The umbrella term agricultural systems & agricultural policy covers a large number of research areas, all of which deal with the design of agricultural systems and the analysis and consultation of agricultural policy. It includes the promotion of agriculture with agri-environmental policy including ÖPUL, mountain farming and alpine pasture promotion, the common agricultural policy of the EU (CAP) and mountain farming policy. Furthermore, the agricultural structures, production alternatives, employment, small-scale and cooperative agriculture, the subsistence perspective and organic farming are investigated. This research area also deals with the International Agreement on the Alpine Convention, public goods in the context of multifunctional agriculture and the importance of marketing and brands in the agricultural sector.
The aim is to analyse and present observable statistical phenomena from databases. The main sources of data are the agricultural structure surveys, IACS data and data from voluntary accountants for the Green Report.
The Alpine Convention is an international agreement on the protection of the Alps natural area and the promotion of sustainable development in the Alps. Research and consultation services of Bundesanstalt für Bergbauernfragen focuses on the subject area of mountain farming.
Mountain Farmer Policy
The analysis of mountain farmer policy and advice on the design of support for mountain farms (keyword: compensatory allowance for disadvantaged areas) is one of the core areas of the Federal Institute for Mountain Farmer Issues. The mountain farms not only produce high-quality food but are also important for society in their multifunctional activities.
Mountain Farming and Alpine Pasturing
Mountain agriculture is characterised by more difficult production conditions due to natural production conditions (steep areas, harsh climate, remoteness of markets) and the resulting lower income than in the favoured areas. Alpine pasture farming is an important feed supplement for mountain agriculture and for biodiversity and tourism. Both areas are nuclear research areas for the Federal Institute for Mountain Farmers.
The farm is an interesting and diverse workplace for the farm manager and her family and increasingly also for paid workers. Agriculture also supports employment in the upstream and downstream sectors of agriculture and forestry. The standardised working time required could be used to calculate direct payments.
Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
The European Union's common agricultural policy operates according to three basic principles: Unity of the market, Community preference, Common financing of the CAP. It currently essentially consists of the Common Market Organisation including direct payments (first pillar) and the promotion of rural development (second pillar). It also provides the framework for agricultural policy in Austria. The analysis of the CAP and the reform proposals for a future CAP are important for Austrian agriculture.
Agriculture not only produces high-quality agricultural products but also provides important services for society, such as shaping the cultural landscape or preserving biodiversity. However, these public goods are not or not sufficiently compensated by the market, so that compensation by the public sector in the form of subsidies (compensation for services) is necessary.