PT-7 :: Impact of agricultural policies

Sub-topics: Environmental effects; socio-economic transformations; rural development.
The general trend towards more intensive agriculture in Europe has a profound impact on the environment, including emissions to air and water, quality and quantity of surface water and groundwater, soil erosion, pollution due to large-scale use of pesticides, and loss of biodiversity and habitats. Thus, improving the environmental performance of agriculture is high priority on the EU countries. However, there is a lack of research on the effects of agriculture policies (such as EU’s Common Agricultural Policy) on the environment, on rural development and on socio-economic changes.
Thus, long-term assessment of policy effects and efficiency should be investigated. Future scenarios can be used as tools for analyzing how driving forces in the field of agriculture can influence e.g. biodiversity and other key ecosystem services. These long-term effects of agricultural policies and the newly gained knowledge can be applied on models. The models should incorporate the environmental, social and economic aspects of benefits and costs of the policies. This research could provide data and validated tools for optimizing agricultural policy in the European Union, helping in the planning and implementation and accounting specific issues in a particular country (such as socio-economic conditions). This research is important especially for farmers, regarding rural development and also sustainability.
Specific research questions (following the conceptual model of INSPIRATION):
• Analyze the main driving forces and environmental, social and economic aspects influenced by agricultural policies;
Why: To gain knowledge to develop models that can better guide policy makers in the formulation of new agricultural policies.
Land management:
• Develop models incorporating the environmental, social and economic aspects to guide policy-making process
• Create a monitoring system to analyze the implementation of new agricultural policies;
Why: To ensure the success and efficiency of these agricultural policies.
• Interpret the benefits of this research process on the agricultural policy formulation and evaluate the costs associated with non-efficient policies.
Why: To ensure the application of new knowledge obtain through scientific research on the future policy development.