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Title: The merging of agricultural and environmental policy : a study of farmers' responses to policy change.
Author: Cobb, Richard Norton.
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 1994
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The research aimed to examine the prospects for integration of agricultural and environmental policy in East Anglia. Farmers' responses to a less predictable policy environment and economic pressures are analysed. In addition, their reaction and attitudes towards recent initiatives with an environmental dimension, is explored. A total of 175 farmers were interviewed in 1990 and 1991 in Norfolk and Suffolk. Farmers were deliberately selected who control large areas of land, and who produce large volumes of outputs. The response of these farmers to an integrated agricultural and environmental policy is very important. Unless large farmers are persuaded to take up an initiative, its impact will be significantly diminished. The thesis begins by exploring the policy background in the UK and the EEC, as a context for the research. Pressures to change the course of agricultural policy, and incorporate environmental considerations, are analysed. Initiatives that have the potential to integrate these two policy arms are also examined. In addition, other pressures impacting on farmers and their decision making, notably economic and structural influences, are brought into the study. Theoretical and methodological issues are addressed - the research encompasses both structural and agency impacts. There is considerable difference within and between regions in the study area in terms of farmer response to policy initiatives. Strategies have been developed as a result of economic pressures and policy changes, making use of regional and physical features, especially soils. External capital has reinforced these differences. Only where an integrated policy can be adapted to fit into existing farming strategy is there a realistic prospect of successful take up. Although these farmers, controlling large areas of land, adopt regionally different strategies, they will not readily abandon them to change to untried and untested methods of farming. There is little prospect of widespread convergence of agricultural and environmental policy in the wider countryside
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Agricultural economics