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The Family Farm in a Flat World: Implications for Farm Household Data Collection. Mary Ahearn, Krijn Poppe, Cristina Salvioni, Koen Boone, and Aide Roest Presentation at FAO, Wye-Rome Meeting, 11-12 June 2009. Towards improvement in the Handbook. Development of an integrated framework

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The Family Farm in a Flat World: Implications for Farm Household Data Collection

Mary Ahearn, Krijn Poppe, Cristina Salvioni, Koen Boone, and Aide Roest

Presentation at FAO, Wye-Rome Meeting,

11-12 June 2009


Towards improvement in the Handbook

  • Development of an integrated framework

  • Explicit recognition of changing structure and cross-country differences

  • Data implications of emerging issues


Integration

  • Firms and households are basic economic units and basic focus of economic analysis

  • A flat world means these units are able to adjust rapidly

  • Current frameworks are frameworks for ways to develop indicators, not frameworks for

    • how economic units behave and

    • the implication of those behaviors for things societies care about: in our case rural development and agriculture


Go back a step

  • Once an integrated framework which links agricultural and rural development to each other and the rest of the world…

  • Then the indicator frameworks can follow

  • The integrated framework, if appropriately general, will provide the basis of future indicator development


Turning to agriculture

  • Is it unique?

  • Why is it unique?

  • Differences in structure across countries are large and therefore require indicators that are disaggregated

    • This was recognized in the Handbook

    • But, was it recognized that the disaggregation should be based on a consistent structure? Why is that not possible?


Some Recommendations

  • Indicators of well-being should be accompanied by indicators of structure

  • The Handbook should debate and recommend an inclusive definition of all farms

  • Focus on household indicators for family farms, but include indicators for nonfamily farms. What is a nonfamily farm?

  • Develop a data collection system that allows for a continually changing farm and household structure


US examples of the need to change approaches to respond to real world changes

  • Household income

  • Contracting

  • Corporate farming


Compare this storyline on “Per capita disposable personal income of farm and nonfarm residents, 1934-83” …

Source: USDA, ERS. Economic Indicators of the Farm Sector: Income and Balance Sheet Statistics, 1983. ECIFS3-3, Sept. 1984.


Compare this storyline on “Per capita disposable personal income of farm and nonfarm residents, 1934-83” …

Source: USDA, ERS. Economic Indicators of the Farm Sector: Income and Balance Sheet Statistics, 1983. ECIFS3-3, Sept. 1984.


…to this storyline: “Average farm operator household income by source compared to all U.S. household income, 1988-2009f”

d


Consideration of the Structure of farms: EU and US

  • Two dimensions of structure: size and off-farm work

  • Farm definition

  • Size definition

  • Compare the size distribution in 2007

    • Dynamics are missing

  • Compare changes, 1997-2007

  • Compare off-farm work, 1987-1997-2007


Background to interpreting the comparative size distributions

US

EU

NL

IT

Source: For EU, FFS. For US, ARMS.


Figure 1. Size distribution of holdings, U.S. and EU-15, 1997-2007

(Size classes defined by hectares)

Percent of holdings

56

54

34

26

24

24

22

22

21

18

17

16

13

12

11

10

6

5

5

3

EU

U.S.

Sources: For U.S., ARMS. For EU, FFS.


Figure 2. Size distribution of holdings, U.S. and EU-15,

excluding small holdings, 1997-2007

(Size classes defined by hectares)

Percent of holdings

55

48

38

30

28

27

26

25

23

20

19

18

14

12

10

7

E.U.

U.S.

Source: For U.S., ARMS. For EU, FFS.


Figure 3. Size distribution of holdings, Netherlands and Italy,

1997-2007

(Size classes defined by hectares)

Percent of holdings

76

73

43

34

32

28

27

18

14

12

12

12

6

4

3

2

1

1

1

1

Italy

Netherlands

Source: FFS.


Figure 4. Size distribution of holdings, Netherlands and Italy,

excluding small holdings, 1997-2007

(Size classes defined by hectares)

Percent of holdings

76

60

50

46

45

40

20

17

17

9

6

5

4

3

3

1

Italy

Netherlands

Source: FFS.


Figure 5. Size distribution of holdings, U.S. and EU-15, 1997-2007

(Size classes defined by ESU)

Percent of holdings

34

31

28

27

24

19

17

17

16

15

13

13

12

12

11

11

9

9

9

10

8

8

8

7

7

7

7

6

5

3

EU

U.S.

Sources: For U.S., ARMS. For EU, FFS.


Figure 6. Size distribution of holdings, U.S. and EU-15,

excluding small holdings, 1997-2007

(Size classes defined by ESU)

Percent of holdings

30

28

26

24

24

24

23

23

23

22

20

19

18

17

16

15

15

15

9

6

E.U.

U.S.

Source: For U.S., ARMS. For EU, FFS.


Figure 7. Size distribution of holdings, Netherlands and Italy,

1997-2007

(Size classes defined by hectares)

Percent of holdings

46

35

34

30

30

25

21

19

17

17

17

14

12

12

11

10

10

9

9

7

5

3

2

1

1

1

Italy

Netherlands

Source: FFS. Note: No farms had <2 hectares in NL.


Figure 8. Size distribution of holdings, Netherlands and Italy,

excluding small holdings, 1997-2007

(Size classes defined by hectares)

Percent of holdings

42

39

36

31

31

27

26

25

21

20

17

17

12

12

10

10

9

7

5

3

Italy

Netherlands

Source: FFS.


Figure 9. Share of farms engaged in pluriactivity, US and EU-15, 2007

Percent

71

55

48

48

47

43

42

38

32

31

28

28

25

25

23

19

16

Sources: For U.S., Census of Ag. For EU, FFS.


Figure 10. Structural characteristics by farm size, U.S., 2007

Farms with =>100 ESU’s are 10% of farms, 45% of hectares, and 81% of production.

Percent of farms

92

79

70

54

48

48

26

23

16

6

Source: 2007 ARMS.


Figure 11. Multifunctionality activities by farm size, U.S., 2007

Farms with =>100 ESU’s are 10% of farms, 45% of hectares, and 81% of production.

Percent of farms

24

15

6

4

3

2

2

2

2

2

1

1

1

<1

Source: 2007 ARMS.


Emerging issues

  • Accountability—new policy environment

  • Most critical issues extend beyond ag and rural areas—underscores the need for an integrated framework

  • Farm household issues: Measuring size (SO), Dynamics, Data collection from very large operations, Nontraditional business and production practices, Multifunctionality activities. MF varies by farm size.


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