What is the future of small farms in the United States and around the world?

RIVERSIDE, Calif. –  UC Riverside economist Steven M. Helfand is part of an international team that hopes to answer that question, in part, by examining how productivity growth in agriculture has differed for small and large farms on five continents. Their findings may help policymakers around the world determine how best to support smaller farms that may have higher land productivity but lack the resources to be competitive in the marketplace.

Helfand has been awarded a $100,000 grant under a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service to analyze farm productivity in Brazil. Other researchers – from the University of Connecticut, USDA’s Economic Research Service, the World Bank, the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and Australia’s Bureau of Agricultural Economics – will examine conditions in the U.S., Brazil, India, Bangladesh, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Australia and Ukraine.

“The U.S. and Brazil have a lot in common in that they each have a lot of large farms, although Brazil has a lot of small farms, too,” Helfand said. Small farms in the United States are disappearing as they find it increasingly tough to compete against mega farming operations, he added.

Read the entire press release online at http://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/34205.