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A classification of farms in four types is proposed, according to the composition of the labour force employed: exclusively family farm; land reform settlement (“assentado”); family farm with hired labour; non-family farm. Exclusively family farms are run by the owner and employ exclusively family labour; land reform settlements are also mostly family-run units; mixed family farms are run by the owner and employ predominantly family labour, complemented by hired labour; non-family farms depend mostly on hired labour, with or without the help of the owner’s family. Aspects such as area, gross production value, productivity and revenues are analysed. One of the main results is that the family units are largely predominant in number (90% of the total) and employ 80% of the labour force in the agricultural sector, although they contribute with only 50% of the gross production, in virtue of lower productivity. Inequality in land distribution within the groups is extremely high, even among family farms. In Brazil, only 16% of the total inequality of land distribution is due to the inequality between the four categories of farms, while 84% originate from the inequality within groups.


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