Agricultural economics is a branch of applied economics that takes the tools of both micro and macroeconomics and uses them to solve problems in a specific area. With food inflation soaring and agricultural disputes at the heart of the collapse of the latest round of world trade talks, the subject has seldom been so topical. It focused on maximizing the crop yield while maintaining a good soil ecosystem. Throughout the 20th century the discipline expanded and the current scope of the discipline is much broader. Agricultural economics today includes a variety of applied areas, having considerable overlap with conventional economics. Agricultural economics does not study only the behavior of a farmer at the farm level. That is, in a way, the micro analysis. Agricultural problems have a macro aspect as well. Instability of agriculture and agricultural unemployment are the problems which have to be dealt with, mainly at the macro level. At the micro level, we need to understand the relevant production functions and the relationship between labor and capital. At the macro level, the subject studies the way governments decide how to support farmers. In developed economies, policy has tended to be devised so as to support and protect farmers – subsidies for prices and agricultural import tariffs under the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy for example – often with significant effects on trade flows and trading relations. In contrast, developing nations seek ways to ensure adequacy of supply of food for their people and to gain access to world markets to earn export revenue. Agricultural economics plays a role in the economics of development, for a continuous level of farm surplus is one of the wellsprings of technological and commercial growth.

This book ‘Agriculture Economics’ presents coverage on agricultural finance, policy, marketing, farm and agribusiness management, rural sociology, and agricultural law. Research into farm and agribusiness management led to mathematical planning systems and statistical computation of farm-enterprise data, and interest has been drawn to decision-making behaviour studies of farm managers. It deals with the study of the production and consumption of food in both developed and developing countries along with analysis of the policies that shape the world’s largest industry.