1.2.3 Family Farming

In the case of family farming, the property and usage rights are in the hands of the individual families. The management and labour are carried out by the family that owns the farm and, thus, are independent of larger social groups. This type is found in Europe, in the European settlements as well as in many other parts of the world.

Land is the integrating factor in this rural social system. It is simuntaneously the basis of existence, production factor, wealth, and home. In accordance with time honoured custom, the land is not sold, but rather used and then passed on to the next generation. The economic goal is to satisfy the economic and social needs of all of the people living on the farm. Being a long term goal that lasts for generations, farming must he carried out in such a way so that the fertility of the soil and the environment are net harmed.

There is a correlation between farm size and labour capacity. The ideal situation is when the faun is only large enough for the family re be able to carry out all of the work itself while meeting all of its needs. If the farm size is adequate and can satisfy these requirements, family fanning is a stable system whose social stratification is limited and, therefore, is especially suited for cooperative work. In this case, the ecanemic performance is remarkable. A decrease fn the farm size as a result of being distributed among the heirs or loss through debts can endanger the system and sometimes leads to a transition to a feudal agrarian system. By educating and providing heirs who leave the farm with a start, the system renders considerable benefits for other economic sectors.

In Europe as well as in some developing countries, the farms have shifted
their orientation towards the market, capitalization, and the employ
ment of modern farming methods under the guidance of extension service.
This was accompanied by an increase in the size of the farms as an effect
of the higher capitalization. Depending on the concomitant circumstances,
this was connected with some of the farmers changing their occupation and
taking up jobs outside agriculture or merely losses of property and a
drop in social status. Since the latter is frequently the result of mis-
management and the inability to adapt to changing conditions, the attempt
is sometimes made to take the key farm management decisions away from the previous farm manager through a system of 'production under supervision" and achieve better results by means of central control. This can either be brought about by vertical integration or coercion and is especially widespread in the case of settlement projects.

As soon as an increased number of non-agricultural job opportunities are available in a region, various types of sideline activities and part-time farms crop up. In other words, one or several members of the family take up a non agricultural occupation.

Modern commercial farms are a derivative of the traditional family farm with a more commercial character. In the case of market orientated, capital intensive family farms in Europe and the developing countries, however, the difference between commercial farms and family farming of a more peasant nature is becoming increasingly smaller.