Browsing by Subject "maatalousekonomia"

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  • Kaikkonen, Riina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The topic of the dissertation is the life of women in a rural agricultural Northern Tanzanian context. Tanzania is a rapidly growing country in East Africa and the majority of the population lives in rural areas and relies on agriculture. Despite growth in the economy and agricultural production the rural population struggles with poverty. This implies that a better understanding of the life of rural women who do most of the farm work in Tanzania is significant since an improvement in their lives has an impact on the general improvement in poverty reduction in the studied context. The purpose of this grounded theory study was to examine the lives of Northern Tanzanian rural women, and to generate a substantive theory which explains their main concerns in their lives and how they resolve them. The study involving rural women farmers and men participants (the husbands and rural actors) (N= 62, 9) in Tanzania in the spring, 02/2011 and 04/2016, was carried out through workshops, open discussions, interviews, letters, and observations. The collected data was analysed, using classic grounded theory methodology. The main concern of the rural women when living within external expectations was self-justifying related to hope of self-dignity. As a result, an emergence of a substantive theory of self-justifying shows a basic social psychological strategy experienced by rural women through sinking, awakening, toughening, and conceding. Sinking links to questions regarding the meaning of oneself. Due to this, hopelessness, caused by realising that one’s existence is only for the benefit of others, poses emptiness. During sinking, believing in oneself, a resource for continuation towards self-justification, is reduced by leaving a sense of insecurity. Additionally, the pursuit of self-dignity has lost its meaning. Awakening of hope of continuing shifts emptiness to uncertainty. Awakening is manifested by uncertainty of how to continue. During awakening, believing in one’s own efforts, a resource for continuation towards self-justification, is diminished until willingness to overcome conditions brings meaning to the future. Additionally, hope of self-dignity begins to emerge as progress advances. Toughening relates to the willingness to overcome conditions, believing in one’s own efforts and oneself, taking responsibility, internal controlling, and isolating oneself. Accordingly, the sense of being an independent responsibility bearer is created. As the progress advances a state of being pure enables believing in oneself, a source of safety, and mental freedom when living within expectations, whilst the hope of self-dignity is intensified. In conceding, there is no need to justify oneself. Diminished need to justify oneself can be caused by prolonged despair, fear, or other factors which diminish believing in oneself and the continuation towards the fulfilment of needs. By maintaining limits, generated from the expectations of how to treat others, self-justification is achieved. Self-justifying within limits, by prioritising the needs of others, is related to the level of safety. As the optimal outcome is reached, eagerness to take on more responsibilities intensifies, whilst unused physical and mental resources bring about a feeling of frustration. This is due to a limited access to self-development through material and immaterial sources because of currently living within expectations related to participation rights. The substantive theory of the coping strategy of self-justifying gives a view of how the women in this study, who live in the rural area of Northern Tanzania, resolve the main concern in their lives. Through knowledge gained, improvement of the state of an individual whilst living within expectations can be reconsidered. Keywords: Self-justifying, expectations, limits, prioritising the needs of others, grounded theory, qualitative data
  • Liesivaara, Petri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The emphasis in crop damage compensation in the EU is moving from government-run programmes and disaster relief to insurances based on public private partnership (PPP). Before 2015 member states had the opportunity to finance crop insurance premium subsidies from national budget under Article 68 of Pillar one regulation. From 2015 onwards, member states have had the option to co-finance premium subsidies with the EU under the conditions defined in the regulation (EU) No 1305/2013 on support for rural development. A publicly funded and administered Crop Damage Compensation (CDC) scheme was designed to cover yield losses in Finland. As a result of European Commission objection and obvious deficiencies in the CDC system, the programme was abolished in the end of 2015. The objetives of this thesis were to 1) study farmers preferences and willingness to pay (WTP) for crop insurance attributes, 2) reveal the effects of the price anchoring problem in crop insurance, 3) provide guidelines for government disaster relief in combination with crop insurances, 4) investigate the factors underlying crop insurance uptake and 5) study the feasibility of index crop insurance based on area yields in Finland. The research results were expected to benefit farmers, the government and insurance companies. An extensive farm survey was conducted to reveal Finnish farmers demand and WTP for crop insurance. Choice Experiment (CE) method was used. In addition, a split sample approach was applied to the price anchoring problem and to examine the effect of government disaster relief on crop insurance schemes. The obtained results revealed that there is demand for crop insurance in Finland. An insurance product was chosen in 46.5% of the cases in the entire CE dataset. Price of insurance is the main factor affecting the choice to insure and the demand was found to be inelastic over the whole price range. The median WTP of Finnish farmers for a 10% increase in the deductible was -1.60 Euros/ha, and if the expected compensation was increased by 100 Euros, farmers WTP increased by 3.40 Euros/ha. The results suggest that the crop insurance markets that are starting to emerge in Finland are dominated by knowledge of premium setting. Our results also revealed that government disaster relief for crop damages would lead to an overall smaller WTP for crop insurance. Multiple farm and farmer characteristics, such as age, farm size and education level, were found to be significant in explaining the choice to insure against crop losses. We also found evidence of an adverse selection problem in future crop insurance schemes in Finland as farmers that had collected CDC payments were more likely to choose crop insurance. In addition the study on the feasibility of area yield index insurance in Finland revealed that its overall efficiency is not high, as half of the farms would not gain any benefit from it.
  • Sipiläinen , Timo (MTT Taloustutkimus, 2008)
    The objective was to measure productivity growth and its components in Finnish agriculture, especially in dairy farming. The objective was also to compare different methods and models - both parametric (stochastic frontier analysis) and non-parametric (data envelopment analysis) - in estimating the components of productivity growth and the sensitivity of results with respect to different approaches. The parametric approach was also applied in the investigation of various aspects of heterogeneity. A common feature of the first three of five articles is that they concentrate empirically on technical change, technical efficiency change and the scale effect, mainly on the basis of the decompositions of Malmquist productivity index. The last two articles explore an intermediate route between the Fisher and Malmquist productivity indices and develop a detailed but meaningful decomposition for the Fisher index, including also empirical applications. Distance functions play a central role in the decomposition of Malmquist and Fisher productivity indices. Three panel data sets from 1990s have been applied in the study. The common feature of all data used is that they cover the periods before and after Finnish EU accession. Another common feature is that the analysis mainly concentrates on dairy farms or their roughage production systems. Productivity growth on Finnish dairy farms was relatively slow in the 1990s: approximately one percent per year, independent of the method used. Despite considerable annual variation, productivity growth seems to have accelerated towards the end of the period. There was a slowdown in the mid-1990s at the time of EU accession. No clear immediate effects of EU accession with respect to technical efficiency could be observed. Technical change has been the main contributor to productivity growth on dairy farms. However, average technical efficiency often showed a declining trend, meaning that the deviations from the best practice frontier are increasing over time. This suggests different paths of adjustment at the farm level. However, different methods to some extent provide different results, especially for the sub-components of productivity growth. In most analyses on dairy farms the scale effect on productivity growth was minor. A positive scale effect would be important for improving the competitiveness of Finnish agriculture through increasing farm size. This small effect may also be related to the structure of agriculture and to the allocation of investments to specific groups of farms during the research period. The result may also indicate that the utilization of scale economies faces special constraints in Finnish conditions. However, the analysis of a sample of all types of farms suggested a more considerable scale effect than the analysis on dairy farms.
  • Latvala, Terhi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    The safety of food has become an increasingly interesting issue to consumers and the media. It has also become a source of concern, as the amount of information on the risks related to food safety continues to expand. Today, risk and safety are permanent elements within the concept of food quality. Safety, in particular, is the attribute that consumers find very difficult to assess. The literature in this study consists of three main themes: traceability; consumer behaviour related to both quality and safety issues and perception of risk; and valuation methods. The empirical scope of the study was restricted to beef, because the beef labelling system enables reliable tracing of the origin of beef, as well as attributes related to safety, environmental friendliness and animal welfare. The purpose of this study was to examine what kind of information flows are required to ensure quality and safety in the food chain for beef, and who should produce that information. Studying the willingness to pay of consumers makes it possible to determine whether the consumers consider the quantity of information available on the safety and quality of beef sufficient. One of the main findings of this study was that the majority of Finnish consumers (73%) regard increased quality information as beneficial. These benefits were assessed using the contingent valuation method. The results showed that those who were willing to pay for increased information on the quality and safety of beef would accept an average price increase of 24% per kilogram. The results showed that certain risk factors impact consumer willingness to pay. If the respondents considered genetic modification of food or foodborne zoonotic diseases as harmful or extremely harmful risk factors in food, they were more likely to be willing to pay for quality information. The results produced by the models thus confirmed the premise that certain food-related risks affect willingness to pay for beef quality information. The results also showed that safety-related quality cues are significant to the consumers. In the first place, the consumers would like to receive information on the control of zoonotic diseases that are contagious to humans. Similarly, other process-control related information ranked high among the top responses. Information on any potential genetic modification was also considered important, even though genetic modification was not regarded as a high risk factor.
  • Bäckman, Stefan (2008)
    The purpose of this study was to evaluate intensity, productivity and efficiency in agriculture in Finland and show implications for N and P fertiliser management. Environmental concerns relating to agricultural production have been and still are focused on arguments about policies that affect agriculture. These policies constrain production while demand for agricultural products such as food, fibre and energy continuously increase. Therefore the importance of increasing productivity is a great challenge to agriculture. Over the last decades producers have experienced several large changes in the production environment such as the policy reform when Finland joined the EU 1995. Other and market changes occurred with the further EU enlargement with neighbouring countries in 2005 and with the decoupling of supports over the 2006-2007 period. Decreasing prices a decreased number of farmers and decreased profitability in agricultural production have resulted from these changes and constraints and of technological development. It is known that the accession to the EU 1995 would herald changes in agriculture. Especially of interest was how the sudden changes in prices of commodities on especially those of cereals, decreased by 60%, would influence agricultural production. The knowledge of properties of the production function increased in importance as a consequence of price changes. A research on the economic instruments to regulate productions was carried out and combined with earlier studies in paper V. In paper I the objective was to compare two different technologies, the conventional farming and the organic farming, determine differences in productivity and technical efficiency. In addition input specific or environmental efficiencies were analysed. The heterogeneity of agricultural soils and its implications were analysed in article II. In study III the determinants of technical inefficiency were analysed. The aspects and possible effects of the instability in policies due to a partial decoupling of production factors and products were studied in paper IV. Consequently connection between technical efficiency based on the turnover and the sales return was analysed in this study. Simple economic instruments such as fertiliser taxes have a direct effect on fertiliser consumption and indirectly increase the value of organic fertilisers. However, fertiliser taxes, do not fully address the N and P management problems adequately and are therefore not suitable for nutrient management improvements in general. Productivity of organic farms is lower on average than conventional farms and the difference increases when looking at selling returns only. The organic sector needs more research and development on productivity. Livestock density in organic farming increases productivity, however, there is an upper limit to livestock densities on organic farms and therefore nutrient on organic farms are also limited. Soil factors affects phosphorous and nitrogen efficiency. Soils like sand and silt have lower input specific overall efficiency for nutrients N and P. Special attention is needed for the management on these soils. Clay soils and soils with moderate clay content have higher efficiency. Soil heterogeneity is cause for an unavoidable inefficiency in agriculture.
  • Islam, K.M. Zahidul (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    The objectives of this study were to make a detailed and systematic empirical analysis of microfinance borrowers and non-borrowers in Bangladesh and also examine how efficiency measures are influenced by the access to agricultural microfinance. In the empirical analysis, this study used both parametric and non-parametric frontier approaches to investigate differences in efficiency estimates between microfinance borrowers and non-borrowers. This thesis, based on five articles, applied data obtained from a survey of 360 farm households from north-central and north-western regions in Bangladesh. The methods used in this investigation involve stochastic frontier (SFA) and data envelopment analysis (DEA) in addition to sample selectivity and limited dependent variable models. In article I, technical efficiency (TE) estimation and identification of its determinants were performed by applying an extended Cobb-Douglas stochastic frontier production function. The results show that farm households had a mean TE of 83% with lower TE scores for the non-borrowers of agricultural microfinance. Addressing institutional policies regarding the consolidation of individual plots into farm units, ensuring access to microfinance, extension education for the farmers with longer farming experience are suggested to improve the TE of the farmers. In article II, the objective was to assess the effects of access to microfinance on household production and cost efficiency (CE) and to determine the efficiency differences between the microfinance participating and non-participating farms. In addition, a non-discretionary DEA model was applied to capture directly the influence of microfinance on farm households production and CE. The results suggested that under both pooled DEA models and non-discretionary DEA models, farmers with access to microfinance were significantly more efficient than their non-borrowing counterparts. Results also revealed that land fragmentation, family size, household wealth, on farm-training and off farm income share are the main determinants of inefficiency after effectively correcting for sample selection bias. In article III, the TE of traditional variety (TV) and high-yielding-variety (HYV) rice producers were estimated in addition to investigating the determinants of adoption rate of HYV rice. Furthermore, the role of TE as a potential determinant to explain the differences of adoption rate of HYV rice among the farmers was assessed. The results indicated that in spite of its much higher yield potential, HYV rice production was associated with lower TE and had a greater variability in yield. It was also found that TE had a significant positive influence on the adoption rates of HYV rice. In article IV, we estimated profit efficiency (PE) and profit-loss between microfinance borrowers and non-borrowers by a sample selection framework, which provided a general framework for testing and taking into account the sample selection in the stochastic (profit) frontier function analysis. After effectively correcting for selectivity bias, the mean PE of the microfinance borrowers and non-borrowers were estimated at 68% and 52% respectively. This suggested that a considerable share of profits were lost due to profit inefficiencies in rice production. The results also demonstrated that access to microfinance contributes significantly to increasing PE and reducing profit-loss per hectare land. In article V, the effects of credit constraints on TE, allocative efficiency (AE) and CE were assessed while adequately controlling for sample selection bias. The confidence intervals were determined by the bootstrap method for both samples. The results indicated that differences in average efficiency scores of credit constrained and unconstrained farms were not statistically significant although the average efficiencies tended to be higher in the group of unconstrained farms. After effectively correcting for selectivity bias, household experience, number of dependents, off-farm income, farm size, access to on farm training and yearly savings were found to be the main determinants of inefficiencies. In general, the results of the study revealed the existence substantial technical, allocative, economic inefficiencies and also considerable profit inefficiencies. The results of the study suggested the need to streamline agricultural microfinance by the microfinance institutions (MFIs), donor agencies and government at all tiers. Moreover, formulating policies that ensure greater access to agricultural microfinance to the smallholder farmers on a sustainable basis in the study areas to enhance productivity and efficiency has been recommended. Key Words: Technical, allocative, economic efficiency, DEA, Non-discretionary DEA, selection bias, bootstrapping, microfinance, Bangladesh.
  • Wanhalinna, Viivi Sofia; Sievänen, Riikka Jenni Maria; Chen, Qiuzhen; Nikkinen, Janne Tapio; Sumelius, John Holger (2019)
    Vastuullinen sijoittaminen tarkoittaa sijoitustoimintaa, jossa tähdätään sijoitusten parempaan tuotto- ja riskiprofiiliin huomioimalla sijoituksissa ympäristöön, sosiaaliseen vastuuseen sekä hyviin hallintotapoihin liittyviä näkökulmia eli ESG-näkökulmia. Institutionaaliset sijoittajat hallitsevat suurinta osaa vastuullisesti sijoitetuista varoista. Vastuullisten sijoittajien määrän ja vastuullisesti sijoitettujen varojen ollessa kasvussa, ESG-näkökulmat koskettavat yhä useampaa sektoria, myös maatalous- ja elintarvikesektoria. Kirjallisuuskatsauksessa selvitämme maatalous- ja elintarvikesektorin ESG-näkökulmia. Sektorille erityisiä näkökulmia ovat ruokaturva, ravitsemus, tuoteturvallisuus, eläinten hyvinvointi ja bioteknologian käyttö. Lisäksi sektorilla toimivien yritysten vastuullisuutta tulisi tarkastella koko toimitusketjun laajuisesti. Tarkastelemme myös sisältyvätkö ESG-näkökulmat vastuullisen sijoittamisen aloitteisiin, joihin pohjoismaiset institutionaaliset sijoittajat osallistuvat. Vaikuttaa siltä, että sektorille erityiset ESG-näkökulmat puuttuvat aloitteiden sisällöstä.
  • Meurman, Agathon (Helsingissä : Kansanwalistus-seura, 1892)
    Kansanwalistus-seuran toimituksia ; 78 = wsk. 18, wihko 1
  • Arovuori, Kyösti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This dissertation analyses the effectiveness of the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union. The motivation of this study arises from the fact that there is a lack of empirical research on the effects of policy instruments on the stated policy objectives. In addition, most of the analysis in the literature has focused on the policy objective to secure farmers incomes and, thus, on the efficiency of income redistribution. The policy effectiveness is defined as the ability of agricultural policy to respond to the stated policy objectives, given the general economic and structural conditions under which the policies operate. In this study, an empirical analysis of the effects of implemented policies and policy reforms on the stated policy objectives in the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union is conducted. The analysis is carried out at the EU15 level and the time period analysed ranges from 1975 to 2007. In the empirical part, an econometric model utilising panel data for the EU15 countries is built. In the model, the development of the defined policy target variables is explained with policy variables and a set of economic and structural control variables. The results show that policy target variables have, in general, developed in the desired direction. The productivity of agriculture has increased, markets have been stable, self-sufficiency ratios have been achieved and the real term food prices have declined. However, farmers incomes have mostly declined. The implemented agricultural policy reforms have improved the policy effectiveness in general. The main contribution of the implemented reforms has been to the use of resources in agriculture. A policy shift from coupled price support to direct payments has released resources from agriculture to be utilised in other sectors. On the other hand, policy reforms have led to increasing price variation. This is a self-explanatory impact in the sense that administrative price setting was reduced and later on abolished in the policy reforms. According to this study, the impact of agricultural policy on the policy objectives is multifunctional. The implemented policy instruments may also have worked in the opposite direction compared to the targets set. While agricultural policies have clearly contributed to increasing agricultural productivity, they have also absorbed resources into the sector which could have been utilised more efficiently in other sectors. The country-level heterogeneity of economic and agricultural structures has increased especially due to the recent enlargements of the EU from EU15 to EU28. The analysis in this study shows that country-level heterogeneity has a significant impact on the development of policy target variables. Although the implemented policy reforms have made a contribution towards the desired direction and improved the effectiveness of the policies, it is a major challenge for future agricultural policies to effectively tackle the different structures.
  • Heikkilä, Anna-Maija (MTT Agrifood Research Finland, 2013)
    The objective of this thesis was to find expedients that would improve the economic performance of Finnish dairy farms. Means under examination were replacement decisions related to technology and herds. The theory of optimal behavior formed the basis for the methods used in solving the research problems. Empirical data originated from the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) and from the Finnish dairy herd recording system. When studying the sustainability of herds, the replacement of a dairy cow was investigated by applying dynamic programming. The optimal replacement rules were almost similar for healthy and diseased cows indicating that the treatment of diseases is more profitable than replacing a diseased cow with a first-lactating one. Only cows with low milk production capacity should be disposed intentionally. A linear programming model was built for examining the optimal choices between conventional insemination, insemination with sex-sorted sperm and the use of conventional or sex-selected embryo transfer in a herd. The optimal outcome was a mixture of available technologies. Sex-sorted sperm was recommended for heifers only and primarily for calf production. In practice, the optimal insemination strategy is herd-specific. When studying the adoption of novel technology, discrete technology choice models were utilized. The results suggested that investment allowances significantly affect the changeover to loose-housing technology and robotic milking. Total factor productivity growth increased on those farms that switched from a conventional to an automatic milking system. The growth rate was derived from technology-specific production functions estimated with a two-stage estimation method. This method catered for the sample selection bias caused by the endogenous technology choice. The adoption of robotic milking intensified the positive development linked to overall improvements in production technology and an expansion in herd size given that milk production matched the capacity of the robot. In conclusion, by prolonging the herd life of dairy cows, dairy farmers can improve the economic performance of milk production. Therefore, farmers' awareness about the real costs of premature culling and the gains that can be achieved by treating a diseased cow must be improved. Optimizing tools, based on farm-specific input data, should be developed for determining the optimal replacement decisions and, hence, the optimal reproduction policy. Investment allowances are needed to boost up investments on those farms which have potential to develop their production to meet the future challenges. Investments in technology appropriate for large farms improve productivity growth and, thus, the prospects of dairy farms to survive in the long run. However, a human cannot be replaced by technology, not even by novel technology.
  • Parviainen, Tuulikki (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    The 'Role of Community Forestry in Rural Livelihood and Poverty Alleviation in Ohangwena and Caprivi Regions in Namibia defined the role of community forestry in net benefit generation by comparing the cost benefit analysis (CBA) of community forestry to those of other rural industries namely: forestry, agriculture, wildlife and eco-tourism in two community forests in Namibia during the period 2003-2008. These community forests cover a total of 55 918 hectares and 19 888 hectares of which are located in the northern communal area of Namibia. Both communities, Okongo and Kwandu, had been granted legal community forest rights from the Government of Namibia in 2006 and could start to benefit fully from their respective forest areas such as from inter alia timber sales. The CBA explained the importance of community forestry for benefit generation, poverty alleviation and the objective of attaining sustainable forestry in these community forests. Moreover, the Net Benefit Ratios and the Net Benefit Investment Ratios were elaborated. Land and labour productivities of rural industries were also compared. The household level poverty was calculated by the proportion of the total expenditure on food and the cost of basic needs approach methods in both communities. The headcount index was also used in poverty comparisons. The community level poverty change was calculated from the difference of net benefits for the years 2006 and 2008, and poverty ratios were calculated for this change. The study also created scenarios and alternatives for the sustainable community forest development such as REDD-plus, which aimed at indicating how to sustain these valuable and fragile forest areas for the future community forestry and wildlife activities. Home consumption formed a major part of the agricultural and forestry production in both communities. However, the two communities proved to be quite different from each other. Okongo put emphasis on livestock production whereas Kwandu was wildlife oriented. In addition, the Okongo forest area was a pure community forest and the Kwandu forest area was a combination of community forest and conservancy. Community forestry activities had not yet alleviated poverty at the household level at the end of third year. Only a few community members, mainly those who were involved in community forestry activities, received some benefits from community forestry. The results showed that a new community activity i.e. conservancy might need about 10 years to attain the level to provide benefit sharing amongst the community members. In a broader meaning, community forestry could help poor communities of Okongo and Kwandu in sustaining their fragile but valuable multiple-use forest areas by sustainable forest management practices. In this the communities will need financial support, which could be in the form of the international climate change payment e.g. REDD-plus, the payment for ecosystem service (PES) or a state subsidy.
  • Karttunen, Kaisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    Rural income diversification has been found to be rather the norm than the exception in developing countries. Smallholder households tend to diversify their income sources because of the need to manage risks, secure a smooth flow of income, allocate surplus labour, respond to various kinds of market failures, and apply coping strategies. The Agricultural Household Model provides a theoretical rationale for income diversification in that rural households aim at maximising their utility. There are several elements involved, such as agricultural production for their own consumption and markets, leisure activities and income from non-farm sources. The aim of the present study is to enhance understanding of the processes of rural income generation and diversification in eastern Zambia. Specifically, it explores the relationship between household characteristics, asset endowments and income-generation patterns. According to the sustainable- rural-livelihoods framework, the assets a household possesses shape its capacity to seize new economic opportunities. The study is based on two surveys conducted among rural smallholder households in four districts of Eastern Province in Zambia in 1985/86 and 2003. Sixty-seven of the interviewed households were present in both surveys and this panel allows comparison between the two points of time. The initial descriptive analysis is complemented with an econometric analysis of the relationships between household assets and income sources. The results show that, on average, 30 per cent of the households income originated from sources outside their own agriculture. There was a slight increase in the proportion of non-farm income from 1985/86 to 2003, but total income clearly declined mainly on account of diminishing crop income. The land area the household was able to cultivate, which is often dependent on the available labour, was the most significant factor affecting both the household-income level and the diversification patterns. Diversification was, in most cases, a coping strategy rather than a voluntary choice. Measured as income/capita/day, all households were below the poverty line in 2003. The agricultural reforms in Zambia, combined with other trends such as changes in rainfall pattern, the worsening livestock situation and the incidence of human disease, had a negative impact on agricultural productivity and income between 1985/86 and 2003. Sources of non-farm income were closely linked to agriculture either upstream or downstream and the income they generated was not enough to compensate for the decline of agricultural income. Household assets and characteristics had a smaller impact on diversification patterns than expected, which could reflect the lack of opportunities in the remote rural environment.
  • Hyytiä, Nina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    The thesis studies rural and regional policy effects on the rural economies of South Ostrobothnia and North Karelia. In addition, it investigates whether the applied policies accelerate economic agglomeration towards the urban centres of these regions. The analysis is based on the economic linkages among the economic agents and among the rural and urban areas. Rural-urban social accounting matrices (SAM) were built on the regions and used as base year data for the multiplier and computable general equilibrium (CGE) models, by which the sets of policy simulation were carried out. The specifications of the shocks aim at reflecting the choices of the rural policy makers as the policies and sectors having an ability of enhancing rural development. Thus the simulations consist of agricultural policy changes (e.g. CAP pillar II modulation), transport-infrastructure policies (investments and R and D policies) and increases in tourism demand (e.g. through intensified marketing efforts). The results indicate that the magnitude, and in some cases, the directions of the effects were area specific. South Ostrobothnia, for which the food cluster is important, responded relatively more strongly to the agricultural policies. The infrastructure and tourism policies also increased Regional Gross Domestic Product and employment. In addition, regional exports proved to have an important role for the region. On the other hand, the transfer of agricultural subsidy to the farm diversification did not increase RGDP since the traditional agriculture, due to its linkages, utilised the subsidies more effectively. In contrast, North Karelia was more responsive towards the infrastructure and tourism policies. The strengthening of the local services would effectively promote economic development in North Karelia. The results suggest that the increased efficiency of the transportation sector could slow down agglomeration in a highly remote area. Moreover, the subsidy transfer to the farm diversification resulted in increases in RGDP and employment. Yet, regarding both the regions and most of the policy shocks, the positive effects tend to accumulate in the urban areas. In conclusion, provided that the goal is to strengthen overall regional development, the acceptance of the urban centres as the engines of development would be preferable, since they are able to spill over benefits also to the rural surroundings. As a consequence, however, the economic activity and population further concentrate in the urban areas. In contrast, in order to support the genuinely rural areas, more targeted measures are called for. Since the effects were area-specific, the findings highlight the role of the local actors and thus emphasise the importance of sensitivity towards the diversity of local circumstances.
  • Niskanen, Olli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Livestock production has been shifting towards larger production units, with the number of small livestock farms rapidly decreasing as a result. This dissertation examines the impact of this structural change in Finland and Northern Europe as it affects agricultural land use. The work comprises three substudies as well an introductory synopsis. It contributes to the literature through insights into the possible side-effects of the structural development studied, which highlights issues that deserve special attention. In most instances, efforts to achieve economies of size account for past and ongoing growth in farm size: Farms seek possibilities to gain efficiency and productivity in order to keep their viability in the face of growing production costs. In the case of Finnish dairy farms, increased productivity is mostly attributable to advances in technology. Average technical efficiency has increased but only slightly; more importantly, a higher share of the total production volume is produced with higher technical efficiency. One factor affecting the technical efficiency of dairy farms is parcel structure, that is, the size of and distance to field parcels. Improving parcel structure would thus be an ap-propriate measure in the effort to improve technical efficiency. One alternative to high-intensity production that has been put forward is a strategy based on low input use. In the northern European context, clover-grass-based for-ages are suitable for sustainable low-input or organic dairying. They are advantageous in that they require less nitrogen fertilization than pure hay grasses yet provide a higher protein content for livestock. While any incentive to cultivate clover-grass was found to be highly dependent on the price of nitrogen, increasing the yield of clover-grasses (i.e., decreasing the gap in yield vis-à-vis intensive grass production) would also effectively promote clover cultivation. Significantly, this would not entail additional costs for milk producers or society, a finding arguing for encouraging the development of clover varieties and cultivation practices. Yet, the potential for clover-grass was found to be limited due to the excessive quantity of manure nitrogen at average dairy farm stocking rates. As livestock farms that continue to operate are growing larger and housing more animals, effects can be expected where the use of manure is concerned. The crux of the issue is the nutrient composition of manure: By the year 2030, farms housing more than 500 livestock units will likely produce more than two-thirds of all manure phosphorus, whereas the proportion in 2010 was one-third. This development would in-duce a need for growing farms to acquire 4.9 million hectares of land from exiting farms in order to meet the current manure spreading requirements. This shift represents 64% of the total area available for spreading in 2010 and 15% of the total utilized agricultural area of the regions studied. The results suggest that despite it being economically justified to seek economies of size in agriculture, contrasting and/or countervailing tendencies can be identified that are related to land management. These tendencies 1) reduce efficiency, 2) limit cultivation opportunities and 3) lead to the concentration of nutrients on fewer farms. Structural development – livestock farms becoming larger – creates pressure to develop new nutrient solutions. An awareness of these issues is crucial when agri-environmental policies are developed. The present research indicates that it is justified to promote land-use efficiency in livestock farming through farm consolidation pro-grams and by promoting cooperation between farmers. It is also advisable to enact manure nutrient regulation in the supranational context. Keywords: agriculture, structural change, livestock farms, efficiency, intensity, agglomeration
  • Rantamäki-Lahtinen, Leena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    Farms and rural areas have many specific valuable resources that can be used to create non-agricultural products and services. Most of the research regarding on-farm diversification has hitherto concentrated on business start-up or farm survival strategies. Resource allocation and also financial success have not been the primary focus of investigations as yet. In this study these specific topics were investigated i.e. resource allocation and also the financial success of diversified farms from a farm management perspective. The key question addressed in this dissertation, is how tangible and intangible resources of the diversified farm affect the financial success. This study’s theoretical background deals with resource-based theory, and also certain themes of the theory of learning organisation and other decision-making theories. Two datasets were utilised in this study. First, data were collected by postal survey in 2001 (n = 663). Second, data were collected in a follow-up survey in 2006 (n = 439). Data were analysed using multivariate data analyses and path analyses. The study results reveal that, diversified farms performed differently. Success and resources were linked. Professional and management skills affected other resources, and hence directly or indirectly influenced success per se. In the light of empirical analyses of this study, tangible and intangible resources owned by the diversified farm impacted on its financial success. The findings of this study underline the importance of skills and networks for entrepreneur(s). Practically speaking all respondents of this study used either agricultural resources for non-farm businesses or non-farm resources for agricultural enterprises. To share resources in this way was seen as a pragmatic opportunity recognised by farmers. One of the downsides of diversification might be the phenomenon of over-diversification, which can be defined as the situation in which a farm diversifies beyond its optimal limit. The empirical findings of this study reveal that capital and labour resource constrains did have adverse effects on financial success. The evidence indicates that farms that were capital and labour resource constrained in 2001 were still less profitable than their ‘no problems’ counterparts five years later.
  • Skinnari, Jonna (Helsingfors universitet, 2010)
    Julkisilla ateriahankinnoilla on merkittävä asema suomalaisessa yhteiskunnassa. Julkisessa ruokahuollossa painotetaan erityisesti terveellisyyttä ja ravitsemusta. Julkisten ateriahankintojen kautta voidaan edistää terveellisiä ruokatottumuksia ja vähentää terveydenhuollon kustannuksia. Ruokailutottumuksilla voidaan vaikuttaa myös kestävään kehitykseen. Tutkimuksen tavoitteena oli selvittää kestävän kehityksen toteutumista julkisissa ateriahankinnoissa. Erityisesti huomiota kiinnitettiin kilpailutuksen toteutumiseen kestävän kehityksen näkökulmasta ja hinnan merkityksen analysointiin julkisissa ateriahankinnoissa. Sen lisäksi kartoitettiin informaation toimivuutta ruokahuollossa. Tämän tutkimuksessa käytetty aineisto perustuu loppukesällä 2008 tehtyyn kyselyyn, joka osoitettiin kuntien ruokapalveluista vastaaville henkilöille. Kysely lähetettiin kaikkiin Suomen kuntiin. Vastauksia saatiin 115 kunnasta, joten vastausprosentiksi muodostui 28. Vastauksista koottiin numeeriset perustiedot ja tuloksia tarkasteltiin prosentuaalisen jakauman perusteella. Kunnat jaoteltiin käyttämällä Tilastokeskuksen neljän kuntatyypin luokittelua: harvaan asuttu maaseutu, ydinmaaseutu, kaupunkien läheinen maaseutu ja kaupunki. Kuntatyyppivertailussa hyödynnettiin ei-parametrista varianssianalyysiä. Tutkimustulosten mukaan hinnalla oli keskeinen rooli julkisissa ateriahankinnoissa sekä kilpailutuskriteerinä että ateriapalvelujen suunnittelutyössä kaikissa kuntatyypeissä. Nykyajan palveluyhteiskunnassa tavoitellaan tehokkuutta ja taloudellisuutta, mikä on johtanut siihen, että myös julkisissa ateriahankinnoissa suositaan nopeasti ja helposti saatavia massatuotteita. Elintason nousun myötä ruoan saatavuus on lähes kaikille suomalaisille itsestään selvyys, mutta ruoan tuotanto ja sen alkuperä ovat jääneet kuluttajille etäisiksi. Tutkimustulokset osoittivat, että julkisten aterioiden taustoista kerrotaan kuluttajille varsin vähän, vaikka tämä olisi edullinen tapa nostaa julkisen ruokahuollon kestävyyttä.
  • Peltola, Jukka (Helsingfors universitet, 2011)
    Viljakylvösiemensektorin toimintaympäristön muutoksiin on hyvä valmistautua ennalta ja pohtia toimintatapoja, joiden turvin toimia muuttuvassa toimintaympäristössä. Suomen kylvösiemenmarkkinat ovat pienentyneet voimakkaasti 1980-luvun lopulta lähtien. 2000-luvulla sertifioidun siemenen käyttöaste on ollut keskimäärin vain 30 % ja viljojen kohdalla käyttöaste on ollut tätäkin alhaisempi. Tulevaisuudessa yhteisen maatalouspolitiikan uudistukset, kiristyvä kilpailu, ilmastonmuutos, teknologian kehitys, kulutustottumusten muutokset sekä lähivuosina uudistava EU:n siemenlainsäädäntö tulevat muokkaamaan alan toimintaympäristöä. Jotta tulevaisuuden haasteisiin voidaan vastata, kartoitettiin tutkimuksessa asiantuntijoiden näkemyksiä siitä, mitkä ovat tuotantoketjun ongelmakohdat sekä alan toiminnan edistämismahdollisuudet. Työn teoreettisena viitekehyksenä oli toimialan taloustiede. Teorian rakennetta käytettiin siemenalan ongelmakohtien jäsentämiseen ja toimenpide-ehdotusten kartoittamiseen. Asiantuntijat näkivät sertifioidun siemenen heikkoon kysyntään vaikuttavan korvaavien tuotteiden, eli tilan oman kylvösiemen ja sertifioimattomana markkinoidun kylvösiemenen ns. harmaan siemenen, yleisyys. Tilan oman siemenen kohdalla suurin epäkohta on sen arvottamisessa. Harmaan siemenen käytön suosioon vaikuttavat sen edullisuuden lisäksi myös kaupan asiakaslähtöisyys. Sertifioidun siemenen kysyntää heikentävät myös puutteelliset markkinointitavat, kausivaihtelu sekä siemenmyyjien tietämättömyys viljelijöiden ostokäyttäytymisestä. Tarjonnan epäkohdiksi nousivat siemenestä saatava hinta, tuotantotekijäsidonnaisuus sekä hukkakauran leviäminen. Siemenestä saatu hinta ei aina riitä kattamaan paljon tuotantotekijöitä vaativan siementuotannon kustannuksia. Myös hukkakauran leviäminen vaikeuttaa ja rajoittaa tuotannon lisäämistä. Lisäksi siemenketjun kannalta ongelmia aiheuttivat teknologian ja tuotantoprosessien myönteinen mutta hidas kehitys. Markkinan rakenteen ongelmakohtina olivat markkinoiden oligopolisuisuus sekä tuotteiden tehoton erilaistaminen asiakkaiden tarpeiden mukaisesti. Alan yritysrakenteen todettiin olevan pienyritysvaltainen ja osin tehoton, vaikka rakennekehitystä onkin viime vuosina tapahtunut. Alalle tulon esteet liittyvät siemenviljelijöiden ja -pakkaajien kohdalla läheisesti tuotantotekijäsidonnaisuuteen sekä hukkakauran leviämiseen ja hukkakauralainsäädäntöön. Vastaavasti Suomen syrjäinen sijainti ja ilmasto- olosuhteet ovat pitäneet ulkomaisen kilpailun vähäisenä. Toimialan kustannusten todettiin jakaantuneen epätasaisesti siemenketjun toimijoiden välillä. Kustannusrakenteen todettiin olevan nykyisellään kestämätön ja tilanteen todettiin korjaantuvan ainoastaan tuntuvalla volyymin kasvulla. Lisäksi toimijoiden välinen vertikaalinen integraatio nähtiin vähäiseksi, vaikka sillä olisi merkittävä vaikutus tuotannon kannattavuuteen. Asiantuntijat näkivät maatalouspolitiikan sekä markkinoiden ja talouden muutosten etenevän eri suuntiin. Suurimpina epäkohtina nousivat siementuotannon tuen loppuminen sekä lainsäädännön asettamat rajoitukset. Lisäksi isona ongelmana pidettiin ulkoisen tiedottamisen tehottomuutta. Tutkimuksen perusteella viljakylvösiemensektorin toimintaedellytykset liittyvät pääasiallisesti markkinointiosaamisen ja informoinnin kehittämiseen sekä verkostoitumisen lisäämiseen. Tärkeänä osana toimintaedellytysten turvaamisessa on myös vaikuttaminen tulevaan EU:n siemenlainsäädäntöön siten, että kansalliset poikkeukset olisivat mahdollisia myös tulevaisuudessa.