2 Definition Agricultural Economics Is the discipline that adapts the principles of economics to:Farming activitiesFarm Input manufacturing and distribution.Food processing.Wholesaling and retailing.Integration of these activities gives rise to a set of products and services that are passed on until they reach the consumer.
3 DefinitionIt helps people to decide what kind of food and how much of each should be produced in order to supply the needs of a country.It also aids decisions about which crops are most profitable for the farmer to grow.
4 DefinitionResources available restrict the ability of the producer to supply demand, especially the availability of land, labour and capital.The farmer has to decide on the best use of each resource to bring the highest return.Agricultural production economics is primarily concerned with economic theory as it relates to the producer of agricultural commodities.
5 Definition Agricultural Management Is the application of management principles to agricultural production.Combines the inputs of labour, capital, services and natural resources to yield farm products.Organises the production, distribution, consumption and investment of the farm products and resources.
6 Agricultural Economics Concerns Major concerns include:Farming goals and objectivesChoice of output to be producedAllocation of resources among outputsAssumption of risk and uncertainty
7 Farming Goals and Objectives Assumption is that:The objective of any farm manager is that of maximizing profitsReality:Individual farmers have unique goals.One farmer might be more interested in obtaining ownership of the largest farm in the area.Another might have as his/her goal that of owning the best set of farm machinery.Still another might be interested in minimizing his/her debt load.
8 Farming Goals and Objectives The goals and objectives of a farm manager are closely intertwined with a person’s psychological makeup, and the goals selected by a particular person may have very little to do with profit maximization.
9 Choice of output to be produced Farm manager faces an array of options with regard to what to produce given available land, labour, machinery and equipment.Choices to be made include:What to produceHow much to produceHow to allocate available resource to competing usesOther constraintsGovernment may restrict number of acres of a commodity a farmer may grow.Farmers knowledge of certain commodities may be limitedLimited labour and machinery and other inputs
10 Resource AllocationFarmer needs to decide how available resources are to be allocated among outputs.Questions to answer includewhich field is to be used for the production of each cropWhat amount of farm labor, machinery and time must be allocated to each crop and livestock activity, consistent with the farmer’s overall objective.
11 Risk and uncertainty Assumption Economic production models assume that the farm manager knows with certainty theApplicable production functionPrices of inputs to be purchased and outputs to be sold.This assumption is almost never met.Weather is a key challenge but nature presents other challenges such asCattle developing diseases and dyingInsects and diseases destroying crops.
12 Risk and uncertainty Assumption Farmers may know the prices of they must pay for fuel, fertilizer and seed at the time they purchase these inputs.However they are almost never aware at the beginning of the production season the prices that will prevail when outputs are sold.
13 Agricultural Economic Principles Help producers produce the goods that the consumer wants to buy, in quantities that fit the demand and at the time the goods are required.Help producers allocate restricted resources among competing usesHelp producers decide on the best use of each resource to bring the highest return.
14 Agricultural Economic Principles Help producers answer the basic questions in organizing the production such as:Which inputs to useWhat quantity of different inputs to useWhich technology to use e.g. in controlling downy mildew what combination of resources and technology will minimize crop losses for the least possible cost? You could:Choose a resistant variety or cultivarsControl environment to minimize incidence and spread e.g. Use of greenhousesUtilize a fungicide spray program
15 Agricultural Economic Principles Since resources are limited in every economy, when more of them are used to produce certain goods and services, fewer resources are left to produce other goods and services.Help producers choose the technique (technology) that results in the least cost possible (in terms of resources used) to produce each unit of a good or service that the society wants.
16 Agricultural Economic Principles Help producers organize the production process through the price mechanism.The price of an input normally represents its relative scarcity.If the price of an input increases in relation to the price of other inputs used in the production process of a commodity, producers will switch to a technique that uses less of the more expensive input in order to minimize their cost of production.
17 Agricultural Economic Principles Dictate that the best technique to use in the production process is the one that results in the least cost of production.If fuel prices increase, then minimum tillage could be usedIf greenhouse labor prices increase, then the farmer could decide to use automated watering technologyThe opposite occurs when the relative price of an input decreases
18 Agricultural Economic Principles The problem of distributing resources, commodities and proceeds from the production process is also answered the price mechanism.Resources are distributed to producers who have the money to pay for them while commodities are distributed to consumers who have the money to pay for them.Proceeds are paid to producers for commodities efficiently provided while proceeds are paid to consumers for resources provided.
19 Agricultural Economic Principles In distribution there is government intervention in order to provide for “equitable” distribution of resources commodities and proceeds.The government taxes wealthy individuals and business enterprises and redistributes to the poor in form of subsidies or in order to provide certain public goods such as public education, national defense, law and order, agricultural extension as well as agricultural commodity programs.
20 Importance Of Agriculture Provision of food for the ever-increasing population.Provision of jobs in the agricultural industry as for farmers, crop processors, traders, middlemen and transporters.Government revenue through taxes.Agricultural products are a major source of domestic and international trade.Foreign Exchange earnings through export.Used to pay for essential import goods
21 Importance Of Agriculture Provision of market for other industriesServes as a large consumer market for industrial products such as plastic shoes and boots, buckets, fertilisers, pesticides, agricultural tools and machinery, building and construction materials, bicycles, trucks, lorries, tractors, boats and many others.
22 Importance Of Agriculture Provision of raw materials for the Industries.The ratio of agricultural raw materials to non-agricultural raw materials used in industries is 4:1.Education and Training:Many agricultural education institutions are established to educate and train people in the science of agriculture. This provides people with a career