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Who Benefits from CAP? The Way the Direct Payments System Impacts Socioeconomic Sustainability of Small Farms


The effects of globalization have often been adverse for the agricultural sector, especially its most vulnerable element—the small farm. The importance of the agricultural sector as a whole and small farms in the sense of ensuring food security, employment and viability of rural areas, implies a necessity to support the sector and small farms in particular. For this purpose, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the European Union (EU) seeks to boost the sustainability of agriculture in multiple dimensions. The 2013 reform of the CAP has provided a particularly strong impetus towards this direction. This paper establishes an indicator system to quantify the effects of the CAP direct payments on the socioeconomic sustainability of small farms. Expert survey and multi-criteria assessment are used to this end. The Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) method is applied for the multi-criteria analysis. Lithuania is taken as a case study. The results show that, in the case of Lithuania, the direct payment system did not contribute to the improvement in socioeconomic sustainability of small farms up until 2013 CAP reform when its impact became undeniable.


Keywords: small farms; socioeconomic sustainability; Common Agricultural Policy; direct payments; TOPSIS



Volkov, A.; Balezentis, T.; Morkunas, M.; Streimikiene, D. 2019. Who Benefits from CAP? The Way the Direct Payments System Impacts Socioeconomic Sustainability of Small Farms. In Sustainability. Vol. 11, Issue 7, 2112, EISSN 2071-1050; https://doi:10.3390/su11072112; [AGORA (FAO); AGRICOLA (National Agricultural Library); AGRIS - Agricultural Sciences and Technology (FAO); Animal Science Database (CABI); CAB Abstracts (CABI); Chemical Abstracts (ACS); Current Contents - Agriculture, Biology & Environmental Sciences (Clarivate Analytics); Current Contents - Social & Behavioral Sciences (Clarivate Analytics); DOAJ - Directory of Open Access Journals; EconPapers (RePEc); FSTA - Food Science and Technology Abstracts (IFIS); Genamics JournalSeek; GeoBase (Elsevier); Global Health (CABI); HINARI (WHO); IDEAS (RePEc); Inspec (IET); Journal Citation Reports / Science Edition (Clarivate Analytics); Journal Citation Reports / Social Science Edition (Clarivate Analytics); RePEc; Review of Agricultural Entomology (CABI); Science Citation Index Expanded - Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics); Scopus (Elsevier); Social Sciences Citation Index - Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics); Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics)].


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