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Andalusian Institute of Agricultural Research and Training

The Andalusian Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IFAPA) is a Public Research Institute, belonging to the Government of Andalusia. It has 1091 staff (438 scientists - 112 PhD - and 653 technical personnel) belonging to 19 research centers in Andalusia. It is organized in 7 scientific areas: Agricultural Production, Biotechnology, Postharvest Technologies and Food Industries, Organic Production and Natural Resources, Aquaculture and Fisheries, Agricultural Economics and Sociology and Crops Protection. It aims for high quality research and training to satisfy the present and future scientific and technological demand coming from the agriculture, fishery, and the agro-food sector.

The main research areas of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Sociology are European Policy Analysis, Environmental Economics and Consumer Analysis of agricultural products. A number of their researchers have a high level of expertise in the evaluation of public goods, in particular the assessment of agricultural landscape. The methodologies used include both quantitative (mathematical programming, econometrics and choice experiments) and qualitative methods (discussion groups and Delphi).

Description of the principal personnel involved with their relevant experience

Dr Manuel Arriaza is researcher and head of the Agricultural Economics Department at the Institute. He obtained his PhD on Policy Analysis (2000) at the University of Reading (U.K.). He worked in Reading as lecturer assistant on Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Quantitative Methods and Statistics and in Córdoba (Spain) as part-time lecturer on Accountancy, Investment Appraisal and Market Research. His research activities have focused on policy analysis via multicriterio techniques, environmental economics (through stated preference methods) and evaluation of agricultural landscapes.

Dr José A. Goméz-Limón holds degrees in Agricultural Engineer (1993) and Agricultural Economics, Ph.D. (1996), both from the University of Cordoba (Spain). From 1997 to 2009 he worked at the University of Valladolid (Spain) as Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics. His research activities have focused on agricultural policy analysis using quantitative methods as mathematical programming, Multi-criteria Decision Making theory and econometrics.

Dr Sergio Colombo is a senior researcher in Environmental Economic at the Department of Agricultural Economics and Sociology. His main research areas are environmental economics and policy, the econometrics of externalities control, and the economics of rural development. Colombo's research is focused on the use of stated preference methods for environmental valuation; on evaluating the efficiency of different policy instruments to achieve environmental targets; on the accuracy and reliability of the methods for environmental benefits transfer; on modeling ecological-economic inter-linkages in the uplands.