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Agribusiness, Contract Farmers and Land-Use Sustainability in North-West Tasmania


Miller, CL, Agribusiness, Contract Farmers and Land-Use Sustainability in North-West Tasmania, Australian Geographer, 26, (2) pp. 104-111. ISSN 0004-9182 (1995) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1080/00049189508703138


The core questions pertaining to contract farming or "vertical co-ordination' relate to the ownership of decision-making. Where decision-making is partly removed from farmers there arise issues of sustainability which are inadequately addressed by current practice. A mail questionnaire conducted in North-west Tasmania in 1990-91 obtained responses from 310 farmers, a 68% return rate from the 456 valid cases initially identified. At the time of the survey, 119 respondents were involved in contract cropping. A majority of these responses indicated a need for greater co-ordination in farm planning. This co-ordination requires a re-think of the roles of both agribusiness firms and farmer organisations, as well as acceptance by farmers that long-term planning for crop rotation and soil management has associated self-benefit. Responsibility for soil erosion is seen to lie at the feet of processing firms which relegate production tasks to farmers under contract, but frequently appear to ignore the impact of short-term planning horizons upon farmer capacity to manage soils for erosion minimisation. With few exceptions, such as the processor firm specialising in the perennial crop pyrethrum and one onion processor that encourages soil conservation, in North-west Tasmania processing firms generally play no part in planning for sustainable land use. -Author

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Environmental management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Other environmental management
Objective Field:Other environmental management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Miller, CL (Dr Leigh Miller)
ID Code:5380
Year Published:1995
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Applied Science
Deposited On:1995-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-24

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