Approaches to estimation the farm-level economic viability and sustainability in agriculture: A literature review

https://doi.org/10.17221/269/2018-AGRICECONCitation:Spicka J., Hlavsa T., Soukupova K., Stolbova M. (2019): Approaches to estimation the farm-level economic viability and sustainability in agriculture: A literature review. Agric. Econ. – Czech, 65: 289-297.
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Estimation of farm economic sustainability and viability became more topical when redesigning the Common Agricultural Policy which should stabilise farm income and make agribusiness more viable and sustainable (typically in Czech areas facing natural constraints). The key question is how to calculate the income of farms or farm households not only to survive but also to grow sustainably. The article summarises and compares knowledge from 51 studies to provide a comprehensive discussion on different ways how to measure economic viability and sustainability to set income support for farms in the areas with natural constraints optimally. The authors found family farms and off-farm income as important limitations of FADN database (Farm Accountancy Data Network) for evaluation of the economic sustainability of farm household. Moreover, some financial ratios (Return on Assets – ROA and assets turnover) are not suitable viability indicators for farms with a high share of hired land (typically large legal entities). Joining family farms and legal entities, the authors recommend using modified Farm Net Value Added (MFNVA) allowing for opportunity costs of own land and non-land assets. The average wage in the economy or region is a better proxy for opportunity labour costs of unpaid work rather than average agricultural wage.

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