University of Reading, England
The present shape of agriculture in every country is the result of a complex of past economic, social and political factors. These factors are continuously under pressure from new forces. Today, for better or for worse, the pursuit of economic growth has become the dominant force the world over. In order to achieve and sustain a more rapid rate of growth two things are necessary. The first is to improve productivity within each activity by the greater application of capital, by better technology, by better management and by better organisation. The second is to aim at the optimum allocation of resources between activities by moving resources from less to more productive uses. Pursuing these two paths towards faster growth is releasing two sets of forces which are exerting a radical impact on both the size and the pattern of agriculture. This paper deals with this impact on agriculture in contemporary Britain a highly industrial and a preponderantly urban nation committed to the experiment of running a hybrid economy based on the two pillars of private enterprise and public control.
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