Environmental Economics Seminar
Introducing peer-learning and commitment flexibility into Agri-Environmental Measures
Gwénolé Le Velly
Assistant professor at CEE-M (Institut Agro)
In order to face the future challenges linked to biodiversity loss or water and soil quality among others, economic policies are required to adapt and foster an agroecological transition. In the European context, agri-environmental measures are one of the main tools of the Common Agricultural Policy supposed to favor this transition. However, this voluntary measure has so far failed to impulse a substantial shift in agricultural practices and remain poorly attractive to many farmers. In this article, we propose two policy innovations for agri-environmental schemes with the potential to relax the constraints faced by farmers for the reduction of herbicides and the adoption of cover crops. The first one gives more flexibility over time in the commitments of the wine-growers. The second one involves an innovative form of technical assistance based on peer-learning. We test those innovations using a Discrete Choice Experiment administrated to a sample of 173 winegrowers in the South of France. Our results suggest that allowing the winegrowers not to meet the commitments for one year out of five can significantly increase the adoption of a contract. Our analysis also highlights that the willingness to accept a total ban on herbicides or the adoption of cover crops on every inter-rows of wine are much higher than the amount paid by equivalent current AES. However, introducing the above mentioned policy innovation could allow a change of practices for the amount paid by current AES.
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