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Last update: May 2021

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Workpackage 5

Socioeconomic and political driving forces

WP Leader: Alain Peeters (RHEA)

The profitability and the persistence of sustainable grassland-based production systems are highly affected by various socio-economic and political driving forces. WP5 has the objective to analyse the effect of these forces at farm and region levels and to help EU policy makers to produce new instruments by providing them with scientific expertise and scenarios evaluation. To achieve these objectives, WP5 will:

  1. determine at farm level (i) the profitability of existing grassland management systems, (ii) the productivity of innovative grassland management systems, and (iii) the mechanisms of innovation adoptions by farmers.
  2. identify existing socio-economic and political driving forces as well as technical innovations supporting grassland development or inducing grassland replacement by annual crops. On this basis and on the basis of expert knowledge, define likely scenarios of evolutions in terms of policy options (including agri-environmental schemes and biomass production) and price evolutions of farm inputs and outputs (i.e. energy, fertilizers, cash crops, concentrate feed, milk, meat, biofuel);
  3. evaluate these scenarios on the profitability and on some environmental variables (e.g. biodiversity, GHG, nutrient) of grassland-based systems (e.g. organic versus nonorganic and intensive versus extensive systems) through the use of a model;
  4. compare the main types of grassland-based stockbreeding systems within the EU by quantifying an indicator set and by comparing the ecosystem services provided by several these systems and their environmental impacts.

Flow of information and data between Tasks in WP5: