Handbook of Manufacturing Industries in the World Economy
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Handbook of Manufacturing Industries in the World Economy

Edited by John R. Bryson, Jennifer Clark and Vida Vanchan

This interdisciplinary volume provides a critical and multi-disciplinary review of current manufacturing processes, practices, and policies, and broadens our understanding of production and innovation in the world economy. Chapters highlight how firms and industries modify existing processes to produce for established and emerging markets through dynamic and design-driven strategies. This approach allows readers to view transformations in production systems and processes across sectors, technologies and industries. Contributors include scholars ranging from engineering to policy to economic geography. The evidence demonstrates that manufacturing continues to matter in the world economy.
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Chapter 15: Farm machinery: a changing path to feed the world

Dawn M. Drake


The farm machinery industry is vitally important to manufacturing economies in many countries as well as the ability of most nations to feed themselves. In many developed countries the farm machinery industry is a key component of the economy despite the fact that it comprises a small portion of gross domestic product (GDP). The industry provides good-paying manufacturing jobs. Farm machinery is also a necessary component of the commercial agro-food industry due to continued declines in the agricultural workforce in the industrialized world. Even as the number of people working in commercial agriculture declines, global population grows. One of the most efficient ways to feed the world, given these conditions, is the use of high-horsepower tractors and combines. In 2009 the average American farmer fed 155 people worldwide, compared with just 27 in the 1960s (Center for Food Integrity 2009). In 2012 US farm machinery manufacturers produced over 35 billion (one thousand million) dollars in products and services to assist in this effort (Boyland 2012), making the industry critical to the success of commercial agriculture throughout the world.

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