ECONOMIC INFLUENCES AND LIMITATIONS ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF TEMPERATE FRUIT-GROWING AREAS AND FARMS

W. Rothenburger
Fruit can be regarded as an important supplementary foodstuff. The different kinds of fruit offer a wide range of possibilities for production and consumption. They contribute to self-sufficiency and are also an article of world trade.

The fruit-growing-area covers less than 1 percent of world arable land and land under permanent crops, one quarter of this area being in the temperate zones. It is slowly increasing in the most countries, out of the socialist countries. The chief causes of this are demand for fruit (overstocked market in developed countries and the linking of demand to the slow growth of incomes in the developing countries), special demands of the different varieties on their natural location, high production cost and selling expense, competition with other useful plants and diminishing availability for cultivation areas on account of increasing settlement. It is desirable, however, to extend the area of cultivation because the per capita production area is decreasing as the population is rising and there is an increasing need for substitute plantations with intensive methods.

Apart from the private direct production of fruit the production for the market presents a great variety. Fruit-growing is often a part in agricultural farms. This is because the cultivation of most species of fruit involves considerable risks in production and selling, causes labour peaks during harvest time, needs longer cultivation periods and causes high capital spending.

So is it advantageous for the fruit production if they have an economic adjustment with supplementary plants or other activities.

The size of firms is dependent on the following factors:

  • the size of the country and its export volume (large markets create large firms whereas small markets can only support small firms),
  • the marketing system (fresh fruit and processed fruit, direct and indirect distribution to consumers),
  • the developments in technology (especially harvesting, storage and processing technology),
  • the economic system (liberal and centrally planned economy, developed and developing countries).

It is not possible to distinguish plainly an optimal size and management of firms on a world-wide basis. Nevertheless, certain trends can be discerned. On the one hand, the family business will continue to play an important role especially in the production of fresh fruit in countries with a liberal economic system and in developing countries with a surplus of workers, but it will scarcely be able to increase its importance. On the other hand, the larger mechanized firm will become increasingly important for turnover via trade channels and for the supply of raw materials to the processing

Rothenburger, W. (1979). ECONOMIC INFLUENCES AND LIMITATIONS ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF TEMPERATE FRUIT-GROWING AREAS AND FARMS. Acta Hortic. 103, 7-34
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1979.103.1
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1979.103.1