European economic geography

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European Economic Geography
Paper within Economic Geography
Author: Vinicius Falcão
Tutor: Lars Pettersson
Jönköping March 2009

Table of Contents
1 A brief summary of the article 1
2 A critical reflection of strong and weak elements 1
2.1 Strong elements 1
2.2 Weakelements...................................................................................................2
3 A constructive suggestion of how the problems that are addressed could be analyzed/worked with in the future...........3

1 A brief summary of the article

The article, “The Role of Farm Households and the Agro-food Sector in the Economy of Rural Areas: Evidence and Policy Implications” begins with the following phrase: “This study aims to examine the role of farmhouseholds and the agro-food sector in the rural economy”. With this sentence, the article tries to show the importance of agriculture in the current rural economy and also proposes that a number of factors are related and can influence these two sectors.

It presents a summary at the beginning and is then divided into two parts. Part I presents the agriculture in the rural economy in a lot ofaspects as international and national rural classifications, including population, territory, employment and Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Part II presents the farm households in the rural economy showing diversification activities, the income situation, factors explaining diversification, and the effect of policies on farm household diversification.

As different countries take part in the OECD, allthe statistics in the article are divided as Predominantly Rural (PR), Intermediate (IN) and Predominantly Urban (PU) areas, showing the differences according to the percentage of population living in rural communities.

It is an important study, first of all, because agriculture is still an important sector of the economy in a lot of countries that are in the OECD. Consequently, knowledge ofthis importance would be useful to create policies to help the economy in a regional scope. Secondly, some people believe that some regions cannot lose their support of government as an example the boarder protection. A lot of other sectors are connected with the agriculture sector and this connection is very important for these sectors to stay “alive” in the market. Lastly, Farm households dependon a lot of sources, like investments, to keep doing their work in the rural economy. Therefore, the governments need to know the importance of the agriculture in the economy to be able to plan, in the most efficient way, how to help these sectors.

2 A critical reflection of strong and weak elements
* 2.1 Strong elements
The article achieved the purpose of showing that agricultureis an important sector of the current economy. A very significant proportion of the rural population and the economy of some regions as a whole are dependent on agriculture. In this way, it showed the difference between on-farm and off-farm activities that contribute for the improvement and continuation of agriculture.

It tries to give a solution for the problem of decreasing employment inrural areas giving emphasis to the process of diversification in farm households. There are main factors effecting change and adaptation of diversification forms: human capital characteristics, the nature of the farm and farm business, and the external environment. Thus, a range of policy measures has been introduced to assist farm household diversification into non-agricultural activities.

With awell-structured research of population, territory, employment and gross domestic production (GDP), the article showed rural differences between 13 countries. And, certainly agriculture is important in most of them. It is proved for some facts mentioned in the article as “farms usually account for a larger share of the economy in predominantly rural areas than in other regions, but significant...
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