Special Issue "Structural Changes on Family Farms in Developed, Developing and Transition Economies"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Agricultural Economics, Policies and Rural Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 May 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Ayal Kimhi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Economics and Management, Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel
Interests: family economics; labor economics; agricultural economics; development economics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Agricultural sectors are continuously changing in all countries due to technological innovations, institutional reforms, market forces and economic policies and are expected to change even further due to climate change. Among the notable structural changes are the decline in farm numbers and the increase in the size of farms, as well as changes in the product mix and specialization. These changes are important to understand as they have clear implications for food security, both locally and globally, and the resilience of rural economies. Despite the changes that seem to favor larger operations, family farms still dominate, at least in number. Structural changes in family farms are unique because they are also affected by family decisions, such as income diversification and intergenerational succession. This Special Issue of Agriculture aims to collect case study analyses of the causes and consequences of structural changes on family farms in developed, developing and transition economies. International comparisons are also welcome. Papers focusing on specific institutional arrangements and policy reforms are particularly encouraged. Key topics in this Special Issue include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Interlinkages between different aspects of structural change;
  • Do observed structural changes result primarily from adaptations on continuing farms or from selective entry and exit?
  • Role of policy reforms in the structural change process;
  • Food security implications of structural changes;
  • Family farm structural change and the resilience of rural areas;
  • Farm structural changes and sustainability;
  • Gender roles and farm structural change.

Prof. Ayal Kimhi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • family farms
  • structural changes
  • institutional arrangements
  • policy reforms

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
The Survival of Family Farms: Socioemotional Wealth (SEW) and Factors Affecting Intention to Continue the Business
Agriculture 2021, 11(6), 520; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11060520 - 03 Jun 2021
Viewed by 390
Abstract
This article addresses the problem of succession in family farms in a context of generational change. Family businesses are characterized by their long-term orientation and by having a positive effect through environmental goals that remain in place generation after generation. The general increase [...] Read more.
This article addresses the problem of succession in family farms in a context of generational change. Family businesses are characterized by their long-term orientation and by having a positive effect through environmental goals that remain in place generation after generation. The general increase in average age among farmers is seen as a barrier to more sustainable land use, and the survival of family farming therefore depends on the availability of a successor in the family. Socioemotional wealth (hereafter, SEW) is understood as the affective endowment of family members. This study adopts the SEW dimensions conceptually validated to analyse the effects of psychological and socioeconomic factors on potential successors’ intentions. The results of a survey administered to students attending agricultural schools in Catalonia show that intentions to assume the management and ownership of the family farm increase in line with individuals’ interest in creating their own business, their ability to take over the farm, and their emotional inclination to continue the family legacy. In addition, SEW was measured in relation to the potential successor and not the incumbent, as has typically been the case in previous work, bringing this important research subject as a principal actor. Finally, an empirical validation of a short FIBER scale, i.e., REI scale, was obtained that relates individuals’ intentions to succeed the family farm to the socioemotional wealth of business families, testing suitability of the REI scale as a measure of intention to succeed. Full article
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Article
Structural Changes in Israeli Family Farms: Long-Run Trends in the Farm Size Distribution and the Role of Part-Time Farming
Agriculture 2021, 11(6), 518; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11060518 - 03 Jun 2021
Viewed by 325
Abstract
Israeli agriculture has experienced rapid structural changes in recent decades, including the massive exit of farmers, a resulting increase in average farm size, a higher farm specialization and a higher reliance on non-farm income sources. The higher farm heterogeneity makes it necessary to [...] Read more.
Israeli agriculture has experienced rapid structural changes in recent decades, including the massive exit of farmers, a resulting increase in average farm size, a higher farm specialization and a higher reliance on non-farm income sources. The higher farm heterogeneity makes it necessary to examine changes in the entire farm size distribution rather than the common practice of analyzing changes in the average farm size alone. This article proposes a nonparametric analysis in which the change in the distribution of farm sizes between two periods is decomposed into several components, and the contributions of subgroups of farms to this change are analyzed. Using data on Israeli family farms, we analyze the changes in the farm size distribution in two separate time periods that are characterized by very different economic environments, focusing on the different contributions of full-time farms and part-time farms to the overall distributional changes. We found that between 1971 and 1981, a period characterized by stability and prosperity, the farm size distribution has shifted to the right with relatively minor changes in higher moments of the distribution. On the other hand, between 1981 and 1995, a largely unfavorable period to Israeli farmers, the change in the distribution was much more complex. While the overall change in the size distribution of farms was smaller in magnitude than in the earlier period, higher moments of the distribution were not less important than the increase in the mean and led to higher dispersion of farm sizes. Between 1971 and 1981, the contributions of full- and part-time farms to the change in the size distribution were quite similar. Between 1981 and 1995, however, full-time farms contributed mostly to the growth in the average farm size, while the average farm size among part-time farms actually decreased, and their contribution to the higher dispersion of farm sizes was quantitatively larger. This highlights the need to analyze the changes in the entire farm size distribution rather than focusing on the mean alone, and to allow for differences between types of farms. Full article
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Article
The Essence of Agritourism and Its Profitability during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
Agriculture 2021, 11(5), 458; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11050458 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 416
Abstract
The article aims to present the essence of agritourism in the literature regarding the subject of its profitability during the COVID-19 pandemic. To verify the goal, data from our own research was applied. The research was conducted in 2019 and 2020 with the [...] Read more.
The article aims to present the essence of agritourism in the literature regarding the subject of its profitability during the COVID-19 pandemic. To verify the goal, data from our own research was applied. The research was conducted in 2019 and 2020 with the exploratory survey method and an interview questionnaire. Thirty-two service providers running agritourism activities in randomly selected rural communes of the Podlaskie province (communes of Mielnik, Suchowola, Giby, Płaska, and Hajnówka) participated in the study. The Ward cluster analysis method was used to group the counties of the Podlaskie Province in terms of spatial differentiation in the development of agritourism. For this purpose, data provided by the Central Statistical Authority in Poland reported for 2019 and the primary data (research by M. Roman) was applied. In the first part of the article, the authors describe and explain the basic concepts of rural tourism and agritourism based on the literature. The figures were also quoted, for example, the number of agritourism farms in Poland and other European countries. The last part of the study provides the results of our own research. The study demonstrates that in 2020 agritourism was profitable, as the owners of the farms recorded a profit. The research confirms the massive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on agritourism. During a pandemic, many people choose places with few people (e.g., rural areas). The research also considered the importance of innovation on agritourism farms and business profitability. The issues discussed in the study relate to current events—scientific studies examining the impact of COVID-19 on agritourism concern other countries; however, the authors were not able to find studies focusing on agritourism farms in Poland. A new element of methodology in this article was to organize the concepts of agritourism and to present the impact of coronavirus pandemic on the profitability of agritourism. It was also essential to present the classification of rural tourism. According to the authors of the study, the problems covered here are new and point to new trends in the development of agritourism during the pandemic. Full article
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Article
What Drives Farm Structural Change? An Analysis of Economic, Demographic and Succession Factors
Agriculture 2021, 11(5), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11050438 - 12 May 2021
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Abstract
The evolution of farm size and land use are important determinants of the efficiency and profitability of agriculture and the configuration of the territory. In this paper, a conceptual framework of the evolution of the number of farms and land use is presented, [...] Read more.
The evolution of farm size and land use are important determinants of the efficiency and profitability of agriculture and the configuration of the territory. In this paper, a conceptual framework of the evolution of the number of farms and land use is presented, arguing that a major determinant of the change in the number of farms is the presence or absence of successors to ageing farmers and that these socio-demographic variables shape the evolution of the sector in terms of farm size, while they do not significantly affect the changes in the farmed area. This hypothesis was empirically tested with data drawn from individual farm records of the Italian Agricultural Censuses of 2000 and 2010—aggregated at the municipality level for an Italian region—by estimating regressions on the decrease rates of the number of farms, the utilised agricultural area and the total agricultural area. The results support the conclusion that the change in the number of farms was largely determined by the absence of successors in family farms and by the average operators’ age, unlike the change in the farmed area, for which natural land conditions were the main drivers. Full article
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