ABSTRACT

The process of adjustment for agriculture in the developed world is far more than a question of taking resources out of production or switching from products in surplus to other lines. The role of agriculture is changing. The privileged position of farmers as providers of that security has become more tenuous. The proportion of income spent on food declines; and within that proportion the share for which the farmer is responsible declines still further. The buyer of take-away food or ready-prepared supermarket meals feels little empathy with the primary producer. The likely demand for food from developed agriculture could probably be accommodated, if that were necessary, on two-thirds of the areas currently in use, and the need will probably decline rather than increase. But there are other demands for land which are pressing. Simply housing people is the most obvious one.