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Structural and technical development in agriculture: An international overview

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Abstract

This study investigates the socio-historical relationships existing between the development of the agricultural structure and the process of technical development. Adopting a political economy posture, it is argued that the development of technical procedures in agriculture has been aimed historically at the maximization of production and productivity. This phenomenon has been generated by the social hegemony of groups interested in the enhancement of accumulation of capital and has been translated into an emphasis on large productive units, which discriminates against small and medium farms. This pattern of development has been legitimized through a social consensus which involves an emphasis on small family producers. This contradiction is embodied in the generation of a dualistic agricultural structure characterized by the prosperity of large farms, the persistence of small farms and the crisis of medium farms and in patterns of overproduction and unavailability of food for the poor segments of society.

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Alessandro Bonanno is assistant professor of Rural Sociology at the University of Missouri-Columbia. His primary areas of interest include Sociology of Agriculture, Regional/International Development and the Role of the State. He is also the author ofSmall Farms: Persistence with Legitimation. Boulder, CO.: Westview Press, 1987.

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Bonanno, A. Structural and technical development in agriculture: An international overview. Agric Hum Values 5, 92–100 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02217180

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