F.R.A.N.Z. - Future Resources, Agriculture & Nature Conservation


Flower strips provide food, refuges and nesting sites for many animal species. (c) Thünen-Institut/Thomas Schmidt
Flower strips provide food, refuges and nesting sites for many animal species. (© Thünen-Institut/Thomas Schmidt)

The joint project F.R.A.N.Z. develops and tests practically and economically sustainable measures for more biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. The accompanying research addresses ecological and socio-economic questions.

Background and Objective

Biological diversity is an important basis for an intact ecosystem and thus also for agriculture. With the increasing worldwide demand for agricultural products, arable farming has become more intensive. This is a reason for the reduction of species diversity in agricultural landscapes. The definition of protection areas and various agri-environmental measures could not stop this trend to date. The joint project F.R.A.N.Z. commences at this point in developing concepts, combining high impact natural protection measures and efficient farming techniques.

For this purpose, environmental workers and farmers are together testing environmentally protective measures which are simultaneously practically and economically viable on ten typical demonstration farms. The successfully implemented measures will be communicated outside of the network of demonstration farms and be distributed widely. In order to convince as many farmers as possible about the measures, suitable rules and promotional framework conditions must be created. Here too, F.R.A.N.Z. plays a role and sets impulses for agricultural and environmental policy.

The joint F.R.A.N.Z.  project is being carried out under the auspices of the Michael Otto Foundation for Environmental Protection together with the German Farmers Association. The Thünen Institutes of Rural Studies and also of Farm Economics are committed to exploring the social economic aspects, the Thünen Institute of Biodiversity, the University of Göttingen and the Michael Otto Institute in NABU address the ecological questions.

The project is supported with a wide range of funding. The German Ministries of Agriculture and of the Environment are the project patrons.

Target Group

Ministries for Agriculture and for the Environment, farmers, advisors, environmental officials, agricultural administration, the EU Commission


In the partial project “Socio Economic Accompanying Research, “ the Thünen Institute of Rural Studies and the Thünen Institute of Farm Economics together have the goal of identifying efficient biodiversity measures and developing suitable advisory and promotional concepts.

Concretely, the core questions to be answered are:

  • What reasons are decisive for or against the use of biodiversity measures from a farm economic perspective?
  • What is the economic, farm structure and ecological status quo on the demonstration farms? What are the regional and promotional framework conditions?
  • Which socio economic impact do the biodiversity measures have on the demonstration farms and in how far are the results transferable to other farms in the region?

The ten demonstration farms throughout Germany are arable farms as well as grassland farms. The distributions within Germany and the various farm focuses mirror the regional particularities and the various challenges at the crossroads of agriculture and natural protection. In order to be able to transfer the measures to other farms throughout Germany, typical farms are drawn in for each type of region.

Each farm implements multiple measures, which increase living space for typical wild animal and plant types of the agricultural landscape, but which are easy to integrate into the farm processes. Here the ecological effects on selected animals and plant species, such as field rabbits, partridges, wild bees and arable weed societies (partial project “Organic accompanying research”) as well as the socio economic impact on the participating farms.


Data and Methods

The farm economic statistics of the demonstration farms serve as a data basis for all economic studies. These were collected with the help of guided interviews. Deeper impact analyses and scenario calculations are done with the single farm simulation model COMPAS and supplemented with information from the Thünen Atlas.

For investigations of all other factors and framework conditions, data is collected in discussion practitioners and through the analysis of existing literature and documents. Here, both farm and advisory and administrative actors are surveyed in the framework of guided interviews, group discussions and workshops.


Preliminary Results

In the first year we expect the following results:

  • Study/survey results on hindrances in the implementation of biodiversity measures in agricultural practice (June 2017)
  • Conclusion of the survey of the economic status quo on the demonstration farms (November 2017).

Links and Downloads




Involved Thünen-Partners

Involved external Thünen-Partners

Funding Body

  • Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank
    (national, privat)


11.2016 - 12.2022

More Information

Projekt type:
Project funding number: 817 759
Funding program: Innovationsförderung
Project status: ongoing

List of Publications

Results 1 - 5 of 6

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  1. Stupak N, Sanders J (2021) Auswirkungen biodiversitätsfördernder Maßnahmen auf andere Umweltgüter : F.R.A.N.Z.-Bericht. Braunschweig: Thünen-Institut für Betriebswirtschaft, 24 p
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 322 kb
  2. Budde-von Beust M (2020) Darstellung der regionalen und strukturellen Rahmenbedingungen der F.R.A.N.Z.-Betriebe. Braunschweig: Thünen-Institut für Ländliche Räume, 50 p
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 1492 kb
  3. Joormann I, Schmidt TG (2020) Landwirtebefragung und Expertendiskussionen zur Akzeptanz von Biodiversitätsmaßnahmen. Schr Gesellsch Wirtsch Sozialwiss Landbaues 55:407-409
  4. Budde-von Beust M, Joormann I, Schmidt TG (2019) Ordnungs- und förderrechtliche Rahmenbedingungen für die Umsetzung von Agrarumweltmaßnahmen in den Bundesländern. Braunschweig: Thünen-Institut für Ländliche Räume, 114 p
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 2372 kb
  5. Schmidt TG, Joormann I (2018) Mehr Biodiversität in der Landwirtschaft - Bericht aus dem Verbundprojekt F.R.A.N.Z.. Landinfo(3):21-23

Results 1 - 5 of 6

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