What is a government subsidy in agriculture


An agricultural subsidy (also called an agricultural incentive) is a government incentive paid to agribusinesses


Agribusiness is the business of agricultural production. The term was coined in 1957 by Goldberg and Davis. It includes agrichemicals, breeding, crop production (farming and contract farming), distribution, farm machinery, processing, and seed supply, as well as marketing and retail …

, agricultural organizations and farms to supplement their income, manage the supply of agricultural commodities, and influence the cost and supply of such commodities.

An agricultural subsidy (also called an agricultural incentive) is a government incentive paid to agribusinesses, agricultural organizations and farms to supplement their income, manage the supply of agricultural commodities, and influence the cost and supply of such commodities.


What is an example of a government subsidy?

When the government gives a tax break to a corporation who creates jobs in depressed areas, this is an example of a subsidy. When the government gives money to a farmer to plant a specific farm crop, this is an example of a subsidy. A grant of money from one government to another, as for military aid.

Should the government subsidize farmers?

The government subsidized farmers to keep croplands idle in order to prevent overproduction. It also bought excess crops. It then either stored them or gave them away to feed low-income people throughout the world. Most subsidies went to farmers of grains, such as corn, wheat, and rice.

How do farm subsidies affect the economy?

Subsidies can enhance the economic condition of farmers tremendously. Subsidies will reduce the need for borrowing at high interest rates and will help in taking care of initial costs. These will ultimately boost the profit margin.

What does agricultural subsidy mean?

Freebase(4.00 / 1 vote)Rate this definition: Agricultural subsidy An agricultural subsidy is a governmental subsidy paid to farmers and agribusinesses to supplement their income, manage the supply of agricultural commodities, and influence the cost and supply of such commodities.


What is a government subsidy?

A subsidy is a direct or indirect payment to individuals or firms, usually in the form of a cash payment from the government or a targeted tax cut. In economic theory, subsidies can be used to offset market failures and externalities to achieve greater economic efficiency.

What is a government subsidy example?

Examples of Subsidies. Subsidies are a payment from government to private entities, usually to ensure firms stay in business and protect jobs. Examples include agriculture, electric cars, green energy, oil and gas, green energy, transport, and welfare payments.

Why do governments subsidize agriculture?

Farm subsidies are government financial benefits paid to the agriculture industry that help reduce the risk farmers endure from the weather, commodities brokers, and disruptions in demand.

How do government subsidies work?

Government subsidies help an industry by paying for part of the cost of the production of a good or service by offering tax credits or reimbursements or by paying for part of the cost a consumer would pay to purchase a good or service.

What are the 4 main types of subsidies?

Subsidies take many different forms but can be divided into five broad categories.Export subsidies. An export subsidy is when the government provides financial support to companies for the purpose of exporting goods to sell internationally. … Agriculture subsidies. … Oil subsidies. … Housing subsidies. … Healthcare subsidies.

Should subsidies be given to farmers?

So, the government has to decide which of the two – investment through higher government spending or subsidies – will facilitate higher agricultural growth. It is true that there are several studies which confirm that input subsidies have supported farmers and enabled them to increase productivity of crops.

Are agricultural subsidies good or bad?

Subsidies tend to reduce incentives for producers to boost efficiency and shift their focus from crops to farming subsidies. As a result, many end up doing less with more. For example, India subsidises the cost of energy to pump water for agriculture, which encourages producers to pump more water than they need.

What are the benefits of subsidies?

Affordable goods: Subsidies can help lower the prices of goods produced by businesses so they can remain affordable to consumers, which can promote economic growth. Inflation control: The government can give subsidies to offset production price fluctuations and ensure prices remain low and affordable for consumers.

What would happen if the government eliminated all farm subsidies?

If the government eliminated all farm subsidies, it would result in the following: 1- Poor management of the agricultural commodities. 2- Agricultural overproduction and surplus. 3- Lower variation of agricultural production. 4- Higher food prices.

How are subsidies funded?

How Subsidies Work. The government can subsidize an industry in a number of ways—through direct funding, loans, tax breaks or credits, the elimination of fees or penalties, etc. —but all of these amount to the same thing: financial support.

Is a subsidy a loan?

Subsidized Loans are loans for undergraduate students with financial need, as determined by your cost of attendance minus expected family contribution and other financial aid (such as grants or scholarships). Subsidized Loans do not accrue interest while you are in school at least half-time or during deferment periods.

Who does the government give subsidies to?

While many industries receive government subsidies, three of the biggest beneficiaries are energy, agriculture, and transportation.

How often is the subsidize bill passed?

Learn about our editorial policies. The Investopedia Team. Updated Oct 16, 2020. Every five to six years on average, new legislation is introduced and passed through the U.S. Congress to subsidize farmers and agricultural products. 1  These bills provide benefits such as cash, minimum prices, and crop insurance programs.

How did politicians get elected?

Additionally, politicians got elected by being friends to the farmers. Wealthy farmers have been successful in lobbying for government favors throughout history. Some subsidies existed in the U.S. before the Great Depression, but most modern programs date to the 1930s. It was thought that propping up farm prices would keep farmers …

What percentage of farmers receive subsidies?

About 39 percent of the nation’s 2.1 million farms receive subsidies, with the lion’s share of the handouts going to the largest producers of corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, and rice. 1. The government protects farmers against fluctuations in prices, revenues, and yields. It subsidizes their conservation efforts, insurance coverage, marketing, …

What is the largest farm subsidy program?

In the three largest farm subsidy programs — insurance, ARC, and PLC — more than 70 percent of the handouts go to farmers of just three crops — corn, soybeans, and wheat. 7. 1. Insurance. The largest farm subsidy program is crop insurance run by the USDA’s Risk Management Agency.

Why do farm states support urban legislators?

One reason is that farm-state legislators have co-opted the support of urban legislators by including food-stamp subsidies in farm bills. Other legislators support farm bills because of the inclusion of conservation subsidies.

How many direct and indirect programs does the USDA provide?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) runs more than 60 direct and indirect aid programs for farmers. This section summarizes the major ones. Most of the direct aid goes to producers of a handful of field crops, not to livestock producers or fruit and vegetable growers.

What were the farm programs in the 1930s?

Congress enacted many farm programs during the 1930s, including commodity price supports, supply regulations, import barriers, and crop insurance. These programs have been expanded, modified, and added to over the decades, but the central planning philosophy behind farm programs has not changed.

What act created the Federal Farm Board?

The Agricultural Marketing Act of 1929 created the Federal Farm Board, which tried to raise crop prices by buying up and stockpiling production. 2 That did not work, and after spending $500 million this early agricultural boondoggle was abolished in 1933.

What was the purpose of the Federal Farm Loan Act of 1916?

The Federal Farm Loan Act of 1916 created cooperative banks to provide loans to farmers. That developed into today’s Farm Credit System, which is a government-sponsored financial system with more than $280 billion in assets.

What is agricultural subsidy?

An agricultural subsidy (also called an agricultural incentive) is a government incentive paid to agribusinesses, agricultural organizations and farms to supplement their income, manage the supply of agricultural commodities, and influence the cost and supply of such commodities.

Why did the US government give subsidies to farmers?

Roosevelt signed the Agricultural Adjustment Act, which created the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA). This came as a result of the series of programs, public work projects, financial reforms and regulations enacted by the president known as the New Deal. The AAA helped to regulate agricultural production by reducing surplus and controlling the supply of agricultural products in society. Through the control of seven crops ( corn, wheat, cotton, rice, peanuts, tobacco and milk ), Congress was able to balance the supply and demand for farm commodities by offering payment to farmers in return for taking some of their land out of the farming process. Unlike traditional subsidies that promote the growth of products, Congress recognized that agricultural prices needed to be boosted and did so by limiting the growth of these crops.

What was the top crop for subsidies prior to 2011?

Corn was the top crop for subsidy payments prior to 2011. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 mandated that billions of gallons of ethanol be blended into vehicle fuel each year, guaranteeing demand, but US corn ethanol subsidies were between $5.5 billion and $7.3 billion per year.

How much was the agricultural subsidy in 2010?

Overall agricultural subsidies in 2010 were estimated at $172 billion by a European agricultural industry association; however, the majority of this estimate consists of food stamps and other consumer subsidies, so it is not comparable to the 2005 estimate.

How much money did China give to soybean farmers?

China. In 2016, China provided $212 billion in agricultural subsidies. In 2018, China increased their subsidies for soybean farmers in their northeastern provinces. Corn farmers, however, received reduced subsidies due to Beijing’s 2017 policy that set out to reduce its huge stockpile.

How much did the EU spend on agriculture in 2010?

In 2010, the EU spent €57 billion on agricultural development, of which €39 billion was spent on direct subsidies. Agricultural and fisheries subsidies form over 40% of the EU budget.

Why are export subsidies bad?

Although some critics and proponents of the World Trade Organization have noted that export subsidies, by driving down the price of commodities, can provide cheap food for consumers in developing countries, low prices are harmful to farmers not receiving the subsidy.

What is agriculture subsidies?

Agriculture Subsidies. Payments by the federal government to producers of agricultural products for the purpose of stabilizing food prices, ensuring plentiful food production, guaranteeing farmers’ basic incomes, and generally strengthening the agricultural segment of the national economy. Proponents of agriculture subsidies point …

How does the government subsidize milk production?

In the dairy industry, the government subsidizes milk production by agreeing to purchase milk from processors at a predetermined price. Dairy farmers receive no direct deficiency payments; rather, they receive from their processor a milk check that includes the federal money.

What was the model for post Hawley-Smoot farm subsidies?

The model for post–Hawley-Smoot farm subsidies is the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 (AAA), 7 U.S.C.A. § 601 et seq. , passed by President franklin d. ro osevelt and the New Deal Congress. The AAA implemented some ideas that became staples of agriculture subsidy programs to the present day, including provisions allowing …

What crops are subsidized by tariffs?

This subsidy is used primarily for corn and wheat, with a modified form of the program applying to soybeans, rice, and cotton. The government still enforces restrictive tariffs to subsidize certain domestic crops, especially sugar, for which the U.S. tariff virtually eliminates all foreign imports.

How much does India provide in agriculture?

India provides $27 billion in agriculture subsidies, including $15 on fertilizer. WASHINGTON — After months of debate and negotiation, Congress voted final approval Wednesday to a massive farm bill that will provide more than $400 billion for agriculture subsidies, conservation programs and food aid.

When did the Freedom to Farm Act come into effect?

In March 1996, Congress passed the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act, which came to be known as the Freedom to Farm Act (Pub.L. 104–127, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 888). This act threatened to spell the end of agriculture subsidies, as it set out a plan to phase out subsidies by 2003. The six-year period, however, contradicted …

When did farm income fall?

As farm incomes started to fall in 1998, members of both political parties agreed to authorize additional funds for farm subsidies. This process continued through 2001 as farmers cited bad weather, natural disasters, and other forces for a decline in farm income.

What is farm subsidies?

Farm subsidies is money the government provides certain farmers to help them produce crops. The government already has amounts they will provide farmers for specific crops. If the market price of a particular crop decreases lower than the government’s threshold, that is when they step in. For example, let’s say the government agrees …

What is indirect subsidy?

The indirect subsidy is a guarantee from the FSA to your lender. In order to qualify, you must prove you own a qualified, working farm. You can use the loan to purchase equipment, land, or livestock. In order to qualify for the subsidized loan, you must have a proper plan in place for your farm.

Why is farming important?

Farming can get costly, but it’s also great for the community. In order to encourage farming, the USDA and FSA provide several farm subsidies. This money helps farmers get started farming, continue operations, or manage maintenance issues.

Can you qualify for farm subsidies?

Once you know the crops you must grow and the requirements you must meet, you can qualify for the farm subsidy. The requirements could range from a specific crop or type of livestock you must raise or it may require you to use certain products on the crops in order to meet the standards. Once the crops are ready to be sold, …

What is farm subsidies?

Farm subsidies are government financial benefits paid to a specific industry— in this case, agribusiness. 1 These subsidies help reduce the risk farmers endure from the weather, commodities brokers, and disruptions in demand. But they have evolved to become very complex.

Why are subsidies important for farmers?

Farms are susceptible to pathogens, diseases, and weather. Subsidies help farmers weather commodities’ price changes. Farmers rely on loans, making their business a bit of a gamble. Cons. U.S. farms are in one of the world’s most favorable regions. They have the tech advantages of a modern business.

Why did the New Deal include farm subsidies?

Roosevelt included farm subsidies in the New Deal. They were originally created to help farmers ravaged by the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression of 1929. 1933: Congress signed the Agricultural Adjustment Act. 17 It paid farmers to reduce crop output. It doubled crop prices by 1937.

Why do developed countries have farm subsidies?

Most developed countries have farm subsidies. They give farmers in those countries an unfair trade advantage. The World Trade Organization limits the number of subsidized grains that countries can add to global stockpiles to reduce this edge. 29 But this also reduces the amount of food available in a shortage.

Why is food production important?

The government has a role in ensuring food production during wars, recessions, and other economic crises. Food production is more important to the nation’s welfare than other business products. Farms are susceptible to commodity price dips. Commodities traders determine the prices on an open exchange.

Which states receive the most grain subsidies?

Grains can also be stored and affordably shipped. The top five states receiving subsidies are Texas, Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas, and Illinois. In 2017, they received 38.5% of the $7.2 billion distributed, per the EWG Farm Subsidy Database. 3.

Is almond milk subsidized?

Most of it is almonds, wine, dairy, walnuts, and pistachios. These aren’t subsidized. There are 2.1 million U.S. farms, of which 97% are family owned. 5 There is a competitive advantage in understanding local soil conditions and weather patterns. Families pass on this lore from generation to generation.



An agricultural subsidy (also called an agricultural incentive) is a government incentive paid to agribusinesses, agricultural organizations and farms to supplement their income, manage the supply of agricultural commodities, and influence the cost and supply of such commodities. Examples of such commodities include: wheat, feed grains (grain used as fodder, such as maize or …


On the earliest known interventions in farming markets was the English Corn Laws, which regulated the import and export of grain in Great Britain and Ireland for centuries. The laws were repealed in 1846. Agricultural subsidies in the twentieth century were originally designed to stabilize markets, help low-income farmers, and aid rural development. In the United States, President Franklin D. …

By region

Canadian agricultural subsidies are currently controlled by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Financial subsidies are offered through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership Programs. The Canadian Agricultural Partnership began in April 2018 and is planned to take place over five years with a combined federal, provincial and territorial investment of three billion dollars. Some programs off…

Impact of subsidies

Although some critics and proponents of the World Trade Organization have noted that export subsidies, by driving down the price of commodities, can provide cheap food for consumers in developing countries, low prices are harmful to farmers not receiving the subsidy. Because it is usually wealthy countries that can afford domestic subsidies, critics argue that they promote poverty in developing countries by artificially driving down world crop prices.


Neoliberals argue that the current subsidies distort incentives for the global trade of agricultural commodities in which other countries may have a comparative advantage. Allowing countries to specialize in commodities in which they have a comparative advantage in and then freely trade across borders would therefore increase global welfare and reduce food prices. Ending direct payments to farmers and deregulating the farm industry would eliminate inefficiencies and dead…

See also

• Subsidies For All!
• Perverse agricultural subsidies
• Protectionism
• Free trade
• Agricultural policy

Further reading

• Farm Commodity Programs: A Short Primer, a Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, 20 June 2002.

External links

• You Are What You Grow – Article on farm subsidies from The New York Times.

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