Governance Solution Vatra Dornei

Considering the characteristic of the farms in the region, and the results of the interviews with experts and stakeholders, it was proposed a mix of governance mechanisms which can be adopted in the region in order to maximize the supply of public goods (natural landscape quality and rural vitality ), as well as contribute to an increased adoption of sustainable practices with maximum overall results from a societal point of view.

That mean the following measures:

  1. Agri-environmental schemes: The farmers receive 142 €/ha for payments for accomplishing the conditions for a high natural value of meadow/pasture and for working meadows/pasture without machines.
  2. Education/information and consultancy services

The mix of Agri-environmental schemes with Education/information and consultancy services could improve the farms’ performance while insuring a better provision of the named public goods.

Using the multiple objective linear programming model (with two criteria) for the Dorna Region Case Studies, we develop some analyses for different situations, that allow the maximization of Gross Margin (described in the function by W0 weight) and Public goods provision (described in the function by W1 weight) . The objective is to find the best practices and machinery uses that are both efficient and result in improvements of the public goods (or avoidance of public bads), depending upon the farm situation related to market prices (both for agricultural products and input factors), potential activities, soil and weather characteristics. In particular, the model uses a flexible approach to choose the activities, levels of inputs (work and machinery), type of environmental practices.

The change does not occur for the same orientation for the provision of public goods:

For small farms, the propensity to apply traditional practices on their own pastures existed from the beginning. This means that, even in the absence of agro environmental payments, 0.5 ha of pastures are natural. When the orientation toward public good provision is 0.25, the entire surface of pastures is managed in a natural manner. After surpassing the value of W1=0.50, meadows are managed naturally, while for some pastures the intensive practices are resumed. This is explained by the high willingness for work within small farms and by the traditional approach in managing its holding.

For medium sized farms, the impact of the orientation towards public goods provision is gradual. Firstly, meadows are transformed into natural meadows (at W1=0.25), followed by pastures and even coupled with the creation of new forests in the case of a public goods orientation exceeding W1=0.50. Medium sized farms tend to have an excessive amount of labor force and, as a result, a lot of the work in the Drona Valley is performed manually, without mechanical instruments.

In the case of both small and medium sized farms, the impact of the market and of the economic context can result in a higher or lower efficiency of the governance strategies.

Even though the land in the Dorna region is managed in a traditional manner that is close to natural, the rural population is responsive to governance mechanisms (in this case the use of agro environmental payments), as they represent important financial resources for the farmers.

Small and medium sized farms in the mountainous region of the Dorna Valley (Vatra Dornei area) are mainly focused towards the specific needs of the farm. This results in a sustainable usage of the land in the region and an innate preservation of their quality and the production of public goods (in this case natural landscape and rural vitality). An increase in the degree of support offered for such practices leads to a higher retention of young people in rural areas, where they can be productive and lead a good quality life. The interviews conducted for the supply side valuation of PGs have shown a strong preference by farmers to pass on the farms to young people (their children) and to share with them the value of the traditional practices in the region.

Large farms have a very different behavior: in the absence of any kind of agro environmental payments, the entire area of pastures, as well as part of the meadows, is worked naturally. As the intensity of the of the orientation towards the provision of public goods increases above W1=0.50, the entire area of meadows is exploited naturally, while some pastures revert to intensive practices. This can be explained by the need to feed a rising number of livestock during the warm seasons from the same holding (the principles of 1 large cattle unit per ha are breached).