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Waste of Land Labour in Andalusian Agriculture

Author

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  • Roux, Bernard

Abstract

Land m Andalusia was traditionally divided between latifundia and minifundia and has remained so to this day. The traditional agricultural economy was based on a symbiosis between the two: smallholders unable to subsist from their plots were able to survive by working as day labourers on the large estates, which m turn were able to make a profit despite extensive cuJt1vat10n because they were able to draw on that abundant supply of low wage labour. In the 1960s, farm machinery became available, and wages rose with general economic growth; the large estates mechanized. They did not, however, do much otheIWise to d1vers1fy and develop the agricultural economy, their criterion being to max1m1ze short-term profits. Meanwhile, as the demand for Jabour on the large estates dropped, smallholders and landless farm workers were temporanly able to fmd work by migrating to the industrial centres. With the onset of the recession of the 1970s, however, that source of employment outside the farm sector dned up, and the large estates reduced their demand for labour even further to offset increased costs of other inputs. Andalusian agriculture today is thus compnsed of large tracts of land farmed extensively (where they have not been taken out of production altogether), tiny holdings unable to develop, and huge numbers of farm labourers unable to fmd work.

Suggested Citation

  • Roux, Bernard, 1987. "Waste of Land Labour in Andalusian Agriculture," 1987 Occasional Paper Series No. 4 197422, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaaeo4:197422
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/197422/files/agecon-occpapers-1987-046_1_.pdf
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    Keywords

    Agribusiness; Land Economics/Use;

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