Luxembourgish farmers lack information about grain legume cultivation

Zimmer, Stéphanie; Liebe, Ulf; Didier, Jean-Paul; Hess, Jürgen (2016). Luxembourgish farmers lack information about grain legume cultivation. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 36(2), pp. 1-10. Springer 10.1007/s13593-015-0339-5

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Grain legume production in Europe has decreased in recent years, while legume demand has rapidly increased due to growth of meat production. Therefore, Europe imports grain legumes, principally soybeans, to meet feed protein requirements. Various investigations have identified problems and benefits of local grain legume cultivation. Nevertheless, grain legume cultivation has still not increased in the last years. Studies investigating why farmers do not cultivate grain legumes are missing. Here, we surveyed the knowledge of farmers about grain legume cultivation, problems and constraints of grain legume cultivation and the barriers faced by and incentives needed by farmers. We sent a questionnaire to 1373 farmers in Luxembourg, with a response rate of 29 %. Results show that only 17 % of all the responding farmers cultivated grain legumes; 88 % of the conventional farmers did not cultivate grain legumes, while 85 % of the organic farmers did. We observed that Luxembourgish farmers feel badly informed about grain legume cultivation; organic farmers generally feel better informed than their conventional colleagues. The main barrier, named by Luxemburgish farmers to not cultivate grain legumes, is not economic issues but a lack of knowledge and extension services for these crops. Main incentives needed to start grain legume cultivation in the future are economic issues. Even though grain legume producers mentioned several negative experiences with grain legume cultivation, they are not discouraged by the poor economic conditions and appreciate the benefits of grain legume cultivation. Overall, our findings show that research results on grain legume should be better disseminated to extension services and farmers.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Sociology

UniBE Contributor:

Liebe, Ulf


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology








Ulf Liebe

Date Deposited:

07 Apr 2016 08:42

Last Modified:

07 Apr 2016 08:42

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Farmer survey, Grain legumes, Farmers’ experiences, Protein deficit, Luxembourg




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