Agricultural production strategies: world experience

  • Svitlana Bila National Aviation University
Keywords: strategies, agriculture production, farming, transnational corporations (TNCs), direct foreign inverstments (DFI), land resources, «green revolution», precise agriculture, innovations, IT technologies


Actual importance of research theme: Combating hunger and providing the Earth’s population with sufficient amount of products is considered one of the strategic priorities of human civilization sustainable development by the UN up to 2030. The rapid growth of this planet’s human population in the 21st century, estimated at 7.6. billion people, leads to the global demand for production and foodstuff. Simultaneously, traditional strategies of extensive development conventional in the 20th century and “target” intensification of agriculture do not take expected positive effect nowadays. World economy requires for new strategies of agricultural production, as well as promoting ‘green revolution’ based on the ground of IT technology advances and “Industry 4.0.”. The generalization of world experience concerning development and implementing agricultural production strategies in the 21st century is of greater theoretical and practical importance for all countries which export agricultural production in mass scales, including Ukraine which focuses on the leadership in the world agricultural business. Thus, the urgency of the issue confirms the actual importance of this article. The problem statement. Foodstuff output in world economy is growing slowly and does not meet the increasing demand for food and agricultural products in industry in global scales. Under these conditions the manufacturers of agricultural products like farmers, agro-businesses and agro-holdings, as well as transnational corporation alter and modify agricultural strategies that were conventional in the 20th century. Among the new strategies transition to precision farming and innovational agriculture based on implementing IT technologies takes the leading role. The core and socio-economic consequences of such strategy implementation require further study. Analysis of latest studies and publication. The important contribution to the study of the core and dimensions of agricultural production strategies linked to innovation and investment development as well as to improvement property relations is made by such Ukrainian scholars as P. Makarenko, V. Pilyavskiy [1] and O. Shul’ga [2]. Foreign scientists like Smaller, C., andW. Speller, withH. Mirza, N. Bernasconi-Osterwalder, andG. Dixie [3] paid the specific attention to the study of strategic priorities concerning risks minimization and profit maximization by agro-businesses and TNC within the realization of agricultural contracts at world markets. Overseas researchers KeatingB., HerreroM., CarberryP. [4] emphasized on actual importance of compliance with strategy of foodstuff security in global environment in their studies. However, the issue of developing the strategy of precise agricultural production based on widespread use of innovation and IT technologies, research into socio-economic consequences accompanying their implementation in the 21st century remains poorly studied. Research challenge of general issue. The issue of studies the core and elements of agricultural production development process in world economy is highlighted in world economic literature pretty well. Nevertheless, the study of TNCs and agricultural businesses strategies and strategies concerning transition of TNCs to the development of precise agriculture is really meaningful. Besides, at present time the trends of direct foreign investments as for agricultural lands purchase and priorities analysis of their use by TNCs in developed and developing world countries are uncertain. Socio economic consequences of mass precise agriculture introduction for national economy in countries with agrarian specialization also require detailed researching. Problem statement, objective of research. The objective of research is to highlight the core and define the regularity of formation, as well as emphasize the basic expected socio-economic consequences of precise agriculture development strategy implementing on the grounds of generalization the world experience of agricultural TNC sactivity. To achieve the objective set the article aimed at solution the following tasks:  to note the main ‘players’ at the world agricultural market and study the priorities of their economic activity;  to study the core and the elements of ‘green revolution’ strategy, as well as strategy of transition to precise agricultural production based on implementing innovations and IT technologies;  to define strategic goals of TNCs as for the use of acquiring land ( at the cost of direct foreign investments) on the grounds of generalization developed and developing countries experience;  to point out the expected socio-economic consequences of mass implementation of precise agricultural production strategies by TNCs and national agro-businesses for the economy of the countries specialized in agriculture. Method and methodology of the study. While studying the world experience of implementation the precise agricultural production development strategies theoretical and empirical methods of scientific research were employed. Historical and logical methods, abstract and specific methods, methods of analysis and synthesis, as well as causal (cause-and-effect) method were applied in the article to define strategic priorities of agricultural business and agricultural TNC specialization, to point out expected socio-economic consequences of mass transition to precise agricultural production in the countries with agrarian specialization. Synergetic approach, method of expert estimates and casual methods were applied to ground “green revolution” strategy, as well as strategy of TNCs as for transition to precise agriculture based on innovations and IT technologies. The results of study.  Agricultural production is presented by farmers, households, state agricultural sector, national agro-businesses and agro-holdings, international TNCs.  As a rule, farms are focused on domestic market; they specialize in production of minor parties of manual crop production and horticulture, grow vegetables, fruit and berries, as well as they are engaged in poultry farming, beekeeping, dairy production, stockbreeding in rather small scales. The farmers in developed world countries, particularly EU countries, concentrate on organic production which is of high demand among middle-class representatives. In EU countries farming is traditionally supported by the state, as it bears both economic and social valuable functions, i.e. assists in rural development and creates workplaces in countryside. The main stakeholders at the mass agricultural market in the world are considered large national and international agro-holdings an TNCs specialized in agricultural production and its industrial processing. TNCs shaped the closed loop – from selection to agricultural production, from its processing to its manufacturing. At the cost of large production scales, as well as capital concentration and centralization it is the agricultural TNCs which leads in production and export of foodstuffs at world markets. TNCs ‘ leadership at world agriculture markets is grounded on ‘green revolution’ strategy implementing, which consists of such elements as innovations, bio-selection to produce performance breed, intensive growth in crop productivity, including the one using GMO which makes cropping insensitive to water shortage, high temperatures and droughts. Agrarian TNCs in the 21st century actively implement the strategies of transition to precise agriculture based on the use of innovations and IT technologies. As the world experience confirms, strategies of transition to precise agriculture combine the following innovations: astronaut and aviation technologies, unmanned technologies, unmanned aerial vehicles; mass transition to the use of apparatus to analyze the ground online; spreading of “agro-scouting” innovation technologies as for field information gathering concerning the condition and development of agriculture; implementation intellectual system of managerial decision-making support; introduction of monitoring and control auto-system and implementation of IT-system as for account of agriculture process elements. The development of precise agriculture for national world economies which are agriculture-based offers a lot of benefits, such as: increase in labor productivity in agriculture; the decrease in employment that saves working capital of agro-businesses; industrialization and technical renovation of agrarian sector which promotes the market for IT products, precise machine building; increase in commerce and export potential of the country, mainly, in the sphere of monostructural crop production (grain, corn, soya, raps, oilseeds etc.). Such strategies also provide revitalization of direct foreign investment processes by TNCsconcerning purchasing farmland in the developing countries with their further listing as raw materials supplier for TNCs. The latter shape and control international links of production value added to all kinds of agricultural products. Among the risks which implementation of precise agriculture strategies bear for national developing country’s economy which are agriculture-based the following should be mentioned: risks concerning decrease in farms and decline in production of labor-intensive small-scale agriculture products (vegetables, fruit, honey etc.); risks of jobs recession and, respectively, the number of rural population and others. There are also other risks linked to these processes like risks of growing volumes of ready foodstuffs import, chronic scarcity of state budget and increase in internal debt, enhancing migration processes etc. In case of falling world prices for foodstuffs and worsening global conditions for agriculture products, including agrarian raw materials, in particular, due to another world economic crisis, the abandonment of occasional farmland purchased by TNCs in developing agrarian countries, their further freezing and ceasing the processing for better times should not be excluded. Under such circumstances the risks of famine for countries which could lose the managerial control over own land resources are also a threatening exercise as for implementing such TNC strategy. The field of results application. International economic relations and world economy, development of agriculture competitive strategies in world countries and agrarian TNCs in world economy. Conclusions. Farms, agro-businesses, agro-holdings and agrarian TNCs are the economic centres of mass agriculture production in all world countries. Farms are mainly specialized in labour-intensive small-scale agriculture production like horticulture, gardening, bee-keeping etc. Large agro-businesses and agrarian TNCs choose the strategy of specializing in mass monostructural agriculture production such as crop production (grain, corn, soya beans and industrial crops). In developed world countries TNCs apply the strategy of farmlands multi-purpose use, including the goals aimed at development and processing livestock and crop production; at development of renewable energy and bio-energy. In developed world countries TNCs focus on processing all kinds of agriculture products and foodstuffs production with high value added. Purchasing of farmlands by TNCs in developing countries, in particular, at the cost of direct foreign investment, provides for implementation the strategy of purchased lands engagement, mainly, to develop crop production as a raw basis for their further processing in the native countries for TNCs. The general world trend of agrarian TNCs development is use of innovation technologies, transition to precise agriculture based on IT technologies, aviation and astronautic  technologies, unmanned aerial vehicles and other innovations which positively impact labor productivity and mass industrial production profitability, as well as choose transition to monostructural agrarian specialization as a priority, but bear a set of social risks for developing countries’ economies. Transition of Ukrainian agro-businesses and agro-holdings to the strategy of precise agriculture development based on innovations and IT technologies provides Ukraine’s competitiveness at the world agrarian markets. This process should go hand-in-hand with land reform taking into account Ukrainian farming interests. Establishing industrial processing of agriculture raw products and production of ready foodstuffs with high value added should be strategic for Ukraine. 


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Author Biography

Svitlana Bila, National Aviation University

Doctorof Public Administration, Professor, Professor of International Economic Relations and Business Department, Honored economist of Ukraine

How to Cite
Bila, S. (2020). Agricultural production strategies: world experience. University Economic Bulletin, (45), 7-21.
Agrarian Еconomy