Title: Conflicting farmers| objectives and environmental policies: the case of a Mediterranean farm

Authors: Maria Leonor da Silva Carvalho, Maria de Lurdes Ferro Godinho, Pedro Damiao de Sousa Henriques

Addresses: Department of Economics, University of Evora, Apartado 94, Evora 7002-554, Portugal. ' Management Department, University of Evora, Apartado 94, Evora 7002-554, Portugal. ' Department of Economics, University of Evora, Apartado 94, Evora 7002-554, Portugal

Abstract: In dry land areas of the Mediterranean region, farmers| decisions are particularly difficult due to irregular rainfall. Yield risk, soil erosion and desertification are important problems. Decision-making behaviour of farmers is supposed to incorporate a particular concern in the adoption of strategies to decrease income variability, to conserve soil and to guarantee a comfortable level of income. Using a multi-criteria methodology, this article analyses the importance of various objectives in the decision-making process of farmers in the Mediterranean region. Simultaneously, the effect of the agri-environmental policy measures is evaluated when farmers maximise utility and when they maximise profit. These effects on soil erosion are also evaluated. The end of the agri-environmental measures changes the dry land crop activities to natural pastures, increasing livestock and the level of erosion. The agri-environmental measures are effective in maintaining the traditional agricultural systems, and in promoting the adoption of soil conservation tillage techniques.

Keywords: agri-environmental policies; dry land agriculture; farmers objectives; environmental policy; Mediterranean farming; multi-criteria decision making; MCDM; yield risk; soil erosion; soil conservation tillage.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSOC.2008.022574

International Journal of Sustainable Society, 2008 Vol.1 No.2, pp.190 - 205

Available online: 15 Jan 2009

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article