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Trends and Characteristics of Part-time Farming in Post-war Japan
Vol. 6, No. 4, Part-time Farming (1982), pp. 367-371
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41142735
Page Count: 5
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Part-time farming is a wide-spread phenomenon in contemporary rural Japan. Characterized by an extremely small-scale rice farming and by a unimodal equitable rural development, most Japanese farm households have combined farming with off-farm employment. In this article, after an examination of the definition of part-time farming (farm household as the unit), the trend of and factors for part-time farming are described and analyzed. Growth and expansion of off-farm employment opportunities, continued small-sized farming, rapid increase in farmland prices and development and diffusion of labor-saving technology are among the major forces which encouraged part-time farming in Japan. Although the overall performance of part-time farms appears less efficient in the use of non-labor resources (e.g., land and machinery), part-time farms still occupy a significant share in the aggregate agricultural production and in the total farmland cropped. Various on-farm and off-farm adjustments are pointed out which have enabled dual employment patterns to be adopted by these people. In essence, due to the limited opportunities for farm-size expansion, part-time farming is considered a necessity, rather than a choise, for most Japanese farm families. But this has also caused some serious agricultural problems, especially with respect to its impact on farmsize structure and inefficient land use. At least for the purpose of maintaining a high income level and for equitable access to opportunities, part-time farming has seemingly contributed beneficially to the farming population of Japan.
GeoJournal © 1982 Springer