I have always felt that the notion of economic viability gets glossed over in discussions of sustainable agriculture. That is why one of the first pieces I posted to this blog was “Defining Economic Viability”. No definition? No problem. I’ll make my own.
“Economic viability means that the real returns from farming operations, relative to the farm’s asset value and labor inputs, are competitive with other small business, career, or investment alternatives.”
I might smooth this out a bit, but it is a solid, comprehensive working definition. (Refer to the earlier article to see why.) Over the three and a half years since I wrote it, I noticed that this article always got more traffic than others. Perhaps I should have been more curious, but I hadn’t googled the definition for some time.
Until last night.
I was surprised to see that my article was the #2 hit on Google for “defining economic viability.” OK, so that is the exact title… perhaps not a fair test. But what happens if you limit the search to “economic viability”? Still high up the second page. Note that neither search was restricted to the economic viability of agriculture. It seems odd to me that such a central concept is not better defined.