Agroindustry and changing production patterns in small-scale agriculture
The extension of technological progress to small-scale agricultural producers is an unavoidable issue in any strategy aimed at changing production patterns with equity in the rural environment. With a few exceptions, analysis of the achievements of public policies in this area reveals that they have fallen far short of their goals even in periods when the restrictions on public spending were nothing like as severe as those faced by the economies of the region today. One option which has not yet been sufficiently explored is that of involving agroindustry in the task of bringing technological progress to small-scale farmers who could become suppliers of raw materials, although to judge from some spontaneous experiences there are some forms of linkages which could raise the levels of production and productivity of such farmers. This article seeks to show that there is a need for the adoption of policies designed to incentivate agroindustry to play the role of an agent of technical progress in the small-scale- agriculture sector and gives some guidelines for the design of such policies.