Land mobility in Greek agriculture
This thesis originated from the need to acquire some understanding of land mobility because of its importance for the creation of future policies to reform Greek agriculture. The aims of the present study are: A. To examine the factors influencing a young rural boy to enter agriculture (chapter 2). B. To examine the factors influencing the decision to expand the farm (chapter 3). C. To study the different methods used for land acquisition at first installation and expansion (chapter 4). D. To examine in a comparative perspective the factors influencing the choice of method of land acquisition (chapter 5). E. To study the process of future succession and its characteristics in Greek agriculture, and assess its importance for land mobility (chapter 6). F. To examine the factors influencing the decision to dispose of land as well as the methods chosen or envisaged (chapter 7). G. To examine the implications of different existing and proposed socio-structural policy measures on land mobility (chapter 8). The life cycle of a farmer and his farm was the basic theme around which the research was structured. The most significant of all factors affecting land mobility proved to be farm size, which was shown to influence a range of different decisions in a farmer's career. It is noticeable that throughout this survey, farm size and farm income as expressed by the measure of Standard Gross Margin (SGM), reacted in the same way to other variables. In this sense farm income is, on average, proportional to farm size and the two variables may be used interchangeably. Apart from farm size, land mobility is greatly influenced by the type of community the respondent lives in. Spatial variations in land mobility have been detected in different areas throughout this survey. Demographic factors also influence mobility in Greek agriculture. In addition to the aforementioned economic and demographic factors, the influence of social and traditional factors must also be stressed. Low levels of education and strong rural traditions still dominate the transfer of land. Three main groups of factors which influence land mobility have then been isolated, namely, economic, demographic and social. The implications of these findings for agricultural policy were then discussed. Land mobility should be increased and directed towards achieving the policy aims of creating larger modernised farms and a younger age structure of the agricultural population. It is concluded that agricultural policy has tremendous potential for manipulating land mobility but that current EEC policy does not provide enough measures and is not applied in the right way. It must be amended in order to include activities closely linked to land mobility, such as land purchase and modify its policy in favour of part-time farmers in certain mountainous and less-favoured areas following the findings of this and other works.