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Does intensity of change matter? Factors affecting adoption of agri-environmental schemes in Spain


  • Jesus Barreiro-Hurle
  • Maria Espinosa-Goded
  • Pierre Dupraz


Agri-environmental schemes (AES) are the main policy instrument currently available in the EU to promote environmentally-friendly farming practices. However, the rate of adoption of these measures is still relatively low in southern Europe, and understanding how these rates can be increased is still an open issue. The goal of this paper is to increase that understanding by testing whether the factors which determine AES sign-up decisions are influenced by the intensity of change in farming practices that are brought about by adopting the scheme. A micro-economic model reflecting farmer AES sign-up decisions is proposed and applied to two schemes in Spain respectively requiring major or minor intensity of change in practices by surveying farmers eligible for both schemes. The results show that farm structural factors play a role when major practice change is required by the scheme, yet when dealing with minor change, individual farmer characteristics play a more determining role. Social capital and farmer attitude are important factors in both the AES surveyed. Therefore, it may be concluded that improving agronomic design would be an important tool to improve farmer participation in AES where major change is involved, whereas improved targeting and extension would help uptake for AES involving a lesser degree of change.

Suggested Citation

  • Jesus Barreiro-Hurle & Maria Espinosa-Goded & Pierre Dupraz, 2010. "Does intensity of change matter? Factors affecting adoption of agri-environmental schemes in Spain," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(7), pages 891-905.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jenpmg:v:53:y:2010:i:7:p:891-905
    DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2010.490058

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    Cited by:

    1. Cullen, Paula & Bougard, Maxime & Heery, Declan & O'Donoghue, Cathal & Ryan, Mary, 2017. "Farmers with Attitudes (to the Environment and Agri-environment Schemes)," 91st Annual Conference, April 24-26, 2017, Royal Dublin Society, Dublin, Ireland 258648, Agricultural Economics Society.
    2. Lakner, Sebastian & Zinngrebe, Yves & Koemle, Dieter, 2020. "Combining management plans and payment schemes for targeted grassland conservation within the Habitats Directive in Saxony, Eastern Germany," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 97(C).
    3. Calvet, Coralie & Le Coent, Philippe & Napoleone, Claude & Quétier, Fabien, 2019. "Challenges of achieving biodiversity offset outcomes through agri-environmental schemes: Evidence from an empirical study in Southern France," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 113-125.
    4. Mack, Gabriele & Ritzel, Christian & Jan, Pierrick, 2020. "Determinants for the Implementation of Action-, Result- and Multi-Actor-Oriented Agri-Environment Schemes in Switzerland," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 176(C).
    5. Kosenius, Anna-Kaisa & Ollikainen, Markku, 2019. "Drivers of Participation in Gypsum Treatment of Fields as an Innovation for Water Protection," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 382-393.
    6. François J Dessart & Jesús Barreiro-Hurlé & René van Bavel, 2019. "Behavioural factors affecting the adoption of sustainable farming practices: a policy-oriented review," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 46(3), pages 417-471.
    7. Woldegebrial Zeweld & Guido Van Huylenbroeck & Girmay Tesfay & Hossein Azadi & Stijn Speelman, 2018. "Impacts of Socio-Psychological Factors on Actual Adoption of Sustainable Land Management Practices in Dryland and Water Stressed Areas," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(9), pages 1-23, August.
    8. Maria Espinosa-Goded & Pierre Dupraz & Jesùs Barreiro-Hurlé, 2009. "Fixed costs involved in crop pattern changes and agri-environmental schemes," Working Papers SMART - LERECO 09-15, INRAE UMR SMART-LERECO.
    9. Blazy, Jean-Marc & Barlagne, Carla & Sierra, Jorge, 2015. "Environmental and economic impacts of agri-environmental schemes designed in French West Indies to enhance soil C sequestration and reduce pollution risks. A modelling approach," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 11-18.
    10. Daniele Mozzato & Paola Gatto & Edi Defrancesco & Lucia Bortolini & Francesco Pirotti & Elena Pisani & Luigi Sartori, 2018. "The Role of Factors Affecting the Adoption of Environmentally Friendly Farming Practices: Can Geographical Context and Time Explain the Differences Emerging from Literature?," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(9), pages 1-23, August.
    11. Unay-Gailhard, İlkay & Bojnec, Štefan, 2015. "Farm size and participation in agri-environmental measures: Farm-level evidence from Slovenia," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 273-282.
    12. Okumah, Murat & Martin-Ortega, Julia & Novo, Paula, 2018. "Effects of awareness on farmers’ compliance with diffuse pollution mitigation measures: A conditional process modelling," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 36-45.
    13. Whitten, Stuart M. & Reeson, Andrew & Windle, Jill & Rolfe, John, 2013. "Designing conservation tenders to support landholder participation: A framework and case study assessment," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 6(C), pages 82-92.
    14. Cullen, Paula & Ryan, Mary & O’Donoghue, Cathal & Hynes, Stephen & hUallacháin, Daire Ó & Sheridan, Helen, 2020. "Impact of farmer self-identity and attitudes on participation in agri-environment schemes," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 95(C).


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