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In the European Union (EU) periurban agriculture is under the same agri-environmental policy regime designed for general agriculture. We argue that the specific needs of periurban agriculture may justify ad hoc agri-environmental policy measures. We present results from a Choice Experiment (CE) performed on a sample of 600 people living in the municipality of Milan, which was designed to assess the willingness to pay (WTP) for ecological benefits generated by four agri-environmental practices implementable in the periurban area and already included in the Rural Development Programmes of the Lombardy region. Results suggest that a large population share is willing to pay to support an increase in the use of the agricultural practices studied with an average WTP ranging between 5.6 to 16.3 euro/person/year, according to the type of practice. These results are in contrast with their current low level of adoption. The sub-optimal uptake rate is likely due to an insufficient per hectare compensating payment, which is too low to cover the income foregone consequent to the adoption of sustainable agriculture measures in this area. The mismatch between the low uptake rate and the high social benefits generated by the four agri-environmental agricultural practices sheds light on the need to design agri-environmental policy programmes specifically targeted to periurban areas, where the costs of compliance with AEMs are high and the social benefits of their adoption are large.
Arata, Linda; Guastella, Gianni; Pareglio, Stefano; Scarpa, Riccardo; and Sckokai, Paolo, "Periurban Agriculture: do the Current EU Agri-environmental Policy Programmes Fit with it?" (May 25, 2018). Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei Working Papers. Paper 1241.