Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


On flexibility of agri-businesses: Are small- or large-scale farms more flexible?


IAMO Policy Brief 19 presents latest findings on flexibility of Polish agrarian enterprises

Farming operations facing substantial pressures to adapt in response to changed economic and socio-political framework conditions in recent years. Increasing price fluctuations, significant adjustments of nutritional habits in populous economies, progressing climate change and agricultural policy reform efforts make entrepreneurial flexibility a key prerequisite of market competitiveness of agri-businesses.

IAMO director Thomas Glauben and researchers Swetlana Renner and Heinrich Hockmann applied newly developed metric methods and a comprehensive dataset to analyze the extent and determinants of flexibility using the example of Polish agricultural businesses.

Albeit that numerous popular scientific and practice-oriented papers emphasize the necessity of flexible corporate concepts and production technologies, it was largely unexplored to date what exactly entrepreneurial flexibility is, how it can be measured and what its determinants are.

Based on the findings of a study conducted by IAMO, flexibility – in economic terms – can be defined as the capability to adapt production to a new situation without substantial extra cost. Flexible production technologies entail high scope advantages, low marginal cost increases and high scale advantages.

The agricultural economists established in their analysis that the flexibility of production technologies is closely related to farm specialization. Mixed farms, in comparison to dairy cattle and processing farms, have more flexible technologies and are capable of adapting their production outputs at relatively lower cost. Out of the four reviewed farm types, Polish cropping enterprises has the lowest flexibility in their production methods.

It also became apparent that, irrespective of all analyzed farm types, small-scale operations have more flexible production systems than large enterprises. ‘It can be assumed that smaller full-time farms opt for flexible production strategies in order to hold their own on the market against larger, often ‚more vigorous‘ operational structures. This may also be an explanation for the occurrence of small-scale or dual agricultural structures in various transition countries, such as Poland’, says IAMO director Thomas Glauben.

The IAMO Policy Brief 19 titled ‘On flexibility of agri-businesses: Are small- or large-scale farms more flexible?’ is available for free of charge download on the IAMO webpage:

IAMO Policy Briefs

The publication series IAMO Policy Brief is published at irregular intervals and provides a platform for research findings and outcomes of the Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe (IAMO) with social relevance to be communicated accessibly and entertainingly to a broad audience. Key target groups include political decision-makers, mass media representatives and the general public.

About IAMO

The Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO) analyzes economic, social and political processes of change in the agricultural and food sector, and in rural areas. The geographic focus covers the enlarging EU, transition regions of Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe, as well as Central and Eastern Asia. IAMO works to enhance the understanding of institutional, structural and technological changes. Moreover, IAMO studies the resulting impacts on the agricultural and food sector as well as the living conditions of rural populations. The outcomes of our work are used to derive and analyze strategies and options for enterprises, agricultural markets and politics. Since its founding in 1994, IAMO has been part of the Leibniz Association, a German community of independent research institutes.

Media contact

Daniela Schimming
Public Relations
Tel.: +49 345 2928-330
Fax: +49 345 2928-499

Daniela Schimming | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Forest Management Yields Higher Productivity through Biodiversity
14.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Farming with forests
23.09.2016 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>