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GROWTH - 6 December 2019

Economic and environmental performance of digital agriculture

by Farm Europe

December 2019


In response to environmental and climate challenges and societal expectations, the post-2020 CAP project proposes to raise its environmental ambitions to facilitate and encourage the consideration of these issues in agricultural practices. A balance between the economic and environmental dimensions is essential to ensure stability and profitability for farmers and to establish a sustainable CAP (Jereb et al., 2017; COMAGRI, 2019).

The Ecoscheme plan is a new tool proposed in the post-2020 CAP reform that is intended to be a driving force in the transition to a more sustainable agriculture (COMAGRI, 2019). It replaces the greening of income support introduced in the 2013 reform. Like the greening measures, the Ecoscheme plan makes it possible to devote a share of direct payments to environmental and climate protection (COMAGRI, 2019).

The content of the Ecoscheme plan has the dual objective of ensuring unity of action and ambition while being flexible enough to respond to local issues. One idea to achieve this goal would be to stimulate the transition to more sustainable agricultural systems.

Faced with recurrent reproaches concerning the lack of quantification of the effects of the CAP, simple policy tools offering a solid follow-up of results across Europe are desired, both by actors in the agricultural world and by European decision-makers.

The link between agriculture and the environment should be maintained and strengthened, in continuity with previous CAPs. The new tools available to agriculture claim to ensure economic and environmental results. If this is the case, they would make it possible to achieve this dual economic and environmental performance. More widespread, they could ensure an accurate assessment of the effect of the policies put in place.

Thus, faced with the challenge of defining a European framework for Ecoscheme and of implementing it with concrete results, the aim of this study is to assess the economic and environmental performance of the different agricultural systems with and without recourse to precision farming.


full study available on Farm Europe Members Area (in french)

Written by Farm Europe