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Abstract

In human geography the concepts of regional branch clusters have become increasingly important. In these concepts firms of the same or related supply chains work together and cooperate in networks of the same regional, cultural and social background. According to their regional proximity, firms can reduce their transaction costs. Also, having the same regional, cultural and social roots, it is easier for the actors of the co-operation networks to trustfully exchange competition relevant knowledge and to learn from each other. Therefore, the members of these regional clusters posses a higher ability to innovate and thus become competitive. While these concepts were generally based on industrial agglomerations, in 2004 we made a survey on 332 farmers in the rural districts Pyrzyce (West-Poland) and Elbe-Elster (Eastern Germany). The results of this work show the existence of an agrarian cluster or agrarian system based on an intensive material and immaterial cross-linking between farms and complementary units. Farms in this cluster are competitively better off than nonintegrated farms and some of them even have the potential to improve their position of power.

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