The economics of European agriculture

Author (Person)
Publication Date 2003
ISBN 0-333-72644-8
Content Type

Book abstract:

The current debate on obesity often features the phrase 'we are what we eat'. This book goes back one step and almost suggests 'we are what we grow' - although not in any way as a contribution to the obesity debate. The author invites us to take our eyes off the so-called 'new economy' of the information and computer technology sector and to reflect upon the basic human need to produce food of satisfactory quality and sufficiency for our needs.

The work is organised over eight chapters. The first chapter introduces the basic concepts of agricultural economics, reviews the major trends in agricultural supply at both EU and world levels and explores the role of agriculture in economic development. Chapter two explains the mechanism of demand and supply in agricultural markets, examines the relationship between prices and incomes, illustrates the structure of the agricultural sector in the EU and draws attention to the 'farm problem'. Government intervention in agriculture is the focus of chapter three which analyses the main economic policies affecting the agricultural sector and presents a brief historical review of government involvement in agriculture in a selected number of EU countries prior to implementation of the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy). This latter issue is examined closely in chapter four. Technological innovation in the agricultural industry and its relationship to economic growth are explored in chapter five which also looks closely at the EU technology programs and extension services in EU countries. Chapter six examines the impact of enlargement on the agricultural sector and the main opportunities and threats presented by enlargement to both the Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs) and to the current EU. Chapter seven looks at the role of the EU in world agricultural trade and presents an overview of world trade patterns in agriculture, whilst discussing the issue of rural poverty and malnutrition in the developing world and the extent to which EU trade agreements with ACP (Africa Caribbean Pacific) and ASEAN ( Association of South East Asian Nations) impact on these issues. Liberalisation of agricultural trade is the essence of chapter eight, which addresses the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations and the negotiating stance of the EU and the USA and its influence on CAP.

The work will interest scholars students and practitioners in agriculture, economics and European Union studies.

Bernadette Andreosso-O'Callaghan is Jean Monnet Professor of European Economic Integration and Director of the Euro-Asia Centre, University of Limerick, Ireland.

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