Action number 21106 Last updated 14/12/2010 16:52:50 Year 2011
Title Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development: the socio-economic dimension
Acronym SUSTAG
Type Action
Url http://agrilife.jrc.es
Institute JRC.J Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (Seville)
Leader GOMEZ Y PALOMA Sergio JRC.J.4   E-Mail
2 Solidarity and the responsible management of resources
2.1 Agriculture, rural development, and fisheries
2.1.1 Agriculture and Rural Development
Candidate Countries EU
Member states EU
Regulatory Authorities from Africa
Customer DGs AGRI - Agriculture and Rural Development
ENV - Environment
ESTAT - Eurostat
REGIO - Regional Policy
RELEX - External Relations
RTD - Research
Sustainable agriculture, farm-household, rural development, quantitative analysis, modelling, CAP, European Development Cooperation, ex-ante & ex-post impact assessment, regional and farm typologies, local economy.
The common agricultural policy (CAP) has evolved in response to the changing economic context and the enlargement of the European Union. The 2003 Reform followed by the Health Check in 2008 placed direct payments decoupled from production at the heart of CAP and put substantial emphasis on competitiveness, and on environmental issues, including new challenges such as provision of public goods, renewable energy, biodiversity, water and climate change, food standards and quality, rural diversification as well as animal welfare. In addition the recent EU east enlargement plays important political and economic role. Further debate on post 2013 CAP is developing, in the framework of the EU 2020 strategy for a smart, green and inclusive growth, within the limits of the financial perspectives 2013-2020. Its results will affect policy instruments available as from 2013 both concerning CAP pillar 1 and pillar 2.
With regard to the European Development Cooperation, the EU is the world's largest donor of development assistance, with the EC playing an important role in both policy formulation and the technical aspects of programme implementation. The Joint Africa-EU Strategy provides an overarching long-term framework for Africa-EU relations.
The work programme of SUSTAG is in line with the IPTS long-term strategy for research and policy support in the area of socio-economic analysis of agriculture and rural development, and with needs of Commission services, particularly in the framework of the CAP and of the Development Cooperation Policy. Responding to the current needs of clients and anticipating the future ones, SUSTAG concentrates on further strengthening the Commission’s socio-economic policy analysis capability in the area of agriculture and rural development at farm level (both within and beyond the EU), and at small region level. It includes improving and further development of ex-ante and ex-post policy analysis tools (quantitative approaches and modelling, empirical studies, databases, typologies, surveys, bottom-up participatory approaches), and providing a stable platform for these tools that makes them readily available for Commission services. Sustainability issues are analysed from the economic and the social viewpoints. The environmental component is not taken into consideration unless otherwise specified in the specific deliverables.
The main customers are DGs Agriculture and Rural Development, External Relationship DGs such as DEV, AIDCO and ELARG, Regional Policy, Environment, Research, Estat.
Summary of the activity
In 2011 the SUSTAG action focuses on the economic and social aspects of farming and rural development, particularly in the context of the Common Agricultural Policy. SUSTAG continues providing and strengthens its capacity in the analysis of farmers' and other rural agents' response to policy changes, technological progress, and market developments and opportunities. The following activities are part of the action:
1. CAP impact analysis on farm-household behaviour (Policy contribution to the sustainability of the farming sector). Analysis of the transition of agriculture from the intensive production paradigm to sustainable farming systems through decoupling and other Pillar 1 measures included in the CAP reform process. In 2011 the work concentrates on the impact assessment of the CAP reform process on farm-household investment strategies and other crucial issues at farm-household level. It includes collection of primary data and modelling.

2 Effects of the CAP reform process on EU-27 farm-household (CAP contribution to the competitiveness of the farming sector). Following discussion with EC services, SUSTAG focuses on the analysis of the CAP reform via pan European farm-level databases, e.g. FADN and FSS, focussing on income distribution and structural change. Aim of this study line is to contribute to the understanding of the CAP effects of the following inner issues for the farming sector: (i) who are the beneficiaries of the subsidies (e.g. farmers, landowners); (ii) how the distributional effects differ by CAP subsidy type, and (iii) what are the effects of the CAP on structural change at farm level (iv) what are the effects on farm production costs. In the framework of this project line SUSTAG cooperates with IPTS-KfG-REMO action.

3. Sustainability and food security. Throughout the work a socio-economic (quantitative/modelling) approach is adopted to understand how policy and other key drivers take effect and farm-household systems function and develop in a variable regional context. It is recognised that sustainability goals refer to regional specificities and the task is to provide assessment of how the EU policy framework contributes to meeting these goals. Impact assessment of the EU development cooperation policies is performed with the aim to contribute to EU policy design, specifically by conducting socio-economic analyses (micro/regional/macro levels), including the study of the contribution of agriculture to sustainable development in selected African regions/countries. The focus includes relevant issue involving the farming sector world wide, e.g. land grabbing. Activities are defined in consultation with DG DEV, AIDCO, AGRI and RTD. Cooperation with various actions/Thematic Programme (TP) within the IPTS (AGRITRADE) and the JRC (TP ACP Observatory, IPSC-FOODSEC, IPSC-AGRI4CAST, IES-MONDE).

4. Rural development and rural economy (CAP contribution to the competitiveness of EU rural economies). This area of research focuses on the role of agriculture, including as provider of public goods, and the impacts of agricultural/rural development policies on all the aspects of rural economies. Following the exercise on typology of rural areas in 2008/09, in 2011 SUSTAG continues its work on modelling impacts of Rural Development measures (axis 3 measures in the first instance) on rural/urban economies and their relations through bi-regional Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) models at Nuts 3 level. This line of activities includes the analysis of rural economies in (i) Potential Candidate Countries, including selected regions of Western Balkans, and (ii) European Neighbourhood Policy Countries, including Ukraine. In this framework SUSTAG contributes to the IPTS-work on regional databases in coordination with AGRITRADE and REMO actions.

5. Sustainable Management of the Farming Sector. Support to DG AGRI and SANCO. The Community thematic strategy on the sustainable use of pesticides is heralding in a shift to lower input agriculture in the EU, of which the wider consequences for crop yield and farm-level feasibility remains unclear. This work aims to characterise the barriers and incentives, in particular with respect to private sector initiatives, to achieve such changes with a view to supporting policy development (particularly post 2013) towards continued farm-level viability. This central theme continues within the Pesticide Use-and-risk Reduction in European farming systems with Integrated Pest Management (PURE) FP7 IP project, assessing the farm-level viability of technical IPM solutions for potential wide-scale adoption and integration in European cropping systems (wider policy support function within the FP7 research frame).

6. Agriculture and the Food supply chains in the economy (Policy effects on the competitiveness of the food sector). The focus is on the analysis of agriculture and the food industry in the economy. In 2011 activities includes the study of the role of agriculture in the economic growth, and quality issues in the food industries. Quality issues are gaining importance both within food supply chains with a view to foster competitiveness of the agro-food sector and within policy instruments (DG AGRI quality package scheduled end 2010, DG ENVI, TRADE, SANCO, CLIM initiatives on certification schemes covering agricultural products and foodstuffs (eco-schemes, fair trade, animal welfare, IPM, carbon footprint, etc…)). Former 2005/2006 SUSTAG work on certification schemes will revitalised in 2011 in support of the main policy above-mentioned. The contribution of Research and Development (R&D) to the competitiveness of the food sector in the EU are also studied.Support to DG AGRI, SANCO and possibly others - Cooperation with KfG, MARS actions.
CAP impact analysis on farm-household behaviour. To study the farm capital endowment, and investment behaviour of farm households under CAP via implementation of a survey, modelling farmers' decision under policy relevant scenarios.
Deliverable  1.01
Report/scientific paper on Farm investment behaviour under the CAP.
CAT2 - Policy support documents
Effects of the CAP reform process on EU-27 farm-household. To analyse effects of various scenarios of CAP reform on Farm-Households, including structural change, via development and application of farm level quantitative analysis/modelling tools covering EU-25(27).
Deliverable  2.1
Report/scientific paper on CAP scenarios simulation at farm level based of the CAPRI-FARM model, including guidelines for the use of CAPRI-FARM.
CAT2 - Policy support documents
Deliverable  2.2
Report/scientific paper on Distributional Effects of the CAP using the Farm Accounting Data System (FADN).
CAT7 - Scientific publications
Deliverable  2.3
Report/scientific paper on assessing the CAP impact on Farm Structural Change via the FADN.
CAT7 - Scientific publications
Sustainability and food security in Developing Countries. Study the impact of EU development cooperation policies on farm-household sustainability and food security trough the FSSIM Model. Study of environmental influences (focus on climate change) on yield crops. Assessment of the effects of land grabbing on farming sustainability via selected (non EU) case studies.
Deliverable  3.1
Report of the study on Developing the FFSIM model for AFRICA. Case study on Sierra Leone. Collaboration with JRC-IPSC-MARS (bio-physical input data). (CROSS-JRC, IPSC-MARS)
CAT2 - Policy support documents
Deliverable  3.2
Report on the Effects of environmental influences (including climate change) on pathogens related yield losses of major crop species in selected ACP countries, with emphasis on socio-economic interpretation and impact analysis. (CROSS-JRC, IPSC-AGRI4CAST).
CAT2 - Policy support documents
Deliverable  3.3
Report/Scientific paper on Land Grabbing. An overview of ongoing trends in major selected non-EU areas.
CAT7 - Scientific publications
Asses the impact of Rural Development instruments of rural economies. Analyse the role of agriculture in the overall rural economy, including the role of agriculture as provider of public goods.
Deliverable  4.1
Report/scientific paper on the Rural Economic Modelling (Rural-ECMOD) study on the impact analysis of rural development Axis 3 measures via 6 EU case studies.
CAT7 - Scientific publications
Deliverable  4.2
Report/scientific paper on Area Based Development methodology application in a selected rural region of the Western Balkans. (Contribution to JRC Enlargement & Integrations AP)
CAT2 - Policy support documents
Deliverable  4.3
Scientific paper/report on Economics of Public Goods induced by the agriculture and rural development policy. (Collaboration with Action BIOMES).
CAT7 - Scientific publications
Evaluation of the implications of changes to the EU pesticide directive on EU crop yields and farm level income.
Deliverable  5.1
Report/scientific paper on the Barriers and incentives to successful adoption of the Framework Directive on the sustainable use of pesticides in the EU.
CAT7 - Scientific publications
Deliverable  5.2
Report in the framework of the PURE study.
CAT7 - Scientific publications
Quantify the role of agriculture and the food industry in the economy. Contribution of the farming sector to economic development, and impact of the quality policies on agro-food food supply chains.
Deliverable  6.1
Report/scientific Paper on Agricultural Productivity and Growth. Analysis of the relationship between productivity of the farming sector and economic growth. An inter-countries comparison.
CAT7 - Scientific publications
Deliverable  6.2
Report/Scientific Paper on Agricultural Products Quality Package, with focus on value added distribution in quality certified schemes.
CAT2 - Policy support documents
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