Measuring and Modelling Farm Level Sustainability

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Abstract

In the paper, an approach to measure farm level sustainability with the Synthetic Farm Sustainability Index (SFSI) is presented. SFSI is composed of five partial sustainability indexes based on 56 parameters describing different aspects of farms organization and functioning. The index, calculated for the sample of 120 Polish farms, was used to measure the state (static sustainability) and effects of possible improvements (dynamic sustainability) in the farming system. The results of the analyses show significant differences in the sustainability level between the farms in the sample, as well as the potential for increasing SFS. The increase of the synthetic sustainability index can be achieved by means of farm investments, but also low-cost activities that improve environmental performance and generate positive social effects without undermining economic viability. It was also found out, that larger size, intensive farms can achieve high economic and environmental sustainability level if properly managed.

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