Farmers' willingness to adopt silvopasture practices: Investigating compensation claims using a contingent valuation approach among Swedish cattle producers

Last changed: 21 May 2021
Image of scientific poster. Author: Harold Opdenbosch

Harold Opdenbosch, Environmental Economics and Management - Master´s Programme

Summary

Silvopasture is an agroforestry practice that combines forage and trees into a single integrated system for raising livestock. Although the introduction of trees to pastures may seem innovative and contemporary to the climate emergency, silvopasture is in fact an ancient practice that has recently returned to the agricultural landscape for both its on-site and environmental benefits. In Sweden, particularly, silvopasture is a solution to the two main environmental impacts caused by intensive grazing systems; increases in both greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss. Yet, the practice has received little attention in Sweden. This is especially true in that silvopasture operates against farming norms and is not only slow to implement but costly too. While most of the benefits of silvopasture are external to farmers, the costs associated with learning, implementation, maintenance, and potential reduced cattle outputs, are internally covered by the farmers. Although a well-managed silvopasture can offset some of its costs in the long term, the benefits of silvopasture do not give full immediate compensation. Farmers may thus have no interest in adopting silvopasture techniques unless monetary incentives are provided to internalize the external benefits. Hence, to enhance knowledge around decision drivers and encourage silvopasture implementation, this study investigates empirically farmers’ willingness to adopt silvopasture practices and the related compensation claims, in a sample of Swedish cattle producers. The study further examines the influence of various characteristics on the adoption decision and mean compensation claims. Among those characteristics, the psychological constructs of the theory of planned behaviour are included to better examine the role of behavioural determinants in the decision process.

Poster

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Image of scientific poster. Author: Harold Opdenbosch

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About me

Harold Opdenbosch

During my master’s in Environmental Economics, I smoothly transitioned my interests in economics towards the agriculture as I started to learn more about it. Eventually, this led me to write my thesis about the need to enhance sustainable animal production through the implementation of silvopasture practices. I now believe that the agricultural sector is where my acquired skills in economics are the most meaningful and impactful.

hopdenbosch@gmail.com

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