Assessing socio-economic impacts of agriculture

Weidema B P (2019)

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Chapter 8 in Weidema B P (ed.): Assessing the environmental impact of agriculture. Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing, Cambridge, UK


Economic assessments remain the dominating form of socio-economic assessment in agriculture; yet practical implementation often suffers from severe limitations. However, much of the early criticism has slowly been adopted and integrated in the form of significant improvements in the consistency and completeness of the economic assessment techniques. What remains is a better integration with the qualitative understandings developed in the social impact assessment community. This chapter is dedicated to impacts that are related to social and economic pressures, such as underpayment of labour, illegitimate resource acquisition and control, and inadequate work conditions. The author describes the development and state of the art of cost–benefit assessment and social impact assessment in agriculture (Sections 2–6) and their integration into models and tools with an economy-wide supply chain perspective (Section 7). Socio-economic impacts of agricultural development are covered in Sections 8–11. The final section considers the role of certification and fair-trade schemes.

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