Agri-Environmental Schemes (AES) are the main policy instrument currently available in the European Union to encourage environmental improvements in agriculture, but their adoption in Greece and generally in Southern Europe is relatively low. Policy makers have still limited experience on how farmers approach environmental schemes. The aim of this paper is to examine the factors that determine farmers’ participation in AES using a probit model. The results highlight that younger and well-educated farmers are more likely to enrol in AES; while on the other hand, pluriactive farmers and farmers having identified a successor are less likely to participate. The propensity of farmers’ participation decreases also with the size of the farm. Finally, social capital influences significantly farmers’ attitudes and therefore it is necessity to explore further the information and communication tools of AES in order to increase adoption rates.
Keywords: agri-environmental schemes, farmers’ participation, probit model, farmer and farm characteristics, farm pluriactivity, social capital, Greece