Inderscience Publishers

Using focus groups for evaluation of the CAP Accompanying Measures

The paper presents a study of how farmers perceive the Danish programme implementing the EU Directive 2078/92 (part of the CAP Accompanying Measures) concerning improvements in connection with agricultural practices and environment. Focus groups were used as a qualitative method for eliciting farmers' own experiences and views on the measures of this programme. The results indicate that a greater emphasis is needed on methods and content of information. A stronger focus on payment and priorities in relation to environmental effects, and the communication of the environmental significance of these measures, should give better results from the programme. The results from this small-scale study are compared to results from a large-scale questionnaire study of the same programme, to exemplify the usefulness of focus group studies in the decision making process. The purpose of the paper is thus two-fold: to present the results from the focus group study, and to evaluate the more qualitative approach of focus group techniques in connection with the studies of agri-environmental regulations.

Keywords: EU directive 2078/92, agri-environmental measures, focus groups, farmers', decision making, qualitative interview methods

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