The issue of economic incentives and improved technology for increasing small farmers' food production has dominated the small farming systems in the developing world. However, the agricultural policies for small farmers encounter priority problems in the form of major constraints on food production. The question is either to: (1) concentrate on increased output prices and input subsidies, or (2) replace crude tool technology (hand hoe, bush machete, etc.) with bottleneck-breaking technology in order to increase small farmers' food production. Recommendations favor increased output prices to increase food production. In labor surplus, hand hoe technology-oriented economies, prices paid to food producers affect output up to a level dictated by physical and technical factors. Crude tool technology creates physical constraints upon the supply of food and limits the production capacity. A study using linear programming indicated little or no additional food production is likely to be forthcoming due to labor shortages for key activities during crop year, e.g., weeding, harvesting, etc. In order to obtain sustained increases in food production, it is necessary to introduce bottleneck- breaking technology that performs better than crude tool technology now being used. This should precede the other policies to ensure increased levels of food production.


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