Agri-environmental schemes (AES) are part of the main tools used by decision makers to trigger a transition in agricultural practices but one of the factors that discourages farmers from enrolling is the uncertainty of the costs and benefits associated with the adoption of the new practices. In this study, we distinguish between the “internal uncertainty” that is related to the characteristics of the farmer and his/her parcels and “external uncertainty”, which is related to the occurrence of external events. We propose three innovations to better account for uncertainty in AES design: the possibility to suspend the conditions of the contract for one year, an opt-out option after three years and the opportunity for farmers to share their experience in peer-groups. We test their attractiveness through a choice experiment and analyze our results using a mixed logit model. We find that proposing AES that allow suspending the conditions of the contract for one year enhances participation.
Designing Agri-Environmental Schemes to cope with uncertainty
19 October 2022