Title: Impacts of voluntary agri-environmental measures on Austria's agriculture

Authors: Ika Darnhofer, Walter Schneeberger

Addresses: Institute of Agricultural and Forestry Economics, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Feistmantelstrasse 4, 1180 Vienna, Austria. ' Institute of Agricultural and Forestry Economics, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Feistmantelstrasse 4, 1180 Vienna, Austria

Abstract: With about 78% of farms in the Agri-Environmental Programme (AEP), Austria has one of the highest participation rates in the European Union. The programme reflects a key concern in Austrian agricultural policy, which is to reconcile agricultural production, environmental protection, social cohesion and rural development. This paper reviews the changes in agricultural policy leading up to the implementation of the AEP. Spatial, policy and institutional patterns favouring such a high participation rate are identified, highlighting the importance of understanding an AEP in its historical and socio-political context. The orientation of farming towards the provision of environmental amenities may be indicative of future farm strategies, which are increasingly focused on broader rural development activities.

Keywords: Agri-Environmental Programme; OPUL; Austria; participation rate; rural development; environmental protection; voluntary approach; agriculture; agricultural policy; social cohesion; farm strategies; farming.

DOI: 10.1504/IJARGE.2007.012842

International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology, 2007 Vol.6 No.3, pp.360 - 377

Published online: 18 Mar 2007 *

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