Start date: 1998

Date of completion: 2000

Agriculture, Rural Space and Environment: The Application of Agri-environmental Measures

The main objective of the project is to study the process of introducing the environmental problem in Portuguese agriculture, in particular as regards the representations, attitudes and practices of farmers in the face of the environmental problems of intensive agriculture. Mobilization for environmental issues by conventional farmers will be significantly different from those presented by farmers who are involved in traditional farming practices, since the environmental effort to which they will be subject will have appreciable qualitative and quantitative implications, implying, in some cases, reconversion of previous agricultural practices. Through the study of the representations and attitudes of farmers, it is expected to anticipate the resistance and the potential for change that the process of applying Agro-environmental Measures (European Regulation No. 2078/92) – the first of agri-environmental policy in Portugal – transports for the reconversion and structuring of the agricultural and rural space.

The objective set out above has two main lines of research:

  1. A reflection on the introduction of the problematic agriculture / environment in Portugal;
  2. The study of the implementation of the Agro-environmental Measures related to the reduction of the polluting effects of agriculture. The first line of research will focus on three key issues:
    1.  the European Agro-environmental policy stemming from the Common Agricultural Policy Reform (CAP) Accompanying Measures;
    2. The translation of this policy into Portugal;
    3. The analysis of the perceptions, in the face of this agri-environmental policy, by the key actors in the process.

This line of research essentially aims to frame the subject of analysis. In fact, the translation and the implementation process of the agro-environmental policy will translate the dominant discourse in Portugal on the articulation of agriculture / environment, which, in turn, will condition the farmers’ perception of this policy. In the second line of research, the analysis of farmers’ attitudes, behaviors and perceptions regarding the public policy for the application of Agri-environment Measures will be privileged in the area of ​​reducing the polluting effects of agriculture.

The empirical research was carried out in the Sub-Regional Agrarian Region of the West, one of the sub-regions of the Agrarian Region of Ribatejo and Oeste, one of the regions where intensive gar- biculture has greater expression and simultaneously presents some diversity of productive logics. The conducting axes of the research were as follows:

1) Productive systems and responses (adaptive or strategic) to agri-environmental issues;
2) Motivations for adherence to the agro-environmental program;
3) Adherence to agri-environmental issues.

Associated Publications:

Agricultura e Ambiente – A aplicação das Medidas Agro-Ambientais