Unconventional adjustment strategies for rural households in the less developed areas in Greece
International competition in agricultural production is intensifying following the implementation of the 1993 accord of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. The production of conventional farm products in surplus is being discouraged by means of indirect economic disincentives. The Common Agricultural Policy has already adjusted to unprotected national markets within the European Union and greater market orientation is being achieved mainly through price reductions. Farmers in the less developed areas in Greece, where agricultural activity is still the main source of income and employment, have been responding to policy reforms by seeking part-time employment and income in non-farm enterprises. The adoption of alternative, unconventional farm enterprises that use farm resources in an innovative and quantitatively different way does have the potential for bringing in a new source of income to farm business. For the purpose of this research three adjustment strategies were recognised. The 'conventional' (no change) pathway is based on traditional, region-specific products, production methods and services. The adoption of the 'new crop' pathway refers to the redeployment of resources into new agricultural products, whereas farms on the market integration pathway redeploy resources into new marketing services and agricultural product processing on the farm. The new crop and the market integration pathways are identified as unconventional adjustment strategies. Results derived from multinomial logit analysis highlight the major constraints and opportunities associated with the adoption of new crops and market integration practices. Farmers who have adopted unconventional practices are influenced by factors external to the farm, such as contacts with institutions, and have a high probability of having higher debts. These farmers are likely to depend heavily on seasonal labour and rented land. The fact that market integration activities are associated with smaller
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