Det agrara landskapet pÃ¥ vinst eller fÃ¶rlust
The current agricultural policy in the European Union aims at stimulating and facilitating a wide range of agricultural functions besides the production of food and fiber. It goes hand in hand with an increased demand for new services in the agricultural landscape such as nature and history conservation. This new role for the farmer needs to be defined and measured to clarify its significance both to the individual farmer and to the public whose tax money pay for the services. The aim of this thesis is to discuss the new role of agriculture based on material gathered through a special accounting method. All the resources spent on managing agricultural landscapes have been registered continuously on two Swedish farms. On a third farm the same information has been gathered in a farmer's diary and then secondarily transcribed into the same accounting method manual as on the other two farms. Also semi-structured interviews have been performed on these three farms focusing on how and why the farmers manage the agricultural landscape. This thesis shows that the special accounting method is applicable if only a few basic assumptions are made. One such assumption has to do with the division of resources for producing biological and historical value and the resources for producing food and fiber in the agricultural landscape. The evaluation of the method is the main theoretical contribution of this thesis. Another result is that the management practices are relatively time consuming. Moreover the compensation for managing pastures and meadows on the farms within the agri-environmental scheme seems to compensate the extra input of resources in many cases, and factors affecting the degree of compensation are identified in the thesis.
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