Prospects of Family Farming: Ukrainian vs EU Experience
Family farms are integral part of agricultural holdings and food production around the world. This research evaluates the current state and future prospects of family farming in Ukraine. Econometric methods allow us to evaluate absolute and relative dynamics in Ukrainian farming since 2002 and compare our findings with European indicators. The results reveal unstable positive progress in farming households' production of the prime national agricultural commodities, such as wheat, maize, sunflower, vegetables, potato, fruit and berries, broilers, eggs, and honey. However, Ukrainian family farms can successfully compete in supplying beef and milk at the domestic market. A ranking method helped us identify long-term prospects of Ukrainian commercial households among the EU family farms with a balance between crop and animal husbandry and distributions of utilized lands and livestock units. Social aspects of Ukrainian and EU family farming considered include age, gender, education levels, and the share of rural population. Statistical comparative analysis applied to family farming in Ukraine showed their poorer yields and effectiveness as compared to other agricultural enterprises in the country. Despite these challenges, agricultural contribution of commercial farming households allows us conclude that their development is necessary for providing food security in Ukraine and for improving welfare in its rural areas. (original abstract)
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