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Regulatory framework for protecting the soil


The state can swiftly counteract the risks to agricultural land from overgrazing, overfertilisation, erosion or declining humus levels by operating targeted support programmes. These provide farmers with financial support in the form of subsidies, for example for laying windbreak hedges, adapting livestock numbers to soil fertility, reducing or increasing the use of fertilisers, non-erosive cultivation on slopes, preserving grassland, and introducing water-conserving arable farming techniques. The soil protection measures performed by the farmers are usually coupled with modernisation, e.g. in irrigation and drainage systems, regional erosion protection and the overall field and landscape structure.

Participation by farmers in the support programmes is voluntary. The conservation effect on the soil is monitored.


  • Clear and coherent political strategy and targets for policy-makers and public authorities
  • Close cooperation and knowledge sharing with local advisory services
  • Close cooperation and knowledge sharing with research institutions
  • Clear responsibilities in public authorities
  • Country-wide monitoring of natural resources and their quality (e. g. water, soil, forests, air, grassland)
  • Good knowledge of good agricultural practices
  • Monitoring and control system for the agricultural production processes supported
  • Participation of all stakeholders involved, e. g. science / research, agricultural advisory services, civil society, public and private sector (incl. farmers and their interest groups)
  • Sanction mechanisms
  • Regular neutral inspections on farms and in agri-food enterprises
  • A properly functioning country-wide administration and monitoring system with access to the relevant information and sufficient technical and human capacities for its design, implementation and monitoring

Possible Negative Effects

  • Environmental laws might be too strict and extend beyond the economic and the farmers' technical opportunities, thus hindering the development of agriculture and the economy as a whole
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This page was last edited on 7 May 2023 | 7:22 (CEST)
Implementation Level
  • On Site
  • Competent Authority
  • National Government
Required Budget
low ($)
Impact Horizon
  • medium
  • long
Administrative Complexity
Ministries Involved
  • Agriculture, Fisheries & Forests
  • Environment & Natural Resources
  • Justice
Trade Impact
not distorting
Download Instrument
  • Instruments
  • Policy Objectives