Agricultural economics: An exoteric or esoteric science
The main argument in this article is that agricultural economists in South Africa must address at least two fundamental questions, namely: (1) "What is the influence of public policy on the structure of agriculture?" and (2) "What is the influence of the governance of farm businesses on their success from a financial, economic, social and environmental point of view?" These questions have been at the core of the profession of agricultural economics since its beginning, but if agricultural economists want to provide useful answers they will need to revisit the currently dominant paradigm of applied microeconomics. As a profession, agricultural economists have not kept pace with a number of new developments in economics; have ignored the lessons of history; have lost their connection with the everyday realities of farming; and have paid insufficient attention to new developments in systems thinking. © 2012 Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa.