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Agricultural products: marketable by promoting investments?

Diary food production plant
© fotolia/ MidoSemsem
Diary food production plant

Analysis of the support scheme for processing and marketing of agricultural products in the context of monitoring and ongoing evaluation of six rural development programmes during the years 2007 to 2013

The competitiveness and added value of the entire agricultural sector is determinded by the processing and marketing of agricultural products. Therefore, processing and marketing is supported intensively for decades with public funds. Within the project, we are pursuring the (sectoral) effects on competitiveness, added value and employment wich can be attributed to the support scheme.

Background and Objective

We evaluate, in cooperation with the Thünen-Institut for Rural Development, the federal state-related programmes for the development of rural areas (EPLR) of: Nordrhein-Westfalen, Hessen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Schleswig-Holstein, Niedersachsen/Bremen and Hamburg during the years 2007 to 2013.  Individual measures of these programmes are aimed at increasing competitiveness of regional agricultural sectors. Hence, these programmes support processing and marketing companies of agricultural products. This is intended to increase the added value of the entire agriculture and food industry, to improve the sektoral competitiveness and to support product and process innovation as well as regional value chains. This research aims to find out what effects does the promotion of processing and marketing have in terms of the promotional objectives and whether the measure is efficient, or whether the objectives can be better achieved by other measures (7-state-evaluation).


The analysis is based on before and after comparisions of funded companies on the basis of individual questionaires, especially developed for the evaluation, and supplementary interviews with experts and directors of supported companies. Furthermore the analysis of the food industry for selected production areas on the basis of secondary data is used as an important reference to assess both companies developments and funding effects.

Data and Methods

We use individual questionaires (key business figures and structural informations)for the before and after comparisions of funded companies. In addition, we survey directors of supported companies as well as experts and we assess disposable secondary statistics.

Our Research Questions

To what extend does the support of processing and marketing of agricultural products contribute to

  • introduction of new products and productions processes?
  • increasing of employment and added value in the agricultural sector?
  • increasing productivity and improvement of resource efficiency?
  • improvement of competitiveness of the agricultural sector?


(preliminary)  A high rate of funded companies would have proceed their projects without support, i.e. a high rate of dead-wight-effects can be assumed. Nevertheless a great part of funded companies feel that promotion benefits their investment objectives. Growth effects are often compensated by rationalisation effects. Hence, evidence of positive effects  on employment is limited.

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Involved external Thünen-Partners

  • entera
    (Hannover, Deutschland)


1.2008 - 3.2017

More Information

Project status: finished

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