Proceedings

PR – Determining Factors Of Structural Change In Agriculture In Switzerland

This study used data from the Swiss Farm Structure Survey (FSS) and the non-randomly sampled Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) data to analyse the forces driving farm exits between 2001 and 2011. These data were used in binary logistic regression models to estimate exit probabilities, controlling for structural and economic factors.
Using both FSS and FADN data, the logit results show that the probability of farm exit is directly related to farm size, operator age, number of manpower units per hectare, and farming system. The probability of farm exit decreases for younger but increases for older operators. Organic farming, family size and farming full-time are also found to have a significant negative influence on exit. By contrast, work intensity and sex of the farm operator positively influence farm exits.
The logit model based on the FADN dataset revealed that economic variables are less useful than structural/social characteristics for explaining the variance of the exit probability. At first glance, this finding is surprising, since it reveals that the economic situation is not of primary importance in the decision to exit or remain in the sector.

Keywords: farm exit, structural change, logistic regression, FADN, farm survey

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Author(s): Ferjani, A., Roesch, A., Zimmermann, A.

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Organizations(s): Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon Research Station ART