body bg


Family Farms Are Still Around: Time to Invert the Old Agrarian Question

  • Year: 2008
  • Author: Brookfield, Harold
  • Journal Name: Geography Compass
  • Journal Number: Vol.2, No.1
  • Country: Australia

Family farming is far from dead, in either the developed or developing countries. Family farms need to be qualitatively defined, with both family management and substantial labour input being central elements. The 'agrarian question' has been largely about their disappearance and replacement by capitalist farms, or subsumption by agribusiness, but they have competed successfully with capitalist farms for a long period. In modern times, the economies of scale are largely captured by farms within the normal family-operated range. Pluriactivity is not only a means by which otherwise uneconomic farms survive; it is also a means of enlarging income and opportunity as farms can be managed with less labour. The adaptability and efficiency that family farmers have demonstrated continue. It is time that the old agrarian question was inverted to ask how and why family farming survives, and why it will continue to do so.

Related Items

Fly-in/Fly-out: Implications for Community Sustainability

“Fly-in/fly-out” is a form of work organization that has become the standard model for new mining,...

Diversity and change in Australian families: Statistical profiles

The book provides snapshot and trend information on families over the last 30 or so years. It has...

Rural Communities and Disaster Recovery

This paper examines the issues involved with enabling people living in rural and remote Australia...

Share this with your friends

Footer Logo

Contact Us

Level 2, 53 Blackall Street
Barton ACT 2600
Telephone: 02 6260 3733
or email us