological relationships of the economic model determine the validity of the results of the many indicators examined. Further, the economic logic of microeconomic simulation models provides a consistent assessment of the many aspects of multifunctionality.

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