Agriculture, 1st Edition by Hugh D. Clout (auth.)

By Hugh D. Clout (auth.)

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These new policies eliminated distortions caused by national subsidies and import quotas and established common quality standards for the various commodities. P. saw the tentative beginnings of a gradual alignment of prices that had been proposed by the Commission. But progress was very slow, and in November 1963 Dr Mansholt proposed that the crucial issue of grain prices should be tackled in a single jump and harmonised for 1964-5. This met with considerable opposition from the Federal Republic, and it was only after threats by France to withdraw from the Common Market that the proposals were agreed in December 1964.

The size which maximises output per man, is a variable dependent on several factors : the density of farm population expressed in the man/land ratio, the type of land use, determined on the one hand by the type of soil and on the other by the market; methods of production determined by the supply of capital and the level of technology. '9 Special legislation in France, Federal Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden ensures that when farmland falls vacant it should be used to enlarge neighbouring holdings.

Price supports may be of small significance in raising incomes substantially but may be just sufficient to keep farmers on the land. The net result will hinder solutions for improving outdated farming which can only result from reducing the agricultural population. Variants on support measures include differential prices and subsidies payable to operators of small farms or those located in upland areas. Generally speaking the results are of limited value. Social objectives are not fully achieved, since only slight rises in income are normally produced.

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