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LIFT project (2018-2022) - Low-Input Farming and Territories - Integrating knowledge for improving ecosystem-based farming



The 4-year Horizon 2020 project LIFT (770747, 2018-2022) - Low-Input Farming and Territories - Integrating knowledge for improving ecosystem-based farming, funded by the EU, links researcher focusing on extensive agricultural production system with stakeholders to develop and assess innovative ways to improve their sustainability.

Ecological approaches to farming practices are gaining interest across Europe. As this interest grows there is a pressing need to assess the potential contributions these practices may make, the contexts in which they function and their attractiveness to farmers as potential adopters. In particular, ecological agriculture must be assessed against the aim of promoting the improved performance and sustainability of farms, rural environment, rural societies and economies, together.

The overall goal of LIFT is to identify the potentiel benefits of the adoption of ecological farming in the European Union (EU) and to understand how socio-economic and policy factors impact the adoption, performance and sustainability of ecological farming at various scales, from the level of the single farm to that of a territory. To meet this goal, LIFT will assess the determinants of adoption of ecological approaches, and evaluate the performance and overall sustainability of these approaches in comparison to more conventional agriculture across a range of farm systems and geographic scales. LIFT will also develop new private arrangements and policy instruments that could improve the adoption and subsequent performance and sustainability of the rural nexus. For this, LIFT will suggest an innovative framework for multi-scale sustainability assessment aimed at identifying critical paths toward the adoption of ecological approaches to enhance public goods and ecosystem services delivery. This will be achieved through the integration of transdisciplinary scientific knowledge and stakeholder expertise to co-develop innovative decision-support tools.

The project will inform and support EU priorities relating to agriculture and the environment in order to promote the performance and sustainability of the combined rural system. At least 30 case studies will be performed in order to reflect the enormous variety in the socio-economic and bio-physical conditions for agriculture across the EU.

More information on the LIFT project can be found at its home page.

The contribution of the Economic of Modeling of Agricultural System group in Bonn consists of detailed, quantiative bio-eonomic analysis of extensive production systems across the EU based on the further developmend and application of the FARMDYN model and support to partners in applying the model to study regions in their own country.


  • Laure Latruffe, co-ordinator, INRA, France
  • 16 other partners from United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Sweden, Italy, Austria, Romania, Hungary, Poland and Greece


Our group contributes to the following work packages:

  • WP1: Typology of farms (2 person months)
  • WP2: Adoption and incentives for transition to ecological approaches (0.5 person months)
  • WP3: Farm performance of ecological agriculture (31.5 person months)
  • WP5: Integrative analysis: trade-offs and synergies (2 person months)
  • WP6: The role of policies in the development of ecological agriculture (3 person months)
  • WP7: Communication, dissemination and stakeholders involvement (1 person months)

Staff working at ILR on the project


Publications related to the project

Niedermayr, A., Kantelhardt, J. Eckart, L., Kohrs, M., Schaller, L., Walder, P., Ayouba, K., Bakucs, Z., Barath, L., Barnes, A., Britz, W., Dakpo, K.H., D’Alberto, R., Desjeux, Y., Féménia, F., Fertő, I., Gouta, P., Hansson, H., Heinrichs, J., Huang, W., Jeanneaux, P., Jin, Y., Jouan, J., Kilcline, K., Konstantidelli, V., Krupin, V., Kuhn, T., Lascano Galarza, M.X., Latruffe, L., Letort, E., Manevska-Tasevska, G., O’Donoghue, C., Pahmeyer, C., Raggi, M., Ridier, A., Ryan, M., Sintori, A., Thompson, B., Toma, L., Tzouramani, I., Viaggi, D., Zavalloni, M., Zawalińska K. (2021): Farm technical-economic performance depending on the degree of ecological approaches. Deliverable D3.1 Link.

Heinrichs, J., Jouan, J., Pahmeyer, C., Britz, W. (2021): Integrated assessment of legume production challenged by European policy interaction: A case-study approach from French and German dairy farms. Qopen Volume 1(1) Link.

Heinrichs, J., Kuhn, T., Pahmeyer, C., Britz, W. (2021): Economic effects of plot sizes and farm-plot distances in organic and conventional farming systems: A farm-level analysis for Germany. Agricultural systems Volume 187 Link.

Jouan, J., Heinrichs, J., Britz, W., Pahmeyer, C. (2019): Legume production challenged by European policy coherence: a case-study approach from French and German dairy farms, selected paper presented at the 172nd EAAE seminar: „Agricultural policy for the environment or envrionmental policy for agriculture“, Brussels (Belgium), 28-29th May 2019, Link.

Kuhn, T., Enders, A., Gaiser, T., Schäfer, D., Srivastava, A., Britz, W. (2019): Coupling crop and bio-economic farm modelling to evaluate the revised fertilization regulations in Germany, Agricultural Systems, Link.

Kuhn, T., Schäfer, D., Holm-Müller, K., Britz, W. (2019): On-farm compliance costs with the EU-Nitrates Directive: A modelling approach for specialized livestock production in northwest Germany, Agricultural Systems 173: 233-243, Link.

Kuhn, T., Schaefer, D. (2018): A farm typology for North Rhine-Westphalia to assess agri-environmental policies. Discussion Paper 2018:1.
Download: Discussion Paper

Britz W., Lengers, B,.Kuhn, T. and Schäfer, D. (2014): A highly detailed template model for dynamic optimization of farms - FARMDYN, University of Bonn, Institute for Food and Resource Economics, Version September 2016, 147 pages.

Last updated: Wednesday, July 28, 2021