Analysing behavioural differences of farm households: An example of income diversification strategies based on European farm survey data | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
March 2017
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ISBN / Resource ID: 

Different forms of income diversification represent important strategies of farmers to either cope with the changing economic framework conditions or to valorise given territorial potentialities. Nevertheless, the decision to diversify economic activities on or off the farm will heavily depend on the agricultural business and household characteristics. Our study used a survey of 2154 farms from eleven European regions to identify distinct farm types in order to investigate differences regarding the willingness to diversify in the future. Two scenario situations with continuation (baseline) and without any market intervention (“No CAP”) were tested. A factor and cluster analysis depicted six farm types both previously described and novel. The typology proved validity across all case studies, whereas single types occurred more frequently under specific site conditions. The six farm types showed strong variations in the stated future diversification behaviour. Young farm households with organic production are most likely to diversify activities particularly on-farm, whereas farm types characterised by intensive livestock holding and also already diversified and part-time farm households are least likely to apply this strategy. Results have further shown that under hypothetical conditions of termination of economic support by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) an increasing share of farmers – throughout all types – would apply income diversification, mainly off-farm diversification, as a survival strategy.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Weltin, Meike
Zasada, Ingo
Franke, Christian
Piorr, Annette
Raggi, Meri
Viaggi, Davide


Land Use Policy is an international and interdisciplinary journal concerned with the social, economic, political, legal, physical and planning aspects of urban and rural land use. It provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information from the diverse range of disciplines and interest groups which must be combined to formulate effective land use policies.

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