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Improving agricultural pollution abatement through result-based payment schemes

Author:
  • William Sidemo Holm
  • Henrik G. Smith
  • Mark Brady
Publishing year: 2018-05-08
Language: English
Pages: 209-219
Publication/Series: Land Use Policy
Volume: 77
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Elsevier

Abstract english

Action-based payments that compensate farmers for adopting land-management measures to preserve and en- hance the environment have been criticized for being ineffective. The root of the problem is that farmers are not paid for achieving a desired environmental benefit, but compensated for their costs of management. There is growing interest in formulating result-based economic incentives. By paying for an environmental benefit and allowing flexibility in how to achieve it, farmers are given an incentive to exploit their comparative advantages for achieving a desired environmental benefit cost-effectively. However, the feasibility and relative effectiveness of result-based payments for reducing agricultural pollution is contentious. In this study, we designed and evaluated a result-based payment scheme for nonpoint-source pollution abatement from arable land. In a case study in southern Sweden, the cost-effectiveness of the new scheme was compared with that of an existing action-based scheme for vegetated buffer strips to prevent the pollutant, particulate phosphorus, from reaching water resources. The results suggest that result-based payment schemes based on modeled outcomes of pollution abatement are feasible and will considerably improve cost-effectiveness compared to action-based schemes, by relocating buffer strips to where they are more effective and not simply where they have the lowest costs for farmers.

Keywords

  • Agricultural Science
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Performance based policy
  • Nonpoint source pollution
  • Nutrient runoff
  • Buffer strip
  • Agri-environmental scheme
  • Cost-effective

Other

Published
  • ISSN: 0264-8377
Henrik Smith
E-mail: henrik [dot] smith [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

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