The Concept of Policy and Agricultural Policy

 


The Concept of Policy and Agricultural Policy


Agricultural policy has become an essential part of every government sequence in agricultural economics and extension, and it is not an exaggeration to say that it is an essential part of every economist and rural development expert.

This is because of the importance of agricultural policy to economic development of a nation. Policy is defined as the course of action chosen by government towards an aspect of the economy, including the goals that the government seeks to achieve, and the choice of methods to pursue those goals that have to be justified. 

Agricultural policy is a term which is collectively used for a bundle of policies related to the agricultural sector.

 


Conceptualization of Public Policy

Agricultural policy represents a sub-sector of economic policy. It should be noted from the onset that our primary concern here is with public agricultural policies, as opposed to private policies of agribusiness firms, individuals or groups.

Public policies are made by governments, ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) that is, public institutions, in the process of executing their mandate, while private policies are made by private entities, enterprises or individuals.

The term 'policy' refers to a plan of action to guide decisions and achieve predetermined goals. It may apply to any public or private sector institution or organization, groups, individuals. Here, we discuss the concept of policy only in context of public (government) policy.

It comprises the actions of the government and the intentions that determine those actions. Policy is defined as the course of action chosen by government towards an aspect of the economy, including the goals that the government seeks to achieve, and the choice of methods to pursue those goals.

It is also defined as a set of interrelated decisions by a public actor or group concerning the selection of goals, and the selection of the means of achieving them within a specified situation, where those decisions should in principle, is within the power of the actor or group to achieve.

The three important points are clear from the definition.

1. Policy is concerned with both the selection of the means of attaining such goals.

2. Policy-making is done within the framework of an institution so that it could commandeer the necessary resources and authority for its implementation.

In fact, all public policies are made by public institutions to realize their mission. In this regard, it should be pointed that not all decisions of government or public institutions are part of public policy. Only those decisions that are of a strategic of guideline nature are covered by the term policy‘.

3. Those setting policies must have the mandate or responsibility to do so. Bearing these in mind, agricultural policy can be conceived of as a series of interrelated decisions taken by governments and their ministries, departments and agencies (public institutions) concerning the selection of goals for the agricultural sector and the means of achieving them from available alternative strategies, which are intended to guide present and future actions (and inactions) in the sector.

Usually, policies are set for the different sectors of the national economy to promote optimum utilization and canalization of the nation‘s resources; and the agricultural sector is one of the  leading sectors of any economy.

Policy represents the intentions and ―plans of action‖ of the policy-maker which are often reflected in programmes, and projects.

In fact, the successful implementation of a policy requires that a programme or package of decisions, activities, projects or schemes be designed. Necessary resources will then be appropriated for such programmes and projects to ensure their execution and the realization of policy goals.

The need for budgetary appropriations to ensure policy realization cannot be over-emphasized. Policy represents hard pattern of resource allocation represented by programmes and projects designed to respond to perceived public problems or challenges requiring governmental action.

 


What is  Agricultural Policy? 

Agricultural policy is a statement of action and a fundamental tool employed in achieving agricultural development. A programme, on the other hand is a comprehensive plan that includes objectives to be attained, specifications of resources required and stages of work to be performed. 

Agricultural policy is government’s intentions, ambitions, and goals for agricultural sector and the means for attaining such goals given available resources, technologies, preference patterns, and institutional capability‖.

The importance of studying agricultural policy lies in its potential for promoting problem-solving interventions and skills in the sector, influencing future course and directions of policy, and in general improving capacity for better prescriptions and advocacy of solutions and strategies in the sector.

Also, the survival of the national economy depends on the provision of foods and raw materials which often require the investment of public resources that have to be justified. 

Agricultural policy is a term which is collectively used for a bundle of policies related to the agricultural sector‖.

It may comprise a number of policies, such as land tenure and land reform policy, price policy, trade policy, marketing policy, credit policy, crop insurance policy, water policy, food policy, fertilizer policy, farm power policy, etc.

These policies are framed by the government to achieve the specific goals related to the farm sector. As agriculture in the developing countries is a state subject, apart from the national agricultural policy, state governments also prepare their own agricultural policies and also regulate the supply of various agricultural products through some rules, acts and regulations.


Read On: Definition and Importance of Agricultural Extension


Conclusion on the Concept of Policy and Agricultural Policy

In this article you have learnt about the concepts of policy and agricultural policies, especially knowing the three major things that are necessary in explaining what policy is. 

Therefore, at this end article, we believe you must have understood the meaning of public policy and agricultural policy: The term 'policy' refers to a plan of action to guide decisions and achieve predetermined goals. It may apply to any public or private sector institution or organization, groups, individuals.

Policy is defined as the course of action chosen by government towards an aspect of the economy, including the goals that the government seeks to achieve, and the choice of methods to pursue those goals.

Policy is concerned with both the selection of the means of attaining such goals.

Policy-making is done within the framework of an institution so that it could commandeer the necessary resources and authority for its implementation.

In fact, all public policies are made by public institutions to realize their mission.

Those setting policies must have the mandate or responsibility to do so. Agricultural policy can be conceived of as a series of interrelated decisions taken by governments and their ministries, departments and agencies (public institutions) concerning the selection of goals for the agricultural sector and the means of achieving them from available alternative strategies, which are intended to guide present and future actions and inaction in the sector.

Agricultural policy is government’s intentions, ambitions, and goals for agricultural sector and the means for attaining such goals given available resources, technologies, preference patterns, and institutional capability.

The importance of studying agricultural policy lies in its potential for promoting problem-solving interventions and skills in the sector.

Agricultural policy is a term which is collectively used for a bundle of policies related to the agricultural sector‖

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