Publication Date


Series Number

86-WP 4


The financial crisis in agriculture has been a reality for some farm families since early 1980. As with any industry-wide upheaval, it was slow developing. And its origins can be traced back at least a decade. Today we know more about farm financial conditions than at anytime since the crisis began. However, little consensus exists among farmers, policymakers or academics about agriculture's capacity to adjust to financial stress, or the type of public intervention that would be appropriate if existing institutions and markets need to be assisted in making this transition.

This paper will be largely descriptive. Hopefully, it will lead to a more fruitful assessment of the policy papers that will be presented later in the conference.

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