The role of market and policy incentives in supporting agro-ecological transition: successful approaches and barriers to adoption

Authors: Francesco Vanni*, CREA - Research Centre for Agricultural Policies and Bioeconomy, Andrea Povellato, CREA - Research Centre for Agricultural Policies and Bioeconomy, Andis Zilans, Baltic Environmental Forum Latvia , Philippe Fleury, ISARA, Audrey Vincent, ISARA, Uxue Iragui Yoldi, Gestiόn Ambiental de Navarra, S.A., Carlos Astrain Massa, Gestiόn Ambiental de Navarra, S.A., Gerald Schwarz, Thuenen Institute
Topics: Agricultural Geography
Keywords: agroecology, market incentives, policies, governance, transition
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Washington 4, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper aims to identify market incentives, policy instruments and institutional arrangements that may facilitate transition processes towards agro-ecological approaches. The research is based on a two-step methodology. The first step is a systematic literature review to design a comprehensive inventory - with classification criteria, scope and scale - of the policies and market tools favouring the conversion from conventional to agro-ecological systems. Although the main focus is on European farming systems, the selected tools were also identified in North America and in other non-EU countries, in order to explore common traits and differences. In the second step the inventory is critically analysed through semi-structured interviews with selected EU and country-level stakeholders. The objective of the interviews is to better identify the most promising and innovative policy tools and market incentives that are currently in place. For each identified instrument a qualitative analysis of the main strengths and weaknesses is undertaken, together with an assessment of the economic, social and environmental drivers that led to its adoption. The paper shows that complex mixes of economic and policy instruments are adopted at different governance levels and in different socio-economic contexts. The most effective tools are those that rely on innovative institutional arrangements fostering cooperation between private and public actors and those that effectively involve the interests and marketing strategies of value chain actors in agro-ecological transitions. The paper is based on the UNISECO project (www.uniseco-project.eu) funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme (grant agreement N° 773901).

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