Institutional Support for Agriculture

The incentive created by a demand backed by purchasing power results in the modernization of agriculture on the basis of the existing technological innovations. In this manner, a slow but steady increase in agricultural production has taken place over the centuries. If- as today all over the world- rapid development is the goal, it is not enough to leave this process to itself. Instead, it is necessary to intervene in this process by forming and promoting it. In order to do so, a number of service and support institutions are necessary.

The new technologies that are needed in order to modernize agriculture will only evolve and be developed to the extent needed if the agricultural research facilities are adequately developed. Traditionally, research has mainly been concerned with the problems of large farms and crops for export. The tasks and goals will have to be changed. In addition to central research facilities, an infrastructure of experiment stations that study the applicability of the innovations under local conditions is also necessary . The system character of agricultural production takes it necessary for agricultural research to not only study single smaller problems, but also to deal with the combination of individual results into applicable procedures that can be employed for practical purposes.

The more intensively new technologies are presented to the farmers, the sooner they are accepted in practical agriculture. Agricultural extension services are the indispensabletoolreal for this purpose. Their organization and methods have to be adapted to the type of farm. Their content should not remain limited to the agricultural production aspects, but should also include economic and management questions- as the farmer keeps the entire farm in mind. The more formal education the farmers already have, the easier the extension service personnel's job will be. School education accelerates the learning process, especially if it is relevant to development.

New technologies cost money. Industrially fabricated inputs that have to be bought play a role frequently. This creates a financial problem. The speed at which they are accepted and applied depends on how much credit is available to solve the financial problems and how easy it is to receive credit as well as whether the conditions of the loan meet the farmers' needs, especially regarding the important short term credit loans. Credit, though, can only accelerate the process if the goods that have to be financed are available an the market.

Thus we come to the market for inputs and agricultural products. The existence of marketing and supply facilities; a system that allows mediation between producer and consumer; and an unproblematical, trustworthy market not only animates the farmers to take advantage of the potential in modern agriculture. Efficient distribution cbannels have an indirect effect on the prices and, thus, on the incentive to develop beyond the stage of traditional agriculture.

In view of the large number of fairly small producers and buyers in agriculture, group activities are frequently necessary. At the least they present a good opportunity to offer services less expensively. Internationally, therefore, the various types of cooperatives have a good reputation. The more help in organization, management, financing, and technical aid granted to activities without the help being dictated from above or having a paralyzing effect on initiative, the sooner the joint activities will be accepted.

The form the support institutions take is in each case specific to a particular culture and dependent upon the historical development. The extent to which this support is given has an important influence on farming. The promotional institutions make up, therefore, an essential element in the agrarian structure.