WWW.DISSERTATION.XLIBX.INFO
FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Dissertations, online materials
 
<< HOME
CONTACTS



Pages:   || 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |   ...   | 47 |

«voor Thomas Promotors: Prof. dr. ir. Guido Van Huylenbroeck (UGent) Prof. dr. ir. Erik Mathijs (K.U.Leuven) Department of Agricultural Economics ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

voor Thomas

Promotors: Prof. dr. ir. Guido Van Huylenbroeck (UGent)

Prof. dr. ir. Erik Mathijs (K.U.Leuven)

Department of Agricultural Economics (UGent)

Members of the Jury: Prof. dr. J.-P. Boussemart (University of Lille)

Dr. J. Buysse (UGent)

Prof. dr. M. De Clercq (UGent)

Prof. dr. F. Figge (Queen’s University Belfast)

Prof. dr. ir. G. Hofman (UGent)

Dr. L. Lauwers (ILVO)

Prof. dr. ir. W. Steurbaut (UGent, chair)

Prof. dr. ir. D. Reheul (UGent)

Dean: Prof. dr. ir. Herman Van Langenhove (UGent) Rector: Prof. dr. Paul Van Cauwenberghe (UGent) Steven Van Passel

Assessing Sustainability Performance of Farms:

An Efficiency Approach Thesis submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor (PhD) in Applied Biological Sciences

Dutch translation of the title:

Beoordeling van Duurzaamheidsprestaties van Landbouwbedrijven:

Een Effici¨ntiebenadering e

Please refer to this work as follows:

Van Passel, S. (2007). Assessing sustainability performance of farms: an efficiency approach. Phd thesis, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium ISBN-number: 978-90-5989-186-9 The author and the promotors give the authorisation to consult and to copy parts of this work for personal use only. Every other use is subject to the copyright laws. Permission to reproduce any material contained in this work should be obtained from the author.

Voorwoord / Preface Alles kost moeite, anders was het de moeite niet waard — Kiezen is verliezen — Een koe leer je niet blaffen — Een expert is iemand die steeds meer weet over steeds minder — Twijfel is een eerbetoon aan de waarheid — This work would never have been possible without help and support of friends, colleagues and family.

(Diegene die deze zin niet voldoende vinden als voorwoord mogen gerust verder lezen) ii Het voorwoord schrijven is ongetwijfeld de lastigste en meestal dan ook nog de laatste opdracht bij het maken van een doctoraat. Een dankwoord schrijven is altijd ondankbaar. Mensen persoonlijk vermelden en bedanken iseigenlijk vanzelfsprekend maar mensen vergeten te vermelden is ongepast, onbeleefd, dom, onverstandig,... Daarom wil ik in de eerste plaats iedereen bedanken die ik hieronder vergeten ben te vermelden (en die natuurlijk verdienen vermeld te worden). Bedankt en sorry!

Ik heb veel kansen gekregen en daarvoor ben ik vele mensen dan ook zeer dankbaar. Vanuit de bosrand (de prachtige lokatie van het Steunpunt Duurzame Landbouw) heb ik mogen samenwerken met de Stedulezen (logisch toch?) en promotoren, de vakgroep landbouweconomie in Gent, de afdeling landbouwen voedseleconomie in Leuven, het voormalige centrum voor landbouweconomie in Brussel (en daarna het ILVO in Merelbeke), de afdeling monitoring en studie (Ministerie van Landbouw en Visserij) en de Nederlanders van het LEI.

Allereerst, wil ik mijn promotoren persoonlijk bedanken: Guido en Erik, bedankt voor de vrijheid, steun en inspiratie bij het maken van dit doctoraat.

Verder wil ik ook Frank (het Stedula opperhoofd), waar ik heel veel van heb geleerd, speciaal bedanken. Ook Jan heeft een belangrijke impact gehad in mijn eerste jaren als Stedula-onderzoeker: bedankt. Verder heb ik altijd graag samengewerkt met verschillende Stedulezen (en met sommigen nu nog): bedankt, Marijke, Rein, Elke, Annelies (x2), Karin, Joost, Ignace, Xavier en Luk.

Verder wil ik ook alle L&M’ers bedanken die met mij sinds januari 2007 de nieuwe eenheid landbouw & maatschappij bevolken en mij dus al meer dan een half jaar hebben kunnen verdragen (hoop ik (meestal) toch). Ludwig wil ik hierbij speciaal bedanken voor de aangename samenwerking en de bilaterale gesprekken, dit al sinds de start van mijn onderzoeksloopbaan. Furthermore, I enjoyed writing the SVAPPAS project proposal and the first months of working with all the project members, special thanks to Frank, Tobias and Timo.

De allerbelangrijkste om te bedanken is ongetwijfeld Kristel. Al meer dan 10 jaar vind ik je super. 2007 zal waarschijnlijk ´´n van mijn meest productieve ee jaren zijn (over de effici¨ntie spreek ik me nu even niet uit!). Belangrijker e dan het voortbrengen van dit doctoraat was ongetwijfeld de geboorte van ons zoontje Thomas. Beste Thomas, onze gesprekken zijn helaas voor mij (en waarschijnlijk gelukkig voor jou) nog enkelrichtingsverkeer, maar je hebt me al uren en uren kijkplezier bezorgd. Zelfs al ween je (mini)traantjes, dan nog vind ik het zalig om naar je te kijken en met je rond te wandelen.

Verder wil ik ook mijn ouders, schoonouders, broer en schoonbroers en hun huisdieren bedanken voor hun steun en advies en hun zorgen. Daarnaast wil ik al mijn vrienden bedanken voor al die uren ontspanning. Leve tennis, zeilen, badminton, squash, voetbal, bord games en al de rest. En op uitdrukkelijk verzoek zal ik J.(e)F. vermelden omdat hij zo lief was spellingsfouten en vooral vreemde zinsconstructies uit dit doctoraat te verwijderen.

Tot slot, geniet van het lezen van het doctoraat (of toch in ieder geval van Calvin & Hobbes op de volgende pagina) !

iii CALVIN AND HOBBES c 1987 Watterson. Dist. By UNIVERSAL PRESS SYNDICATE.

Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

iv Contents

–  –  –





1.1 Towards a sustainable agriculture Over the past twenty years,1 the idea of sustainable development has come to the forefront of the scientific debate. Sustainability proved a remarkably difficult concept to define and use precisely. Moreover, real measurement of sustainability is fraught with difficulties of principles and practice, so there are understandably, though disappointingly, few published empirical papers (Pezzey and Toman, 2002a). The aim of this dissertation is to assess sustainability performance with a focus on agriculture.

Since the end of World War II, agriculture has undergone a radical transformation in industrial countries. Rapid technological change and the changing demands of consumers have led to the creation of an industrialized food and agricultural system with intensive forms of production. These intensive forms have typically been associated with high population densities, productive land, 1 In 2007, the publication of Our Common Future (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987) celebrates its twentieth anniversary. This report put forward the ideas of sustainable development for the first time in an international context 4 General introduction: problem statement and objectives and rapid technological progress (Chavas, 2001). Agricultural sectors in most advanced economies have come under severe criticism for lacking the characteristics of sustainability (Hartridge and Pearce, 2001). The enormous structural changes in agriculture have raised food output, changed the nature of farm structure, and increased the environmental and social consequences of farming (Filson, 2004). In the past, agricultural policy has mostly been interested in productive aspects. Policy interventions aiming to promote agricultural modernization stimulated structural change resulting in several negative sideeffects, such as increased pollution, landscape depletion and deepened regional disparities (Andreoli and Tellarini, 2000).

Nowadays, an important objective of European agricultural policy is to have a sustainable, efficient farming sector which uses safe, clean, environmentallyfriendly production methods providing quality products to meet consumers’ demand. The sustainability goal is thereby seen as a key element towards a profitable long-term future for farming and rural areas. Policy makers aim for strong economic performance hand in hand with the sustainable use of natural resources in the field of agriculture (European Commission, 2004, Fisher Boel, 2005).

These policy objectives are formulated as resounding words. However, several issues remain unclear and vague. The following questions may be raised: What is a sustainable farming sector? - Can we measure it? - Is it selfevident that sustainable farmers are efficient farmers? - How can we make agricultural practices more sustainable? - Can we measure the progress towards sustainability?

Hence, without a clear framework to assess sustainability and without empirical work measuring, explaining and evaluating contributions towards sustainability, the policy objectives will remain hollow or empty sounding words.

1.2 Farming in Flanders As all the empirical applications in this dissertation are using Flemish farm accounting data, we first provide a short overview of agricultural production in Flanders. Flanders is an interesting case because of its densely populated area and highly intensive agricultural structures. Although almost every agricultural structure is represented in Europe (Mann, 2006), several common characteristics of EU agriculture can still be described: (i) exit of labor from agriculture, (ii) changes in numbers of farms and their average size, (iii) the importance of family farms, (iv) the combination of farming with other activities, (v) family ownership of land, (vi) personal characteristics of farm managers (age, schooling, etc.).

1.2 Farming in Flanders 5 Agricultural production in Flanders is dominated by intensive livestock production and horticulture. In addition, mixed farming combines cereals, industrial crops, horticulture and livestock farming. Flemish agriculture is confronted with declining economic importance, considerable fragmentation of the useable land, large income disparity, an ageing population with succession problems and pollution caused by intensive agricultural methods and by pressure from urban areas on the rural environment. However, there is a large diversity in agricultural production, a high specialization in livestock farming, horticulture and dairy production, an advantageous geographical location in the middle of Western Europe, and a well-developed transport infrastructure.

There are a lot of different farm types in Flanders and many farmers combine several agricultural activities (mixed farms). On the other hand, farms evolve toward more product specialization. The fact that most farms are multiproduct firms suggests that their benefits are significant in agriculture. The first benefit is the presence of economies of scope reflecting the reduced cost associated with producing multiple outputs. The second benefit are the riskreducing effects of diversification (Chavas, 2001).

The agricultural sector, including fishery and horticulture, has a share of 1.3% in total gross domestic product (GDP) in Flanders (2004). Only 2% of the working force works in the agricultural sector (Flemish Government, 2005).

Hence, 2% of the working population creates only a share of 1.3% of the GDP, resulting in a productivity deficit. The share in GDP and in employment of agriculture declines year after year. This evolution is apparent in all member states of the European Union. The productivity deficit is even larger in several other EU countries. For example, in Poland where 17.6% of the working population creates only 2.9% of the GDP (Balmann, 2006). Contrarily, the agricultural sector is an important activity in rural areas. Even in a densely populated area as Flanders the agricultural sector uses about 46% of the area (Flemish Government, 2005).

Blandford and Hill (2005) argue that to provide insight into the sustainability of agriculture, the focus must be on the institutional units in which production takes place: the farms responsible for bringing together land, labor and capital. The number of Flemish farms (production units) has decreased from 70 000 in 1983 to 35 000 farms in 2004 (FOD, n.d.). Hence, in those 20 years the number of farms halved. As agricultural area in Flanders stayed more or less the same, the utilized land per farm doubled to nearly 18 hectares per farm. Furthermore, the utilized land per unit of labor also decreased during the observed period (1983-2004). However, the decrease in number of farms is higher than the decrease in labor. In particular, the number of small farms has decreased, while the number of large farms has even increased in Flanders. On average, Flemish farmers are old with no successor available on the farm and with a low education level. The average age of a Flemish farmer is 47.8 year (2004), only 13.7% of farms with a farm manager older than 50 year have a 6 General introduction: problem statement and objectives potential successor. In Flanders (2004), 58% of all farmers only have practical experience, 21% of all farmers followed a basic agricultural training while only 21% of all farmers followed a full agricultural training after their basic training (Flemish Government, 2005).

Besides social and economic aspects, also environmental aspects characterize current agricultural structures. Agriculture is a major user of natural resources (e.g., land, water, etc.) and one needs to maintain the quantity and quality of

those resources in order to remain viable. Important environmental themes are:

soil, water and air quality, use of pesticides, energy use, water use, nutrients emissions and biodiversity.

In Flanders (as in several other European regions), nutrient emissions are a major concern in agricultural practice. Inefficient use of nitrogen and phosphorus can result in potentially detrimental losses to the environment. Nevens et al.

(2006) found a decrease of the average farm gate nitrogen surplus of Flemish specialized dairy farms between 1989 and 2001, but there is still room for further improvement of the nitrogen use efficiency in Flemish dairy farming (Nevens et al., 2006). Meul et al. (2007a) analyzed the changes in energy use and energy use efficiency, and they found for Flemish specialized dairy, arable and pig farms a decrease in total energy use per hectare between 1990 and 2000. Further, pesticide use (taking into account eco-toxicology) and greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture have decreased in Flanders during the period 1990-2004 (Flemish Government, 2005). In general, there has been an overall improvement in the environmental performance of agriculture, but this masks a number of severe local and regional problems, while future global pressures on land and water resources will be significant (OECD, 2004).

1.3 Objectives and outline



Pages:   || 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |   ...   | 47 |


Similar works:

«THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS OFFICE OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS AND BUSINESS REGULATION DIVISION OF INSURANCE REPORT OF EXAMINATION OF THE CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION OF FORESTERS Boston, Massachusetts As of December 31, 2004 NAIC COMPANY CODE 58130 EMPLOYERS ID NO. 04-1589950 CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION OF FORESTERS TABLE OF CONTENTS Page Salutation 1 Scope of Examination 2 Status of Prior Examination Findings 2 History 3 General 3 Growth of Society 4 Capital Stock 4 Management Annual Meeting 4 Board of...»

«Information Department, P.O. Box 50005, SE-104 05 Stockholm, Sweden Phone: +46 8 673 95 00, Fax: +46 8 15 56 70, E-mail: info@kva.se, Web site: www.kva.se Advanced information on the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, 2000 The Scientific Contributions of James Heckman and Daniel McFadden Microeconometrics and microdata Microeconometric research is concerned with empirical analysis of the economic behavior of individuals and households, such as decisions on...»

«A PROGRESSIVE PROGRAM FOR ECONOMIC RECOVERY & FINANCIAL RECONSTRUCTION Michael Ash, Radhika Balakrishnan, Al Campbell, James Crotty, Edwin Dickens, Gerald Epstein, Thomas Ferguson, Teresa Ghilarducci, Jo-Marie Greisgraber, Stephany Griffith-Jones, Robert Guttmann, Arjun Jayadev, Anush Kapadia, David Kotz, Michael Meerepol, William Milberg, Fred Moseley, Jose Antonio Ocampo, Robert Pollin, Malcolm Sawyer, Martin Wolfson January 1, 2009 A PROGRESSIVE PROGRAM FOR ECONOMIC RECOVERY AND FINANCIAL...»

«Withdrawal Rate Strategies for Retirement Portfolios: Preventive Reductions and Risk Management1 Dr. John B. Mitchell, Professor2 Department of Finance and Law Central Michigan University Presented at the Academy of Financial Services Anaheim, CA October 9, 2009 Abstract This paper builds on the work of Stout and Mitchell (2006), Stout (2008), and Blanchett and Frank (2009) by creating a preventive approach to withdrawal management. Proactive strategies, which reduce the withdrawal rate before...»

«Annex C The Vanuatu Comprehensive Reform Program Summit Luganville, Santo Monday 11 October to Tuesday 12 October 2004 National CRP Summit Communiqué 1. The sixth National CRP Summit was held in Luganville, Santo, on 11-12 October 2004. The participants at the Summit included the Honourable Speaker of Parliament, Josias Moli; Honourable Prime Minister, Rialuth Serge Vohor; Honourable Deputy Prime Minister, Ham Lini; Honourable Ministers; Presidents of the Provinces; First Political Advisors;...»

«Health Systems ProfileIraq Regional Health Systems ObservatoryEMRO Contents F or e w o r d 1 E x e c u t i v e S u m m a r y 2 S o ci o E c o n o m i c G e o p oli ti ca l M ap pi ng 2.1 Socio-cultural Factors 2.2 Economy 2.3 Geography and Climate 2.4 Political/ Administrative Structure 3 Health sta tus an d dem o gr aph ics 3.1 Health Status Indicators 3.2 Demography 4 Health S y stem Or ga ni za ti on 4.1 Brief History of the Health Care System 4.2 Public Health Care System 4.3 Private Health...»

«AN EMPIRICAL ASSESSMENT OF KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS Dissertation Seung Hyun Kim Tepper School of Business Carnegie Mellon University Tech & Frew Streets Pittsburgh, PA 15213 Phone: (412) 268-5965 Email: shk1@andrew.cmu.edu August 2008 Committee: Prof. Tridas Mukhopadhyay (co-chair) Prof. Robert Kraut (co-chair) Prof. Rahul Telang Reader: Prof. Linda Argote Acknowledgements i Acknowledgements I cannot imagine the completion of my dissertation without the support and encouragement of many...»

«Discovering the Baltics? Think Tallinn! Perspectives for New Zealand in the Baltic States A thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirement for the Degree of Master of Arts in European Studies in the University of Canterbury by Vlad Alex Vernygora University of Canterbury Christchurch New Zealand Abstract This research work is driven by a desire to improve status quo in the area of New Zealand’s political, business and person-to-person relations with the post-Soviet Baltic Republics of...»

«CEO Turnover in LBOs: The Role of Boards∗ Francesca Cornelli† Oguzhan Karakas‡ ˜ ¸ (London Business School and CEPR) (Boston College) This Version: May, 2013 Abstract We examine the CEO turnover in LBOs backed by private equity funds. When a company is taken private, we find that the CEO turnover decreases and is less contingent on performance. We also find that a higher involvement of the LBO sponsors, who replace the outside directors on the board after transition to private,...»

«SUMMARY SHEET: Linked Finance (www.linkedfinance.com) Crowd Funding for Irish SME businesses. To stimulate the ‘Crowd funding’ or ‘Peer to Peer lending’ market in Ireland we believe the Irish government should replicate the success of the ‘Business Finance Partnership’ in the UK by lending directly to SMEs. In addition a tax breaks on interest earned as identified by Sean O’Sullivan (Dragons’ Den) in his ‘Entrepreneurship Forum Report 2014’ would actively encourage the Irish...»

«Reputation by Association: Exploring Alliance Formation and Organizational Identity Adaptation Lin Lerpold AKADEMISK AVHANDLING som for avlaggande av ekonomie doktorsexamen vid Handelshogskolan i Stockholm framlagges till offentlig granskning fredagen den 9 maj 2003, kl. 10.15 i sal Ragnar pa hogskolan, Sveavagen 65 STOCKHOLM 2003 REPUTATION BY ASSOCIATION EXPLORING ALLIANCE FORMATION AND ORGANIZATIONAL IDENTITY ADAPTATION LIN LERPOLD ~ \:,:1 INSTITUTE lIB INTERNATIONAL OF BUSINESS STOCKHOLM...»

«RMM Vol. 4, 2013, 1–19 http://www.rmm-journal.de/ Volker Gadenne External Validity and the New Inductivism in Experimental Economics* Abstract: The idea of external validity, which is well-known in the social sciences, has recently also been emphasized in experimental economics. It has been argued that external validity is an important criterion in experimental research, which has been neglected by philosophy of science. In connection with this criterion, a methodology has been advanced in...»





 
<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2016 www.dissertation.xlibx.info - Dissertations, online materials

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.