Policy Analysis

Policy Analysis teamWe are a team of agricultural economists specialising in measuring the impacts of policies and technological advances on the farming population.

We use a range of approaches such as econometrics, operational research techniques, bio-economic models, GIS spatial and decision analysis to provide both ex-post and ex-ante evaluation of specific policies or technologies. 

We have considerable expertise on Common Agricultural Policy analysis. 

Our work is mostly quantitative in nature. We have a suite of farm level and catchment level models which provide indications of the response and resilience of agricultural enterprises and regions to Common Agricultural Policy and wider sectoral impacts.

These have involved coupling biophysical with economic models to provide an assessment of both environmental drivers, such as climatic change and the influence of price shocks on a fragile industry. A brief description of a farm level model, ScotFarm, we developed at SRUC is found here. A further tranche to this is aligning agent-based models to understand behavioural response to policy or technology reform.

Furthermore, we are experts in the analysis of agricultural data sets, these include Farm Account Data and Agricultural Census data which drives our statistical investigations and also provide up to date information for our farm level models. This allows us to generate indicators for, amongst other, farm level viabilities, technical and economic efficiency, as well as spatial impacts when allied with GIS data. 

Our research includes clients as diverse as the Scottish Government, Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Food Standard Agency (FSA), Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), the EU and the Government of Malawi board of agriculture, where we assist with mapping dairy farming and optimising management and production of the smallholder dairy farms.

Our research can also help to evaluate policies intended to influence food-supply chains. For example, new techniques or policies designed to enhance productivity and/or improve animal health and welfare in livestock or crop production will have wide ranging consequences for producers at production level as well as for other players in the food-supply chain when brought to market.

Other commodity markets will be affected, trade patterns may alter and these shifts will have implications for the environment and rural development. We assess these impacts and hence advise on development or further scientific research priorities.

Seminar News

Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) and Teagasc are jointly organising this seminar which will be held on

22nd and 23rd October 2015

at Scotland's Rural College, Edinburgh

The 150th EAAE seminar will discuss scientific results within the analysis of spatial issues that relate to agricultural and resource economics, rural development, regional economics and the development and use of methodological tools that help to understand the interaction between agriculture and location from an economic perspective.

More information

Recent Projects

Dr Bouda Vosough Ahmadi

Research Economist

Address: Land Economy, Environment & Society, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), Peter Wilson Building, Kings Buildings, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG.

Telephone: 0131 535 4216

E-mail: bouda.v.ahmadi@sruc.ac.uk

Dr Andrew Barnes

Team Leader - Behavioural Change & Innovation

Address: Land Economy, Environment & Society, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), Peter Wilson Building, Kings Buildings, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG.

Telephone: 0131 535 4042

E-mail: andrew.barnes@sruc.ac.uk

Dr Shailesh Shrestha

Economist

Address: Land Economy, Environment & Society, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), Peter Wilson Building, Kings Buildings, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG.

Telephone: 0131 535 4099

Fax: 01315354345

E-mail: shailesh.shrestha@sruc.ac.uk

Steven Thomson

Agricultural Economist

Address: Land Economy, Environment & Society, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), Peter Wilson Building, Kings Buildings, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG.

Telephone: 0131 535 4192

Fax: 01315354345

E-mail: steven.thomson@sruc.ac.uk