Labor and the Adoption and Impact of Farm Technology

  • Dennis Tully


West Asia and North Africa are ancient agricultural regions, and the site of domestications of many major food crop and animal species. Sedentary agriculture has historically been the mainstay of life for the vast majority of the region. Although agriculture has become a secondary sector by some measures, contributing less than 25% of GDP even in countries with substantial land resources (Table 1), these figures probably underestimate its importance. Approximately half of the population lives in rural areas, and sin most countries one third to one half of the workforce is primarily engaged in agriculture. But the value placed on family labor in GDP calculations is usually low or zero, and family farms also produce a significant part of their own food requirements, an undervalued contribution to the economy. In addition, a substantial proportion of the industrial sector is related to agriculture, either in manufacturing inputs or processing outputs. Fertilizer plants, tractor factories, textile mills, and food processors all depend upon crop and livestock production. Similarly, a large part of the service sector is involved in bulking, breaking, and transporting agricultural inputs and outputs.


Middle East Weed Control Small Farm Farm Family Large Farm 
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Copyright information

© ICARDA 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dennis Tully
    • 1
  1. 1.The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)AleppoSyria

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