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Long-Term Farming Trends. An Inquiry Using Agricultural Censuses

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Author Info

  • Gustavo Anríquez

    (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)

  • Genny Bonomi

    (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)

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    Abstract

    This paper provides a long-term and global view at current farming trends by analyzing a specially created database of farming characteristics of 17 countries across 43 different agricultural censuses representing the different developing regions of the world. The study shows that while agricultural land appears to be a constraint in central and East Asia, it has been under expansion in Latin America, Northern Africa, and most of Sub Saharan Africa. We also estimate that 9 out of 10 farms are small (i.e. smaller than 2 ha). These farms are more specialized in staple crops than their larger counterparts, and exhibit slower productivity growth.

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    File URL: ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/010/ah856e/ah856e.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA) in its series Working Papers with number 07-20.

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    Length: 31 pages
    Date of creation: 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:fao:wpaper:0720

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    Postal: Agricultural Sector in Economic Development Service FAO Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 00153 Rome Italy
    Phone: +39(6) 57051
    Fax: +39 06 57055522
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    Web page: http://www.fao.org/es/esa/
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    Related research

    Keywords: Small Farms; land distribution; agricultural census; productivity.;

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    References

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    1. Benjamin, Dwayne, 1995. "Can unobserved land quality explain the inverse productivity relationship?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 51-84, February.
    2. Feder, Gershon, 1985. "The relation between farm size and farm productivity : The role of family labor, supervision and credit constraints," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2-3), pages 297-313, August.
    3. Helfand, Steven M. & Levine, Edward S., 2004. "Farm size and the determinants of productive efficiency in the Brazilian Center-West," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 31(2-3), pages 241-249, December.
    4. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1998. "New ways of looking at old issues: inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 259-287.
    5. Gustavo Anríquez & Ramón López, 2007. "Agricultural growth and poverty in an archetypical middle income country: Chile 1987-2003," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 36(2), pages 191-202, 03.
    6. Andrew Dorward, 1999. "Farm size and productivity in Malawian smallholder agriculture," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(5), pages 141-161.
    7. Lamb, Russell L., 2003. "Inverse productivity: land quality, labor markets, and measurement error," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 71-95, June.
    8. Barrett, Christopher B., 1996. "On price risk and the inverse farm size-productivity relationship," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 193-215, December.
    9. Ayal Kimhi, 2006. "Plot size and maize productivity in Zambia: is there an inverse relationship?," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 35(1), pages 1-9, 07.
    10. Hans P. Binswanger & Klaus Deininger, 1997. "Explaining Agricultural and Agrarian Policies in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(4), pages 1958-2005, December.
    11. Dietrich Vollrath, 2007. "Land Distribution and International Agricultural Productivity," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(1), pages 202-216.
    12. Bhalla, Surjit S & Roy, Prannoy L, 1988. "Mis-specification in Farm Productivity Analysis: The Role of Land Quality," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(1), pages 55-73, March.
    13. Townsend, R. F. & Kirsten, J. & Vink, N., 1998. "Farm size, productivity and returns to scale in agriculture revisited: a case study of wine producers in South Africa," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 19(1-2), pages 175-180, September.
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