The idea of small farm can be approached from a multiplicity of angles. Small-scale agriculture is not appropriately used interchangeably with smallholder, family life, resource-poor, low-input and low technology (Heidhues and Bruntrup, 2003). The following definitions illustrate the diversity of conceptual approaches to the term. Lipton (2005) defines family farms as operating units in which most labor and enterprise come from the farm family, which puts much of its working time into the farm (Oksana, 2005). On the other side, the World Bank’s Rural Strategy defines as those with a low asset base operating less than two hectares of cropland (World Bank, 2003).
The further study defines smallholder as farmers with limited resource endowments, relative to other farmers in sector (Dixon et al., 2003). There is no clear elsewhere definition of small farm and smallholder farmers. The simplest as well as conventional meaning of a smallholder is the case when the land available for a farmer is very limited (Chamberlain, 2008; Hazel et al., 2007). However, the meaning goes beyond this conventional definition and consists of some general character that so-called smallholders generally exhibit. Chamberlain has recognized four them on the basis of which smallholders can be differentiated from others. These themes include land property size, wealth, market orientation and level of vulnerability to danger. For that reason, smallholder is inadequate land availability, poor-resource endowments, subsistence-oriented and highly in danger to risk. However, smallholder may or may not exhibit all these dimensions of smallness simultaneously. It is also common to set the numeric value as a way of defining small-farms.
Hazel et al., (2007), define that small farmer as those less than two hectares of cropland while others define smallholders as those endowed with limited resources such as land, capital skills, and labor. Similarly, there are also those authors who often describe small farms in terms of low technology they mostly use, their heavy dependence on household manual labor and their subsistence orientation. There is no clearly stated definition as to what constitutes a small farm in Ethiopia as it is the case in many developing countries farmers in Ethiopia relation for part of the Ethiopian population and food grain production (Betre, 2006).
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