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Region-specific drivers and barriers of organic farming


  • Schaffer, Axel
  • Duvelmeyer, Claudia


In 2002 the German federal government within its strategy for sustainable development set the aim to increase the share of organically farmed land to 20% of total agricultural land by 2010. Though shares have increased continuously, the target has not been reached yet. In order to fine-tune corresponding policy measures the current study identifies major regionspecific drivers of organic farming in Germany by applying a spatial regression analysis to Germany’s almost 300 rural counties. Due to the different agricultural structure in Northern, Southern and Eastern Germany, particularly concerning farm size and land use type, the analysis is conducted separately for each of those larger areas. Preliminary results confirm the findings of earlier studies, according to which the share of organically farmed land positively and significantly relates to the regional share of grassland and the price of agricultural land. Both findings hold for Northern, Southern and Eastern Germany. In the North and the South, organic farming is further driven by the counties’ topography (hilly regions are more likely to adopt organic farming practices) and the regional consumers’ attitude towards organic products (measured by the votes for the green party in the last states elections). Findings for the South further indicate that organic farming is in conflict with onfarm energy production. Findings on drivers aside material production conditions are rather heterogeneous. Assured farm succession seems to have no effect, the share of part-time farmers correlates negatively with organic farming in the South but is not significant for the other regions and regions orientation towards tourism is complementary with organic farming in the East but conflicting in the South. Finally, we identify spatial autocorrelation in the South. In contrast no neighborhood effects can be observed for North- and East-Germany.

Suggested Citation

  • Schaffer, Axel & Duvelmeyer, Claudia, 2018. "Region-specific drivers and barriers of organic farming," 92nd Annual Conference, April 16-18, 2018, Warwick University, Coventry, UK 273482, Agricultural Economics Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aesc18:273482
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.273482

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wollni, Meike & Andersson, Camilla, 2014. "Spatial patterns of organic agriculture adoption: Evidence from Honduras," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 120-128.
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