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Agri-Environmental Policies in a Transition Economy: Using a Choice Experiment to Value Agricultural Biodiversity on Hungarian Small Farms

Author

Listed:
  • Ekin Birol

    (University College London and International Plant Genetic Resources Institute)

  • Ágnes Gyovai

    (Institute of Environmental Management, Szent István University and Institute for Agrobotany)

  • Melinda Smale

    (International Food Policy Research Institute)

Abstract

Agricultural biodiversity is a crucial environmental resource. Much of the agricultural biodiversity remaining today is found on the semi-subsistence farms of poorer countries and on the small-scale farms and home gardens of more industrialised nations. The traditional Hungarian home gardens, which serve as small farms, are an example. Historically, these home gardens have served important functions related to food security, diet quality, and local culture. Some policies related to European Union accession threaten the survival of traditional home gardens in Hungary’s transitional economy. This paper applies the choice experiment method to estimate the value farmers themselves attach to the agricultural biodiversity still found in these micro-agroecosystems. One of several related studies, its aim is to enhance policy understanding of the role of Hungarian small farms and home gardens in the National Agri-Environmental Programme. The analysis is based on primary data collected in three environmentally sensitive areas of Hungary where pilot agri-environmental programmes have been initiated. Findings demonstrate the variation in values farmers assign to home gardens across regions and households, with implications for the design of efficient public conservation programmes.

Suggested Citation

  • Ekin Birol & Ágnes Gyovai & Melinda Smale, 2004. "Agri-Environmental Policies in a Transition Economy: Using a Choice Experiment to Value Agricultural Biodiversity on Hungarian Small Farms," Working Papers 2004.48, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2004.48
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Smale, Melinda & Bellon, Mauricio R & Aguirre Gomez, Jose Alfonso, 2001. "Maize Diversity, Variety Attributes, and Farmers' Choices in Southeastern Guanajuato, Mexico," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(1), pages 201-225, October.
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    Keywords

    Agricultural biodiversity; Conservation; Choice experiment method; Hungary; Home garden;

    JEL classification:

    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
    • Q26 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Recreational Aspects of Natural Resources

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