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The Farm Credit System Is a major participant in extending credit to and brokering losses from the agricultural sector during the current adjustment process. This article focuses on the problems faced by the system as a cooperative lender with relatively little diversity in its loan portfolio. Assistance to the system should be accompanied by organizational and structural changes that address the fundamental reasons for its vulnerability. Conditions suggest three basic choices: (1) preservation of the system in recognizable form, (2) decentralization to the district level, or (3) a shift toward a wholesaling function. One realistic alternative would involve a combination of these approaches.


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