1. What Is Agriculture?

Agriculture is the cultivation of the soil to produce food and raw material useful for human beings. It is the sector of the economy using land for primary production.

This production takes place in technical organizational units we call farms or agricultural holdings. These farms exist in a great variety of forms, but the most widespread in non socialistic countries is the family farm. It is the target of most agricultural policy measures and, so to speak, the prototype of agriculture. Characteristic of such a family farm is that the family members apply all their labour, on the farm(sometimes with the help of some additional, hired labour) and that the family members live off the produce of the farm. Most of the family farms are `small farms', whatever that means under local circumstances.

This farm is the center of common interest of all family members, the basis of their existence and their life security. The farm family's expectations are homogenous and farm centered. Farms of different sizes are the main reason for differences in the standard of living at the local level. The farmer aims at securing a net income to assure survival - not always and only in monetary terms and increasing it as a way of improving the family's living.