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Adjustment Strategies Revisited: Agricultural Change in the Welsh Marches

By Nick Evans

Abstract

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, much attention was paid by British agricultural geographers to the restructuring of the farm sector under pressures of national, European and global change. The need to adopt a perspective capable of looking beyond the farm gate inspired the introduction of modified political economy approaches into agricultural research. One important cornerstone of the empirical\ud application of this thesis was the concept of the ‘farm adjustment strategy’. This attempted to map out the responses, especially those of survival, made by farm family businesses to rapidly changing agrarian conditions. Subsequently, the farm adjustment strategy became remarkable for its popularity as a way to organise research into agricultural change in developed market economies. Following a retreat in the 1990s, there has been something of a recent revival in the use of the term ‘strategy’ relating to agricultural adjustment. Revisiting this concept is therefore timely. Using empirical evidence from studies of farming change in the Welsh Marches, this paper examines two issues. First, it makes a critical reexamination of the concept to resolve differences with interpretation linked to theoretical perspectives\ud so that future misuse can be minimised. Second, an attempt is made to assess the relevance of defined elements of farm adjustment strategies to analyses of farm business change. In so doing, there is an attempt to recover our knowledge of agrarian restructuring and to help situate newly encultured investigations into the likely survival of family labour-based forms of production

Topics: G1
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.eprints.org:770

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