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   Course Title    Agricultural Economics
Lecturer    Zaklina Stojanovic, Zorka Zakic
Institution    University of Belgrade
Country    Yugoslavia


In the scope of this subject students shall be acquainted with the basic concepts in agricultural functioning. In researching problems of agriculture a joint combination of the micro and macro economic principles shall be carried out in the aim of proving the assumption about a major position dedicated to a necessary coordination on the macro-micro relation in agriculture like in any other area of the economic life. Accordingly, special attention is paid to the analysis of agriculture position in the total economic development, but also to the conditions of successfully managing agriculture as a whole and its components (pre-farming, farming and post-farming economic sector). This subjectís aim is to master the basic concepts of agricultural economics derived from the economic theory and their application in the areas of decision making and policy definition (both on the macro level - agricultural policy, rural policy, sustainable development policy, and on the micro level - agricultural subjects functioning). Students attending this course should be qualified to: (1) use the theory in analyzing the economic effects of agricultural sectors and individual agricultural-firms functioning; (2) comprehend the strategic connection on the macro-micro relations in the aim of achieving the national nutrition security.

According to the curriculum and syllabus of the Faculty of Economics in Belgrade this course is aimed to students of the final (fourth) year of undergraduate studies, specializing in Economic Analysis and Policy. Since this course lasts one semester, in the winter semester students may be joined by those from other two courses: (1) Tourism and Catering and (2) International Economics and Foreign Trade. For those first mentioned this course is obligatory, and optional for the latter two. Those subjectís major role is the economic analysis of the theory of regulation not presented in detail in no other subject in the curriculum and syllabus. This matter is logically connected to the sector of the economy where regardless to strong attempts on the international level the market shall not be "free" in the proper sense. Due to current events in the countries in transition learning about the problems of efficient functioning of the cooperative state, modifying market laws just to necessary and permitted extent, is becoming indispensable.

Teaching subjectís lecturers are not intending to educate narrow-mined specialist who hesitates to think and do anything outside his field of specialization. We advocate students to develop critical thinking and do not support memorizing passively in advance to prove that school produces thinkers. Therefore our ultimate aim is not to import knowledge to the students but also to teach them how to gain knowledge by their efforts. This course policy and strategy are modern teaching, tolerance and openness to all options and attitudes and active involvement of students in the realization of the course program. That means combination of lectures, discussions and seminars. Lectures have been used to introduce students into the problems they are going to discuss and take not more than 45 minutes. Other 45 minutes are intended for the discussion among students and between students and the lecturer. In order to prepare themselves for the lecture, students obtain handouts, an article connected to the topic and bibliography in advance.

COURSE CONTENT

I - INTRODUCTORY CONSIDERATIONS

In the chronological order the students get an insight into the history of the economic thought development referring to agriculture. It is aimed to connect in the time and space the research on particular problems of agriculture and be put as such in the function of this areaís development and transformation continuity. Since we refer to the introductory part there is a research of those agriculture characteristics contributing to its differing from any other part of the economic life and largely defining the approach to those problems in general. The students become acquainted also with the attempt to put the current problems of agricultural economics into the highest possible coordination on the macro-micro and technical-institutional relations.

II - AGRICULTURE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

A complex overview of the theories of the economic development. In the scope of the theoretic approaches the critical role of agriculture in the whole process of development at various levels of general development is to be presented in the highest possible way. The comparative review of experiences from the developed market economies, those developing ones and in transition will be applied. In applying a more inductive approach we start from defining agriculture (traditional and modern), and further major areas of modern agricultural economics will be treated, as: technical progress as a cause and result of agriculture development as a highly complex economic activity, green revolutions an unavoidable basis of agriculture transformation, and finally in summarizing major problems the way of Yu agriculture development will be analyzed and cleared up as well. Special attention will be paid to agricultural policy, an instrument of determination of place of agriculture in the overall economic development.

III - PROCES OF AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT AND TRANSFORMATION FROM TRADITIONAL TO MODERN

A review of agriculture transformation from traditional to modern will be presented in the historical-spatial and comparative aspect. Whether the problem of agriculture has been solved - that is basic dilemma connected to such discussion of agricultural transformation. The attempt of the former socialist block proved inefficient, while the countries with developed market economies are carrying out some more or less successful maneuvers in the scope of their economic policies in the aim of relieving the arising problems. Presently those experiences are of particular importance to the countries in transition.

IV - THE CONCEPT OF INTEGRAL RURAL DEVELOPMENT

Individual farms in the process of agriculture transformation will be basic issue in this partís observation and analysis. The theory has been set as to provide a coherent structure of ideas in the scope of which particular steps may be undertaken connected to the possible role of farms in the scope of agricultural economics, i.e. the economy of a country as a whole. In this context the problems of the individual farm shall be presented in a few major components: starting from definition of farmers, followed by the economic theory on managing individual farms, to the political economy of the farmers society in transition. The vision of the future is set in the scope of the necessity to carry out an integral rural policy, pointed by the latest attempts in CAP (Common Agricultural Policy). The integral rural development will be treated as a desirable model to the perspective of the agricultural farm taken as a specific kind of entrepreneurship, that is a family business.

V - MANAGEMENT AND MARKETING IN AGRICULTURE

The areas of management and marketing are inseparable parts in researching modern agriculture. The thesis should be pointed here about the necessity of the highest possible provision of connections of the macro-micro problems relations in the function of the modern agriculture development. Agriculture will be set into the context of the modern aspect of transformation being widely present in the world. A penetrative insight into the new trends of management and marketing strategy in the countries with developed market economies will be provided and attention will be drown to the fact that such trends should be taken into account in modern agriculture both in Yugoslavia and in other countries in transition.

 

Course content divided week-by-week:

1st week

  • A short review of economic thought on agriculture development
  • Basic content, relationship and division between studying agriculture on micro- and macro-level
  • The relationship between technical-technological and economic aspect of agriculture study
  • Characteristics of agriculture

2nd week

  • Definition of agriculture as a composite economic sector
  • Indicator analysis of contribution of agriculture to overall economic development

3rd week

  • Technological progress as a basic factor of agriculture transformation from traditional to modern
  • Green revolution as the basis of modern agriculture development

4th week

  • Different approaches to determination of the place of agriculture in the overall economic development
  • Industrialization as a model of economic development
  • Agriculture in dual economy models

5th week

  • Agricultural policy as an instrument of determination of place of agriculture in the overall economic development

6th week

  • Different models of agriculture transformation from traditional to modern
  • Initial forms of capitalism penetration into agriculture.
  • Land and peasantry issues viewed in the context of agriculture peculiarities

7th week

  • Attempt of land issue solution in socialist countries
  • Contemporary experiences of market economy countries in directing farm production

8th week

  • Farm in the process of agriculture transformation
  • Characteristics of resource-limited farm management

9th week

  • Definition of basic elements of rural economy
  • Integral rural development in developed market economy countries
  • Developing countries and an attempt of switching places on a last-to-first scale

10th week

  • Definition and functions of management
  • Management in modern agriculture - macro-perspective
  • Management in modern agriculture - business decision making

11th week

  • Strategic planning of optimal combination of available resources
  • Management of basic factors of primary agricultural production

12th week

  • Definition and development of marketing in agriculture
  • Analysis of farm produce market
  • Characteristics of farm produce markets as determinants of the government intervention degree

13th week

  • Marketing strategy in modern agriculture
  • Problems of marketing strategy in contemporary Yugoslav agriculture

14th week

Seminar paper discussion. Topic is optional and must be in the one of selected areas below:

  • Agriculture of Serbia in the Yugoslav model of economic development
  • Agriculture in Serbia and current issues of its fitting into transition processes
  • Integral rural development as a new challenge in transitional countries
  • Common agricultural policy and support to integral rural development in EU
  • Agricultural production in Serbia and sustainable development

15th week

  • TEST

Evaluation: Discussions 20%, Seminar 30%,TEST 50%

 

Textbooks:

Mandatory

Vujatovic-Zakic, Z. (2001): Economics of Agriculture, Faculty of Economics Belgrade

Recommended

Cramer, G.L (1997): Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, Wiley, New York



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