22.214.171.124 Institutional Support for Agriculture
The incentive created by a demand backed by purchasing power
results in the modernization of agriculture on the basis of
the existing technological innovations. In this manner, a
slow but steady increase in agricultural production has taken
place over the centuries. If- as today all over the world-
rapid development is the goal, it is not enough to leave this
process to itself. Instead, it is necessary to intervene in
this process by forming and promoting it. In order to do so,
a number of service and support institutions are necessary.
The new technologies that are needed in order to modernize
agriculture will only evolve and be developed to the extent
needed if the agricultural research facilities
are adequately developed. Traditionally, research has mainly
been concerned with the problems of large farms and crops
for export. The tasks and goals will have to be changed. In
addition to central research facilities, an infrastructure
of experiment stations that study the applicability of the
innovations under local conditions is also necessary . The
system character of agricultural production takes it necessary
for agricultural research to not only study single smaller
problems, but also to deal with the combination of individual
results into applicable procedures that can be employed for
The more intensively new technologies are presented to the
farmers, the sooner they are accepted in practical agriculture.
Agricultural extension services are the indispensabletoolreal
for this purpose. Their organization and methods have to be
adapted to the type of farm. Their content should not remain
limited to the agricultural production aspects, but should
also include economic and management questions- as the farmer
keeps the entire farm in mind. The more formal education the
farmers already have, the easier the extension service personnel's
job will be. School education accelerates the learning process,
especially if it is relevant to development.
New technologies cost money. Industrially fabricated inputs
that have to be bought play a role frequently. This creates
a financial problem. The speed at which they are accepted
and applied depends on how much credit is available to solve
the financial problems and how easy it is to receive credit
as well as whether the conditions of the loan meet the farmers'
needs, especially regarding the important short term credit
loans. Credit, though, can only accelerate the process if
the goods that have to be financed are available an the market.
Thus we come to the market for inputs and
agricultural products. The existence of marketing and supply
facilities; a system that allows mediation between producer
and consumer; and an unproblematical, trustworthy market not
only animates the farmers to take advantage of the potential
in modern agriculture. Efficient distribution cbannels have
an indirect effect on the prices and, thus, on the incentive
to develop beyond the stage of traditional agriculture.
In view of the large number of fairly small producers and
buyers in agriculture, group activities are
frequently necessary. At the least they present a good opportunity
to offer services less expensively. Internationally, therefore,
the various types of cooperatives have a good reputation.
The more help in organization, management, financing, and
technical aid granted to activities without the help being
dictated from above or having a paralyzing effect on initiative,
the sooner the joint activities will be accepted.
The form the support institutions take is in each case specific
to a particular culture and dependent upon the historical
development. The extent to which this support is given has
an important influence on farming. The promotional institutions
make up, therefore, an essential element in the agrarian structure.