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.