Family and Employee Agriculture

In addition to conventional farming systems , there is still another way of analyzing production systems in the field, which is when we consider their labor relations. In this sense, we can distinguish two distinct forms: familyand employer agriculture .

Family farming

In this production system, all management is done by a family group, whether or not the owners of the land, with or without hired labor.

We can recognize various types of family farming, such as subsistence , gardening(common in South and Southeast Asia), green belts (around urban centers) and itinerant(common in very poor regions of the planet).

We can then conclude that there are areas of low productivity, such as itinerant or subsistence, but there are also those with good productivity, such as green belts and gardening.

Depending on the agricultural policy adopted by the State, family agriculture plays a prominent role in the production of food for domestic supply and even in the generation of exportable surpluses through the cooperative system, which reduces costs and increases productive capacity.

The system of agricultural cooperatives allows the grouping of several small farmers and everything they buy or sell is done together. If, for example, they need to buy seeds for planting, the purchase is done together, which reduces costs for each cooperated farmer. It is so at all stages of production.

Employers’ agriculture

It is also called business. In this agricultural system, the salaried or permanent labor force predominates and the worker does not own the land.

It has advanced production resources, forming, in the developed countries, large complexes or agroindustrial production systems highly capitalized and endowed with excellent infrastructure of transport, storage and production.

Techniques such as the use of special seeds – including transgenic ones -, intensive use of fertilizers and fertilizers and high degree of mechanization are common in these properties. In addition, it also uses qualified professionals, such as agronomists, zootechnicians and engineers.

As for the size of the properties, they are medium and large and have a high degree of specialization in production. Because they are highly developed, they are fully integrated into the industrial and service sectors, creating a production chain called by many agribusiness or agribusiness specialists .

The inputs and equipment used are produced in specialized industries and the production supplies the agro-industrial sector (sugar, alcohol, juices, vegetable oils, textiles, chemicals, food, etc.) or is destined for export. In addition, many production sectors involve carriers, energy production companies, marketing , packaging manufacturing, communications sectors, among others.


In family agriculture, small property predominates, self-employed labor and production focused on supplying the internal and external market. In agriculture, the properties are larger, the workforce is salaried and the production of large surpluses is for export, supplying the industrial sector and / or domestic market.

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