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Characteristics of the agricultural sector of the 21st Century


  • Troskie, Dirk P.
  • Mathijs, Erik
  • Vink, Nick


The objective of this paper is to identify some of the salient characteristics of agriculture in the new millennium. The driving force behind economic change is technology and information, and information and knowledge will replace land, labour and capital as the sources of wealth in agriculture. The resultant cognitive-technical complex in farm production will lead to the true industrialisation of farming and thus placing the traditional family farmer at a distinct disadvantage. Technology developments combined with inverse population growth and ageing population, will not only negate Malthusian visions, but also lead to downward pressure on farm commodity prices, and thus increase the adoption rates of new technology. However, in reaction to the increasingly complex nature of modern society a demand is developing for terroir-based products. This range of products may not only significantly change some characteristics of agriculture, but also provide a new set of opportunities for farmers. Agricultural policy and development strategies should also be reconsidered in the light of this new environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Troskie, Dirk P. & Mathijs, Erik & Vink, Nick, 2000. "Characteristics of the agricultural sector of the 21st Century," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 39(4), pages 1-11, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:agreko:54219

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Harl, Neil E., 2000. "The Age Of Contract Agriculture: Consequences Of Concentration In Input Supply," Journal of Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics Association of Georgia, vol. 18(1), pages 1-13, March.
    2. Susan Offutt & Katherine R. Smith & Nicole Ballenger, 1998. "Have Farmers Lost Their Uniqueness? Comment," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 20(1), pages 203-205.
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    Agricultural and Food Policy;


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