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Agricultural, Food and Environmental Policy

About us

Our team at the Professorship of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Policy seeks to understand how agricultural, food and environmental policies influence human and natural resource use and thus contribute to achieving societal goals. Technical and social change in agriculture gives rise to conflicts with consumer expectations of ecologically sound, locally, or “fair” produced and traded food. For example, more intensive cropping or livestock husbandry potentially enhance the productivity of scarce environmental resources such as arable soils or water. They thus contribute to global food security and income generation in rural areas. However, such intensification and commercialisation stoke resentment on the side of consumers and advocacy groups concerned about pollution, animal welfare, or the future of family farming. Our research engages theories, collects evidence and conducts analysis in order to design policies that mitigate such trade-offs.


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Harnessing insights from the economic and social sciences, we carry out empirically grounded research on the determinants, impacts and evaluation of political action in the area of agriculture, food, and the natural environment. We investigate policymaking with a local, national, European and international dimension. Our research uses both quantitative and qualitative methods that enable linkages to multidisciplinary approaches.

We focus on two main research areas:

  1. The regulation of modern agricultural value chains with regard to environmental and social concerns, and
  2. The sustainable agricultural development and natural resource use in emerging and transition economies.

In several projects, the group cooperates with Justus Liebig University’s Center for International Development and Environmental Research (ZEU) as well as the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO) in Halle (Saale), where Prof. Petrick holds a visiting research fellowship.


Prof. Martin Petrick directs the interdisciplinary MSc study programme “Transition Management”, fully taught in English language at Justus Liebig University.

Our team hosts the International PhD Program in Agricultural Economics, Bioeconomy and Sustainable Food Systems (IPPAE) of Justus Liebig University, directed by Prof. Petrick and coordinated by Dr. Nadia Keudel.

Our team also hosts the Structured PhD Programme Sustainable Agricultural Development in Central Asia (SUSADICA), coordinated by Dr. Nozilakhon Mukhamedova.

We contribute to academic teaching in the framework of our affiliations with Faculty 09 - Agricultural Sciences, Nutritional Sciences, and Environmental Management and the Center for International Development and Environmental Research (ZEU).

Modules taught by our staff members at Justus Liebig University: