What does it mean to give up a subsidy

Economy - Subsidies: Small farmers have to give up, big ones benefit

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The federal government's new agricultural policy affects the composition of farms in Switzerland. More and more farms get higher and higher direct payments from the federal government, while fewer and fewer farms no longer receive any subsidies at all. But where is this trend going?

There is a clear trend in Swiss agriculture: farms are getting bigger and bigger, small businesses are closing. In 2008 only five farms received a federal subsidy of over CHF 300,000 - so-called direct payments - last year there were 48. Most statistics suggest a general trend towards larger farms.

Federal spending on direct payments has risen from 2.5 billion in 2008 to 2.9 billion. This increase is not massive, but the expenditure has been redistributed: Among other things, direct payments of less than CHF 100,000 to businesses are falling rapidly (see graphic).

One of the reasons for this is the agricultural reform that came into force last year. In this, farms are subsidized primarily according to the area of ​​the farm. Up to now there was a so-called animal-related billing (an amount was paid per animal in the barn). The working conditions that a farmer has to cope with are now also taken into account. For example, a mountain farmer nowadays receives higher direct payments.

"Farmer needs proximity to the consumer"

The President of the Farmers' Association, Markus Ritter, confirms the consequences of the 2014-17 agricultural reform. He is the owner of a medium-sized company. "The federal government promotes larger farms with its agricultural policy, that's the way it is." Regula Furrer is a farmer and owner of a small business. She finds it problematic that a few farms get the most money.

"Swiss agriculture lives from diversity." In the long term, however, the small and medium-sized farms would die out. “Small courtyards are close to the consumer and also know the local structures. This relation to regional food is in great demand. " The situation in agriculture is difficult. The fact is, however, that the development from small to large companies will continue.

srf / weij; kolc

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  • Comment from Angela Keller (kira)
    I'm sorry for the small businesses, it is precisely them who take good care of the animals in terms of effort. The consumer has to support them more. Regionality is required. Manufacture niche products. Swiss agriculture thrives on diversity and so smallholders should be given more help. Problematic when a few farms get the most money. Much stinks to heaven - what should be distributed fairly.
    Agree agree to the comment
  • Comment from Markus Berner (Markus Berner)
    The farmers live largely on state support, so they live thanks to the do-gooders in politics, who secure their livelihood for them. And they mainly vote for SVP. Ironically, the party that fights against subsidies, for lower government spending, and generally against all government interventions. Brecht would say "Only the dumbest calves choose their own butcher".
    Agree agree to the comment
    1. answer from M. Roe (M. Roe)
      Berner: The farmers are our livelihood, it must not be a branch of the economy. If we don't pay subsidies, the little ones will go under and those who stay will no longer keep the animals as living beings, on the contrary, the animal factories will also become more and more attractive in our country. I wonder whether you know that the milk does not come from Migros but from the farm or whether you don't care at all how the animals are doing.
      Agree agree to the comment
    2. answer from Niklaus Bächler (independent !!)
      The example of agriculture shows how dishonest the SVP politicizes. Everywhere it demands the reduction of costs, subsidies and government intervention. But none of this should apply to the farmers. That is why the SVP is a ticking time bomb for me. Once it is in power (i.e. with an increase in votes) it will try to systematically undermine our state system. This then affects the little man as well as the economy. This in turn harms all employees.
      Agree agree to the comment
    3. answer from Jürg Baltensperger (Baltensperger)
      @Roe: The last time I saw such a statement from Karl Marx ... of course, the production of food is an industry. Probably the oldest ever. And no, farmers don't keep animals animal-friendly because they like them so much, but because left (!) Politicians had to force them to do so through strict animal welfare laws. These laws also apply to "animal factories". We have to stop producing what is not in demand!
      Agree agree to the comment
    4. answer from M. Roe (M. Roe)
      Baltensperger: The farmers problem is not an SVP or SP thing. This is about real life. You cannot vote according to party, but just as it is right for our country, animals + farmers + not least for our healthy food. If you are producing less, then dismantle the big ones + don't let the small ones perish. We do not need to be sufficient on the world market, we have to be sufficient, especially in Switzerland. Many can no longer think logically "simple isn't easy"!
      Agree agree to the comment
    5. answer from M. Roe (M. Roe)
      Bächler + Berner: The farming trade is not about their livelihood, that can also be achieved by self-sufficient people. The farmers represent our, their + mine, livelihood. That is why we have to support them. What is wrong is that we want to open the market internationally, + mean we can buy everything + healthy + fair from abroad. So only the big ones will survive or no farmers at all, then we'll just import everything. Healthy is only possible with the little ones.
      Agree agree to the comment
    6. Show answers
  • Comment from M. Roe (M. Roe)
    I believe the misunderstanding in Switzerland that the "Greens" are for the farmers is causing smallholders to disappear. The greens just pretend that they are campaigning for the green field. It is, however, at least half of the SVP that stands up for the farmers, + as the only party. That is why only this one party, the SVP, remains for the preservation of Switzerland and the promotion of small farms in the upcoming elections on October 18, 2015 (approx. 1 week)!
    Agree agree to the comment
    1. answer from Christoph Brönnimann (Broenni)
      Kathrin Bertschy (Green Liberals) impressed in the agricultural debate not only with her dossier firmness and expertise. It has also improved support options for small mountain farmers in terms of landscape maintenance and sustainability. While the SVP mainly represents the large farmers, the glp is a good representative of smaller farms. But too few farmers have noticed that!
      Agree agree to the comment
    2. answer from M. Roe (M. Roe)
      Brönnimann: That would be a good start for Kathrin Bertschy in the right direction. But unfortunately a swallow doesn't make spring yet. If the Greens would stand up for the small and clean farmers and against the dense and frayed building (all building), they would have a chance of becoming the largest party.
      Agree agree to the comment
    3. Show answers

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