Using a Choice Experiment to Estimate Farmers’ Valuation of Agrobiodiversity on Hungarian Small Farms

Abstract

Agrobiodiversity is a crucial environmental resource. Much of the agrobiodiversity remaining in situ today is found on the semi-subsistence farms of poorer countries and the small-scale farms or home gardens of more industrialised nations. The traditional farms of Hungary are an example. Labelled “home gardens” as a reflection of their institutional identity during the collectivisation period, they are micro-agroecosystems that provide important functions such as food security and diet quality. This paper applies the choice experiment method to estimate the private benefits farmers derive from four components of the agrobiodiversity found in Hungarian home gardens: richness of crop varieties and fruit trees; crop landraces; integrated crop and livestock production; and soil micro-organism diversity. The analysis is based on primary data collected in three environmentally sensitive areas where pilot agri-environmental programmes have been initiated as part of the Hungarian National Rural Development Plan. Findings demonstrate variation in the private values of home gardens and their attributes across households and regions, contributing to understanding the potential role of home gardens in these agri-environmental schemes. This study has implications for sustaining agrobiodiversity in transitional economies.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Abbreviations

CAP:

Common Agricultural Policy

ESA:

Environmentally Sensitive Area

EU:

European Union

NAEP:

National Agri-Environmental Programme

NRDP:

National Rural Development Plan

WTA:

willingness to accept

WTP:

willingness to pay

References

  1. I. J. Bateman, R. T. Carson, B. Day, W. M. Hanemann, N. Hanley, T. Hett, M. Jones-Lee, G. Loomes, S. Mourato, E. Ozdemiroglu, D. W. Pearce, R. Sugden and S. Swanson, Guidelines for the Use of Stated Preference Techniques for the Valuation of Preferences for Non-market Goods. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar (2003).

    Google Scholar 

  2. M. Ben-Akiva and S. R. Lerman, Discrete Choice Analysis, Theory and Application to Travel Demand. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press (1985).

    Google Scholar 

  3. W. S. Breffle and E. R. Morey, Investigating Preference Heterogeneity in a Repeated Discrete-Choice Recreation Demand Model of Atlantic Salmon Fishing. Marine Resource Economics 15 (2000) 1-20

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. H. Brookfield, Exploring Agrodiversity. New York: Columbia University Press (2001).

    Google Scholar 

  5. H. Brookfield, C. Padoch, H. Parsons and M. Stocking, Cultivating Biodiversity: Understanding, Analysing and Using Agricultural Diversity. London: The United Nations University, ITDG Publishing (2002).

    Google Scholar 

  6. H. Brookfield and M. Stocking, Agrodiversity: Definition, Description and Design. Global Environmental Change 9 (1999) 77-80

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Convention on Biological Diversity (2002), Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. United Nations Environment Programme http://www.biodiv.org/programmes/areas/agro

  8. R. Dhar, Consumer Preference for a No-Choice Option. Journal of Consumer Research 24 (1997) 215-231

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. FAO (1999), ‘Multifunctional Character of Agriculture and Land’. Conference Background Paper No. 1, Maastricht. Rome: Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations

  10. Fertö, I., Cs. Fogács, A. Juhász and Gy. Kürhty (2004), Regoverning Markets, Country report. Budapest, Hungary. http://www.regoverningmarkets.org/docs/countrystudyHungary new2005.pdf

  11. Fischler, F. (2003), ‘Opportunities in an Enlarged Europe’. Paper presented at the 16th European Industry Strategy Symposium, February 10, 2003, Villach

  12. A. M. Freeman, The Measurement of Environmental and Resource Values: Theory and Methods. Washington, DC: Resources for the Future (2002).

    Google Scholar 

  13. S. Furey, C. Strugnell and H. McIlveen, An investigation of the potential existence of “food deserts” in rural and urban areas of Northern Ireland. Agriculture and Human Values 18 (2001) 447-457

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. G. D. Garrod, R. Scarpa and K. G. Willis, Estimating the Benefits of Traffic Calming on Through Routes: A Choice Experiment Approach. Journal of Transport Economics and Policy 36 (2002) 211-231

    Google Scholar 

  15. W. H. Greene, Econometric Analysis. New Jersey: Prentice Hall (1997).

    Google Scholar 

  16. Á. Gyovai, Site and Sample Selection for Analysis of Crop Diversity on Hungarian Small Farms. In: M. Smale, I. Már and D. I. Jarvis (eds.) The Economics of Conserving Agrobiodiversity On-Farm: Research Methods Developed from IPGRI’s Global Project ‘Strengthening the Scientific Basis of In Situ Conservation of Agrobiodiversity. Rome: International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (2002) pp. 44-74

    Google Scholar 

  17. N. Hanley, R. E. Wright and W. L. Adamowicz, Using Choice Experiments to Value the Environmental. Environmental and Resource Economics 11 (1998) 413-428

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. I. Harcsa, I. Kovách and I. Szelényi, A posztszocialista átalakulási válság a mezögazdaságban és a falusi társadalomban (Postsocialist Transitional Crisis in Agriculture and Rural Society). Szociológiai Szemle 3 (1994) 15-43

    Google Scholar 

  19. J. A. Hausman and D. McFadden, Specification Tests for the Multinomial Logit Model. Econometrica 52 (1984) 1219-1240

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. D. A. Hensher and L. W. Johnson, Applied Discrete Choice Modelling. London: Croom-Helm (1981).

    Google Scholar 

  21. P. Horne and L. Petäjistö, Preferences for Alternative Moose Management Regimes among Finnish Landowners: A Choice Experiment Approach. Land Economics 79 (2003) 472-482

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Huber, J and J. Pinnell (1994), The Impact of Set Quality and Choice Difficulty on the Decision to Defer Purchase. Working paper, Duke University: The Fuqua School of Business

  23. Hungarian Central Statistical Office (HCSO) (2001), TSTAR Database. Budapest

  24. Hungarian Central Statistical Office (HCSO) (2002), (2003), Budapest. http://www.ksh.hu/pls/ksh/docs/indexeng.html

  25. Home Gardens and the In Situ Conservation of Plant Genetic Resources. Rome: International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (2003).

    Google Scholar 

  26. I. Juhász, J. ÁngyÁn, I. Fesüs, L. Podmaniczky, F. Tar and A. Madarassy, National Agri-Environment Programme: For the Support of Environmentally Friendly Agricultural Production Methods Ensuring the Protection of the Nature and the Preservation of the Landscape. Budapest: Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Agri-Environmental Studies (2000).

    Google Scholar 

  27. D. Kahneman, J. Knetsch and R. Thaler, Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem. Journal of Political Economy 98 (1990) 1325-1348

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. I. Kovách, Hungary: Cooperative Farms and Household Plots. In: M. Meurs (ed.) Many Shades of Red: State Policy and Collective Agriculture. Boulder: Rowman and Littlefield (1999) pp.

    Google Scholar 

  29. K. Lancaster, A New Approach to Consumer Theory. Journal of Political Economy 84 (1966) 132-157

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Multifunctional Character of Agriculture. Agricultural Economics Research Institute: Helsinki (2000).

    Google Scholar 

  31. D. Luce, Individual Choice Behaviour. New York: John Wiley (1959).

    Google Scholar 

  32. Lupwayi, N., W. Rick and G. Clayton (1997), ‘Zillions of Lives Underground’, APGC Newsletter, http://www.pulse.ab.ca/newsletter/97fall/zillion.html

  33. G. S. Maddala, Limited Dependent and Qualitative Variables in Econometrics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1999).

    Google Scholar 

  34. G. S. Maddala, Introduction to Econometrics. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall (2000).

    Google Scholar 

  35. P. Mäder, A. Fliessbach, D. Dubois, L. Gunst, P. Fried and U. Niggli, Soil Fertility and Biodiversity in Organic Farming. Science 296 (2002) 1694-1697

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. I. Már, Safeguarding Agrobiodiversity On-farms in Hungary. In: M. Smale, I. Már and D. I. Jarvis (eds.) The Economics of Conserving Agrobiodiversity On-Farm: Research Methods Developed from IPGRI’s Global Project ‘Strengthening the Scientific Basis of In Situ Conservation of Agrobiodiversity. Rome: International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (2002) pp. 41-43

    Google Scholar 

  37. I. Már and A. Juhász, A tájtermesztésben hasznosítható bab (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) egyensúlyi populációk agrobotanikai vizsgálata (Agrobotanical analysis of bean - Phaseolus vulgaris L. – equilibrium populations suitable for regional land cultivation). Acta Agraria Debreceniensis. Hungary: University of Debrecen (2002).

    Google Scholar 

  38. D. McFadden, Conditional Logit Analysis of Qualitative Choice Behaviour. In: P. Zarembka (ed.) Frontiers in Econometrics. New York: Academic Press (1974) pp.

    Google Scholar 

  39. M. Meurs, The Evolution of Agrarian Institutions: A Comparative Study of Post-Socialist Hungary and Bulgaria. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press (2001).

    Google Scholar 

  40. Ministry of Transport Water (2001), Road Department: Main Data on Roads. Budapest, Hungary

  41. E. R. Morey and K. G. Rossmann, Using Stated-Preference Questions to Investigate Variations in Willingness to Pay for Preserving Marble Monuments: Classic Heterogeneity, Random Parameters, and Mixture Models. Journal of Cultural Economics 27 (2003) 205-229

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. National Labour Centre (2000), Budapest. http://www.ikm.iif.hu/english/economy/labour.htm

  43. J. Ndjeunga and C. H. Nelson, Toward Understanding Household Preference for Consumption Characteristics of Millet Varieties: A Case Study from Western Niger. Agricultural Economics 32 (2005) 151-165

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Orbánné Nagy M. (2003), ‘Az élelmiszerfogyasztás és a fogyasztói árak konvergenciája Magyarország és az EU között’. AKII, Hungary. http://www.akii.hu/kiadvany/intezeti kiadvanyok/magyar/AKIITANULMANYOSSZEFOGLALOK/2003–5 Orbanne.htm

  45. Petrick, M. and E. Tyran (2001), ‘Development Perspectives of Subsistence Farms in South-Eastern Poland: Social Buffer Stock or Commercial Agriculture?’, Paper presented at the 76th EAAE Seminar ‘Subsistence Agriculture in Central and Eastern Europe: How to Break the Vicious Circle?’, May 6–8, 2001, Halle (Saale)

  46. D. Revelt and K. Train, Mixed Logit with Repeated Choices: Households’ Choice of Appliance Efficiency Level. Review of Economics and Statistics 53 (1998) 647-657

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. M. Rizov and E. Mathijs, Farm Survival and Growth in Transition Economies: Empirical Evidence from Hungary. Post-Communist Economies 15 (2003) 227-242

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. J. Rolfe, J. J. Bennett and J. Louviere, Choice Modelling and Its Potential Application to Tropical Rainforest Preservation. Ecological Economics 35 (2000) 289-302

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Romstad, E., A. Vatn, P. K. Rørstad and V. Søyland (2000), Multifunctional Agriculture: Implications for Policy Design. Department of Economics and Social Sciences Report No. 21. Oslo: Agricultural University of Norway

  50. A. H. Sarris, T. Doucha and E. Mathijs, Agricultural Restructuring in Central and Eastern Europe: Implications for Competitiveness and Rural Development. European Review of Agricultural Economics 26 (1999) 305-329

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. R. Scarpa, A. Drucker, S. Anderson, N. Ferraes-Ehuan, V. Gomez, C. R. Risopatron and O. Rubio-Leonel, Valuing Animal Genetic Resources in Peasant Economies: The Case of the Box Keken Creole Pig in Yucatan. Ecological Economics 45 (2003a) 427-443

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. R. Scarpa, P. Kristjanson, A. Drucker, M. Radeny, E. S. K. Ruto and J. E. O. Rege, Valuing Indigenous Cattle Breeds in Kenya: An Empirical Comparison of Stated and Revealed Preference Value Estimates. Ecological Economics 45 (2003b) 409-426

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. H. T. Seeth, S. Chachnov, A. Surinov and J. Braun von, Russian Poverty: Muddling Through Economic Transition with Garden Plots. World Development 26 (1998) 1611-1623

    Article  Google Scholar 

  54. Management of Békés County. Béksécsaba: HSCO (2001a).

    Google Scholar 

  55. Management of Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County. Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok: HSCO (2001b).

    Google Scholar 

  56. Management of Vas County. Szombathely: HSCO (2001c).

    Google Scholar 

  57. Management of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County. Nyíregyháza: HSCO (2001d).

    Google Scholar 

  58. Swain, N. (2000), ‘Post-Socialist Rural Economy and Society in the CEECs: the Socio-Economic Contest for SAPARD and EU Enlargement’. Paper presented at the International Conference ‘European Rural Policy at the Crossroads’, June 29 –July 1, 2000, The Arkleton Centre for Rural Development Research, King’s College, University of Aberdeen, Scotland

  59. Privatising the Land: Rural Political Economy in Post-communist Societies. New York: Routledge (1998).

    Google Scholar 

  60. K. Szép, The Chance of Agricultural Work in the Competition for Time: Case of Household Plots in Hungary. Society and Economy in Central and Eastern Europe 22 (2000) 95-106

    Google Scholar 

  61. Szivós, P. and I. G. Tóth (2003), Stabilization of the Structure of Society (Stabilizálódó társadalomszerkezet). TáRKI MONITOR Reports

  62. K. E. Train, Recreation Demand Models with Taste Differences over People. Land Economics 74 (1998) 230-239

    Article  Google Scholar 

  63. Vajda, L. (2003), The View from Central and Eastern Europe. Washington D.C.: Agricultural Outlook Forum 2003. http://www.usda.gov/oce/waob/oc2003/speeches/vajda.pdf

  64. Weingarten, P., S. Baum, K. Frohberg, M. Hartmann and A. Matthews (2004), The Future of Rural Areas in the CEE New Member States. Report prepared by the Network of Independent Agricultural Experts in the CEE Candidate Countries. http://europa.eu.int/comm/agriculture/publi/reports/ccrurdev/text_en.pdf

  65. WHO (2000) The Impact of Food and Nutrition on Public Health: The Case for a Food and Nutrition Policy and An Action Plan for the European Region of WHO, 2000–2005 and the Draft Urban Food and Nutrition Action Plan. http://www.hospitalitywales.demon.co.uk/nyfaweb/fap4fnp/fap_26.htm. http://www.hospitalitywales.demon.co.uk/nyfaweb/urban/urb_02.htm

  66. Wyzan, M. (1996), ‘Increased Inequality, Poverty Accompany Economic Transition’, Transition, 2(20). http://archive.tol.cz/Publications/Transition/Features/Feature.V02N20-Wyzan.html

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ekin Birol.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Birol, E., Smale, M. & Gyovai, Á. Using a Choice Experiment to Estimate Farmers’ Valuation of Agrobiodiversity on Hungarian Small Farms. Environ Resource Econ 34, 439–469 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10640-006-0009-9

Download citation

Key words

  • agrobiodiversity
  • choice experiment
  • conservation
  • home gardens
  • Hungary

JEL classifications

  • agrobiodiversity
  • choice experiment
  • conservation
  • home gardens
  • Hungary