BESTMAP conducts a large-scale interview campaign among farmers
In the spring of 2020 BESTMAP conducted a large-scale interview campaign among farmers in the project’s five case study areas: the UK, Germany, Spain, the Czech Republic and Serbia, ranging from individual hobby farmers to large agro-businesses in different environmental conditions.
About 25 telephone or face-to-face interviews across each case study area collected information on general and behavioural characteristics of the farms, farmers’ attitudes towards farming, and especially their motivations to apply for agri-environmental schemes. Exploratory in nature, the interviews deliberately aim to discover new aspects of BESTMAP's research subject and show what is relevant for farmers with regard to agricultural policy. A semi-structured interview protocol enabled interviewers to be flexible during the interviews while at the same time ensuring comparability across case studies.
The outcomes of the interviews will be used to inform agent-based models (ABMs) about relevant elements to be integrated into the model structure. This will help better understand what farm characteristics are important when defining Farming System Archetypes, used as units of analysis in subsequent biophysical modeling. Coupled with biophysical models, the ABMs will ultimately support the design of better agri-environmental schemes, accounting for their ecological effects as well as the behavioral factors that affect their adoption.