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Regional differences in livestock production systems: development of protocols and methodologies for policy evaluation and impact on rural development

Contract nr: FAIR-CT96-1586
Project nr: 1586
Project type: CA
Starting date: 01/03/1997
Duration: 24 months
Total cost: 274,000 EUR
EC Contribution: 274,000 EUR
Scientific Officer: Veronica SABBAG
Research topic: Rural development policy
Acronym: Regional Livestock Systems

Some progress has been made in developing spatially explicit descriptions of arable farming systems, but no attempt has been made to do so for livestock systems across the EU. Several national initiatives are emerging, however, so it is timely to initiate a concerted action to ensure coordination of these activities.
The objectives of the concerted action are to establish a network of researchers throughout the EU to define and agree protocols for describing and characterising livestock production systems across the EU so that the impacts of changes in policy on the livestock industries and on the rural economy can be quantified on a regional basis.


The project will:
a) identify the needs of policy research in evaluating the impact of policy;
b) identify sources and types of data needed to construct a spatially explicit regional description of livestock systems;
c) devise a protocol and methodology for describing the regional variation in livestock systems;
d) promote interaction between researchers from a range of disciplines including policy researchers, animal scientists, socio-economists and geographers;
e) promote dialogue between policy makers and researchers.
Four sub-groups of researchers (each with approximately 10 members) will be set up, each led by an experienced researcher and under the general direction of the coordinator.

The sub-groups will:
a) identify policy research requirements;
b) devise a protocol and methodologies and identify data needed for the future development of spatially explicit models to assess the effects of policy on livestock systems;
c) identify indigenous expert knowledge of livestock systems;
d) identify the economic and socio economic factors which determine the economic fragility or robustness of livestock systems.
This will be achieved by holding a series of workshops to which policy makers and also researchers not directly involved in the concerted action will be invited by establishing electronic bulletin boards.
Reports of the findings and conclusions of the workshops will be published and distributed.

Current situation/results:
The project was completed successfully in February 1999. The need for a decision support system was established, and the specification of the system was defined. It was concluded that it was possible to build a decision support system that could appraise the economic, environmental and social consequences of change in livestock policy. A network of over 170 researchers from a wide range of disciplines and policy makers was established and a series of workshops on different aspects of livestock systems was held. The proceedings of the workshops have been published (1).
A methodology for describing the regional variation in livestock systems has been developed and discussed with officials of the European Commission. A description of this methodology which can be used as the basis of a decision support system has been published (2). On the basis of the results of the Concerted Action a research proposal was submitted to the Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources Programme of Framework Programme 5. The proposal to build a decision support was accepted and work started in February 2000.

Williams, S.M. and Wright, I.A. 1999. ELPEN - European Livestock Policy Evaluation Network. Proceedings of two international workshops: Workshop1, 22-24 January 1998, Karpenisi, Greece; Workshop 2, 18-20 June 1998, Vienna, Austria . Macaulay land use Research Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB15 8QH, UK. 119pp.
Wright, I.A. et al. 1999. A protocol for building the ELPEN livestock policy decision support system. Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen, AB15 8QH.



Iain Alexander WRIGHT
Macaulay Land Use Research Institute
UK-AB15 8QH Aberdeen
Tel: +44 1224 31 86 11
Fax: +44 1224 31 15 56

  • Leonidas LOULOULIS
    Agricultural University of Athens
    Iera Odos str. 75
    GR-118 55 Athens - Votanikos
    Tel: +30 1 529 47 17
    Fax: +30 1 529 40 20

  • Andre PFLIMLIN
    Institut de l'Elevage
    Rue de Bercy 149
    F-75595 Paris
    Tel: +33 1 40 04 52 55
    Fax: +33 1 40 04 49 60

    Winand Staring Centre DLO
    Marijkeweg 11
    P.O. Box 25
    NL-6700 AC Wageningen
    Tel: +31 317 47 44 23
    Fax: +31 317 42 48 12

  • J. Robert CRABTREE
    Macaulay Land Use Research Institute
    UK-AB15 8QH2QJ Aberdeen
    Tel: +44 1224 31 86 11
    Fax: +44 1224 31 15 56
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