Determinants of farm diversification in the Netherlands

M. Meraner, W.J.M. Heijman, J.W. Kuhlman, R. Finger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Farm diversification has been prominently supported by agricultural policy makers aiming to support rural development. To increase the understanding of determinants influencing diversification and hence to increase the efficiency of policies aiming to support farm diversification this paper presents the results of an analysis of diversification determinants. The research investigates Dutch farms diversification strategies using Farm Structural Survey (FSS) data of 2011 including 70,392 farms. The study uses a binary logit model to determine the characteristics influencing the diversification decision in general. Furthermore, an in-depth analysis for six diversification strategies was conducted. Additionally the study categorised the specific diversification activities in order to estimate a multinomial probit model, analysing three choice categories simultaneously. This enables us to compare determinants of farm diversification in general with determinants of specific activities. The analysis includes socio- demographic, economic and geophysical farm characteristics assumed to influence the diversification decision. Even though diversification is largely influenced by similar determinants, we find differences that are most pronounced for the adoption of nature conservation strategies. Consequently, it is important for policy makers to target policies at specific diversification activities in order to increase efficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)767-780
JournalLand Use Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • rural-development
  • adjustment strategy
  • model

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