Adjustment Processes and Issues in Agriculture: An Overview

  • J. P. O’Hagan


Agriculture is changing rapidly. Traditional attitudes and techniques are confronted by new social requirements and technological possibilities. A worker on the land in developed countries is likely to use more capital and to have a higher rate of growth of productivity than his counterpart in industry, and in developing countries the farmer is becoming aware of innovations withheld from him only by lack of finance. The area of land under cultivation has been expanded more rapidly in the last decade than was thought possible, and average crop yields have risen more in the postwar period than over virtually the whole of recorded agricultural history; they are, however, usually far below biological limits. The extent and swiftness of recent change in the agriculture of developed countries is without precedent, as is also the potential and the need for agricultural change in developing countries. However, despite the dynamism of modern production technology in farming and the world’s need for more food, agriculture is a declining industry in the sense that its share of total output is falling in all countries, reflecting the fact that the income elasticity of demand for farm products is lower than for most other goods and services.


Structural Adjustment Agricultural Export International Economic Order National Output National Agriculture 
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  1. 4.
    The trend as quoted in D. Gale Johnson, Farm Commodity Programs, Evaluative Studies No. 7, Washington, D.C., May 1973, p. 15.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© FAO 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. P. O’Hagan
    • 1
  1. 1.Global Perspective Studies UnitFAORomeItaly

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