A major functional area of the work of AGSP relates to Farm Management and Farm Data Systems.
Support is provided to assist decision-making on the optimal use of production inputs and scarce resources, through the identification of appropriate enterprise combinations and sustainable production technologies for different farming systems.
The optimal use of production inputs and scarce resources is an integral part of most technical programmes and decisions regarding fertilizer use, farm power choice, and enterprise combinations for maximizing farm profits. AGSP provides support and guidance here.
AGSP recognizes the importance of emergent commercial farms, with their very different farming systems, problems and constraints. The Service offers specific farm management advice, particularly concerning production and marketing.
Today's perception of development as essentially people-centred obliges policy analysts to be more concerned about the impact of policy on various categories of people. The increasing attention to equity concerns and sustainability goals has increased demand for micro-level information for policy purposes. Hence, AGSP is using micro-level information and analysis to improve the effectiveness of agricultural policy measures.
AGSP provides support for assessing the effects of policies on farmers' incentives and production under different conditions, such as structural adjustment programmes and market-oriented policies. Emphasis is on farm-level economics with focus on financial profitability of production alternatives and changing production structures.
Key AGSP publications on farm management and production economics are:
AGSP has strong experience in farm survey data handling and the generation of farm data banks. AGSP offers advice on data system design and implementation for farm data collection, processing and analysis. Computer applications facilitate micro-economics and farming systems analysis. Appropriate software, FARMAP 5.0, is used for comprehensive data handling and analysis (for more information, see AGSP Other Major Publications).
AGSP also produced 30 Farm Data Handbooks on crop and livestock budgets in all regions of the world. These Farm Data Handbooks are designed for use in preparing agricultural projects, policy analysis, sector planning, integrated rural development planning, agricultural extension, formulation of support services programmes and for teaching applications.
The Service has recently supported the application of resource and production economics and data system techniques in a number of field projects, covering areas such as: wheat productivity enhancement in Pakistan and farm data and policy analysis in India.