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From mixed farm-level to regional level: Upscaling of efficiency and resilience

Results from a new project report carried out in the MIXED project show that allowing for a combination of specialised farms and mixed farms is the most cost-effective way to achieve mixed NUTS2 regions.

Based on a previous report that analyzed efficiency and resilience focusing on farm-level and addressed efficiency purely from the economic perspective, and measured resilience through the resilience capacities of revealed robustness, adaptation, and transformation, this new report upscales the analysis. 

The upscaling has been done by embracing other levels of analysis, i.e. cooperation between farms, and assessments at landscape and regional level. Second, by considering a wider set of performance indicators, i.e. next to efficiency, this report also considers environmental performance indicators related to soil quality and nutrient balances. Third, by addressing resilience from the perspective of two core resilience attributes, i.e. diversity and connectedness. 

For more information about the methods, data and research questions read the full report here. 

Upscaling the analyses to different levels and perspectives consistently shows that synergies exist between efficiency and resilience: 

•    Multiple EU regions can be characterised as high in crop diversity, livestock diversity and circularity. 

•    Achieving mixed regions does not necessarily imply a lower profit potential for farms. Imposing mixedness at the regional level can even lead to a higher profit potential for farms compared to when maintaining current land uses. 

•    Simultaneous optimization of production and nutrient balances has the potential to increase crop diversity at farm and regional level. 

•    Collaboration (connectedness) between farmers in the region can improve income and soil quality. 

•    Even though scope and context differ, top-down and bottom-up analyses both point at synergies between efficiency and resilience. 

•    Extending efficiency to environmental indicators and approaching resilience through diversity and connectedness enrich the insight into efficiency and resilience of MiFAS.