New PDF release: Agricultural Economics and Rural Land-use

By M. J. Stabler (auth.)

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38 (ii) the methods of marketing, what might be called 'market constructions', such as the co-operatives, marketing boards, contract schemes and the more traditional outlets such as auctioning and direct selling to the public. These interests largely reflect wider concern over the relative performance of agriculture and, moreover, show that marketing and agricultural policy are inextricably mixed. Findings on the structure and functioning of agricultural markets influence policy decisions and at the same time the operation of markets is often determined by the measures instituted by the central government - the instance of marketing boards has already been cited.

Although it is not entirely true to allege that studies of the fanner as an entrepreneur have been generated solely as a result of the changes occurring in agriculture, research into his motivation and role in decision-making is related to the slow rate at which farmers are leaving agriculture. Examination of the entrepreneurial function in agriculture has developed from Simon's [49] general view on decision-making and later, McGuire's [45] on business behaviour. As implied above, these studies have moved in two directions.

In a sense this related applied work much more closely to the underlying economic theory. However, it accentuated the problems where the methodology and data we~e inadequate for the task [58]. In Europe, particularly in the United Kingdom, study of margins and the marketing process has figured more prominently in applied work in establishing the good and bad features of the existing markets and suggesting how performance might be improved [69]. rocessing and distribution. The study of margins reveals that the percentage of the final price of commodities accruing to the farmer has steadily declined.

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