Agriculture is one of the main sources of ecosystem services degradation on a global scale. Especially intensive agriculture affects the environment through pollution of soil and water, high-energy consumption and land and landscape deterioration. Environmentally friendly farming practices can reduce such impacts. The effectiveness of these practices depends both on technical and socio-economic issues, the latter influencing the farmers’ willingness to adopt virtuous environmental behaviour. It is therefore important to investigate which farm and farmers’ characteristics are more conducive to eco-friendly farming. In this paper, the determinants of the choice of eco-friendly practices were analysed with a probit model using data of the 2010 Agricultural Census in Piedmont (Italy). 64,231 regional family farms entered into the model in order to analyse the determinants of the choice of three eco-friendly practices/activities: the adoption of organic farming, the production of renewable energy and the provision of environmental services off-farm. The results suggest that farm structure characteristics affecting the opportunity cost for the adoption of eco-friendly farming (i.e. farm size, type of farming and location) play a major role in farmers’ choices. Among personal characteristics, age is one of the main determinants, as young farmers are more likely to adopt virtuous practices. Nevertheless, the marginal effects of the explanatory variables are rather weak, suggesting that much of the environmental behaviour could be explained by idiosyncratic characteristics of farmers.

Determinants of environmentally-friendly farming

Silvia Novelli
First
2018

Abstract

Agriculture is one of the main sources of ecosystem services degradation on a global scale. Especially intensive agriculture affects the environment through pollution of soil and water, high-energy consumption and land and landscape deterioration. Environmentally friendly farming practices can reduce such impacts. The effectiveness of these practices depends both on technical and socio-economic issues, the latter influencing the farmers’ willingness to adopt virtuous environmental behaviour. It is therefore important to investigate which farm and farmers’ characteristics are more conducive to eco-friendly farming. In this paper, the determinants of the choice of eco-friendly practices were analysed with a probit model using data of the 2010 Agricultural Census in Piedmont (Italy). 64,231 regional family farms entered into the model in order to analyse the determinants of the choice of three eco-friendly practices/activities: the adoption of organic farming, the production of renewable energy and the provision of environmental services off-farm. The results suggest that farm structure characteristics affecting the opportunity cost for the adoption of eco-friendly farming (i.e. farm size, type of farming and location) play a major role in farmers’ choices. Among personal characteristics, age is one of the main determinants, as young farmers are more likely to adopt virtuous practices. Nevertheless, the marginal effects of the explanatory variables are rather weak, suggesting that much of the environmental behaviour could be explained by idiosyncratic characteristics of farmers.
19
340
346
organic farming, renewable energy, environmental services, farmers' choices, determinants, probit
Silvia Novelli
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1665029
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