The Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics is an economic and social-science research institute of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management (BMLFUW). It regards itself as a link between science, policy-making and public administration.
The Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics supports the BMLFUW in political decision-making through well-founded scientific research on the subjects of agri-environmental policy, food industry, agricultural enterprises und rural areas. Above and beyond this it participates in third-party-funded national and international research programmes and cooperates with agricultural educational and advisory institutions. The results of the research activities are, for example, disseminated in the context of the most diverse lecturing activities, series of publications, agricultural policy working aids and publications in the specialist literature.
The specific activities and competences of the Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics include the following areas of work:
- Data management: The Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics processes and maintains a pool of the most wide-ranging data (individual enterprise, market-based, production technology, structure-specific and socio-economic data) at various different levels (regional, national, EU and international levels). Work on this includes in particular the structuring, preparation, interpretation and specialist follow-up support of the data, the technical maintenance of the databases, and statistical data analysis.
- Contributions to the Green Report, in particular accounting results: An essential component of the Green Report is the calculation and presentation of income results from agriculture and forestry returning holdings in Austria. The relevant work by the Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics on this covers the drawing up of sampling plans for the holdings, the farm classification, data evaluation and processing of results and the drawing up of the basis for the Farm Accounting Data Network of the European Union (FADN; German: INLB).
- Drawing up of market reports and production prognoses for the livestock and meat sector: The Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics prepares structured information on various agricultural markets and draws up prognoses on gross indigenous production.
- Policy advice, policy impact assessment, policy evaluation: The Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics uses the widest range of methods (e.g. statistical analysis, application of models) to develop scientific decision-making criteria for the agricultural, regional and environmental policy areas. These include, for example, analysis of reforms of the EU Common Agricultural Policy and involvement in the evaluation of the Austrian Rural Development Programme.
- Agri-economic research, research cooperation and expert activities: The Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics develops national and international research projects with the most diverse questions in the disciplines of agri-environmental economics, rural sociology and regional research.
- Drawing up of the foundations for training and consultancy: The Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics develops data for farm planning and consultancy (e.g. calculations for the Internet contribution margin) and among other things evaluates accounting data, data from the International Farm Comparison Network (IFCN) and data from the working group enterprises (cash-crops, piglet production and pig fattening).
- Library, agricultural documentation: The Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics is well networked with domestic and foreign libraries and has an extensive stock of interdisciplinary literature.