Organic Agriculture: An Agrarian or Industrial Revolution Report as inadecuate

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The notion of industrialized agriculture has been a dominant theme in the applied economics literature. More recently, the debate has entered the realm of organic agriculture, with some suggesting that the organic sector has strayed from its agrarian roots. The terms “industrial” and “agrarian” are widely used, yet few have given precise definitions of what the terms mean. This paper puts forth testable hypotheses for agrarian and industrial agriculture. Then, using census data from the 2008 Organic Production Survey, we examine the evidence to assess whether the organic farm sector fits an agrarian or industrial model. Overall the evidence is mixed, yet suggests that the organic sector is less agrarian than expected.

Keywords: industrial agriculture ; organic agriculture ; agrarianism ; Organic Production Survey

Subject(s): Agribusiness

Agricultural and Food Policy

Crop Production/Industries

Issue Date: 2010-10

Publication Type: Journal Article

PURL Identifier: Published in: Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Volume 39, Number 3 Page range: 384-395

Total Pages: 12

Record appears in: Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association (NAREA) > Agricultural and Resource Economics Review

Author: Dimitri, Carolyn


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