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Article

Payments for Conservation of Animal Genetic Resources in Agriculture: One Size Fits All?

1
Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Groblje 3, 1230 Domzale, Slovenia
2
Institute for Economic Research, Kardeljeva Ploscad 17, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
3
Bioversity International, Via dei Tre Denari 472/a, Maccarese, 00054 Rome, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gustavo Gandini
Animals 2021, 11(3), 846; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11030846
Received: 29 January 2021 / Revised: 11 March 2021 / Accepted: 15 March 2021 / Published: 17 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Genetic Resources Conservation: From Optimal to Feasible)
Maintaining minimum population sizes for local livestock breeds is a key goal in the conservation of animal genetic resources. As markets and livestock production systems have tended to favour a narrow base of high-output improved breeds, countries have had to use financial and other incentives to motivate breeders to keep local breeds. This paper explores the potential for more cost-effective alternatives to the most commonly used financial incentive, a fixed payment per animal or livestock unit. We compare the current fixed payment incentives for local breeds under the Slovenian Rural Development Programmme with those instead determined through a competitive tender approach. A stated preference survey was realised to determine the conditions under which breeders would be willing to participate in such an incentive system based on differentiated payments. Willingness to accept (WTA) payment for conservation was found to differ significantly from actual payment levels, being lower for the local sheep and goat breeds, and higher for the local pig breed. This suggests that implementation of differentiated payments would be more cost-effective; particularly when accompanied by measures to streamline administrative requirements, improve access to breeding stock and target support for local breed market valorisation (e.g., promotion of value chains based on designated quality schemes).
Local livestock breeds in Slovenia have been eligible for financial incentives in the form of a fixed payment per livestock unit (LU) since 2002. The scheme has however not been successful in reversing the erosion of animal genetic resources (AnGR). This paper investigates an alternative, whereby incentive payments would better reflect breeders’ actual opportunity costs. The paper contributes to the limited existing body of knowledge related to the use of tender mechanisms in the design of the payments for agrobiodiversity conservation schemes (PACS), particularly for AnGR. Empirical findings draw on the results of a stated preference survey involving 301 farmers in Slovenia, engaging, or being potentially able to engage, in the rearing of local pig, sheep and goat breeds. Interval and logistic regression model results suggest that willingness to accept (WTA) conservation support significantly differs from actual payment levels. The estimated WTA was found to be 27% lower for the local sheep and goat breeds and 5% higher for the local pig breed, suggesting that differentiated incentive payments would provide a more cost-effective alternative. Additional analysis of breeders’ preferences and motives for engaging in local livestock breed production further informs understanding regarding AnGR conservation policy and the importance of accompanying actions to reverse negative population trends. These include reducing administrative barriers and enhancing the market valorisation of local breeds. View Full-Text
Keywords: animal genetic resources; local breeds; economic valuation; conservation tender; agri-environmental measures animal genetic resources; local breeds; economic valuation; conservation tender; agri-environmental measures
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MDPI and ACS Style

Juvančič, L.; Slabe-Erker, R.; Ogorevc, M.; Drucker, A.G.; Erjavec, E.; Bojkovski, D. Payments for Conservation of Animal Genetic Resources in Agriculture: One Size Fits All? Animals 2021, 11, 846. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11030846

AMA Style

Juvančič L, Slabe-Erker R, Ogorevc M, Drucker AG, Erjavec E, Bojkovski D. Payments for Conservation of Animal Genetic Resources in Agriculture: One Size Fits All? Animals. 2021; 11(3):846. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11030846

Chicago/Turabian Style

Juvančič, Luka, Renata Slabe-Erker, Marko Ogorevc, Adam G. Drucker, Emil Erjavec, and Danijela Bojkovski. 2021. "Payments for Conservation of Animal Genetic Resources in Agriculture: One Size Fits All?" Animals 11, no. 3: 846. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11030846

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