Agriculture provides the basis of subsistence for the population by production of food and raw materials. Traditionally, the inhabitants of each country or region depended on the bread-basket filled by the farmers, for ex; everybody depended on agriculture and was interested in its outcome. In recent times, regional and international trade have reduced the dependence on home agriculture, and the quantity of available food is less a function of the harvest than of the political decision on the amount of food imports. To meet the requirements of the ever increasing population with its higher purchasing power, and this despite less and less manpower because of the high outmigration from rural areas, agriculture increased its outputs and productivity, a process which had consequences for the price of agricultural products. The more people live in the cities and have to buy food at the market, the more agricultural prices became a political issue. The interest of urban society in agriculture is an interest in low prices, and the request of the primary sector for price increases is a regular nuisance for the urban population.
The increase in output and productivity of agriculture could only be achieved by division of work and specialization. Today only part of the production process takes place on the farm, while, in addition, agriculture uses industrial products like fertilizer, pesticides, machinery and equipment, the services of the tertiary sector like banking, insurance etc. and hands its products over to other sectors for packing, processing, or distribution. Today, agriculture is deeply interwoven with other sectors of the economy. It cannot produce anymore without their inputs and services, and acts itself as a customer to these other sectors, thus providing work and income outside of agriculture. These changes in agriculture had consequences for the agricultural population. Many people from rural areas migrated to the cities and filled the ranks of workers...
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