Semi-subsistence farm households and the non-farm rural economy - Perspectives and challenges
Semi-subsistence farm households (SFHs) have persevered in Central and Southeastern Europe. An outlook on future perspectives of SFHs asks for reliable information on the phenomenon of SFHs and the impact of policy measures on their development options: (1) intensifying farming, (2) diversifying income creating activities, or (3) exiting farming for waged employment. This article focuses on SFHs and rural non-farm employment (RNFE). On the basis of a comparative 2007-survey of 489 SFHs in Bulgaria, Poland and Romania, three countries with particularly many SFHs, four major types of SFHs (rural pensioners, farmers, rural diversifiers, rural newcomers) were identified. For policy analysis, a multiobjective linear programming household model was developed. In the model, labour can be devoted to (1) farming, (2) self-employment and (3) waged employment. The policy scenarios reflect different development options for SFHs: (1) farm development, (2) start selfemployment, (3) farm development and start self-employment, and (4) stop agriculture. Policy can foster the structural change but the modeling results show that fine targeting to the various types of semi-subsistence farms and country specificities is a strong precondition for success.
|Date of creation:||20 Aug 2009|
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