Harnessing Agricultural Potentials for Economic Growth in North Carolina

Janaranjana Herath, David Hill


Agriculture in North Carolina contributes to 19 percent of the state’s income and employs over 20 percent of the work force. Agricultural activities are significant in rural counties and nearly 30 percent of the total population of North Carolina lives in 85 rural counties. Individuals in these rural counties have less income, education, and employment opportunities eventually in high poverty and unemployment rates. The objective of this study is to examine the potential use of agriculture in economic growth of North Carolina using county level data. Data were gathered from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Census Bureau for the period of 2000 to 2010. A system of simultaneous equations is used for the analysis. Results highlight that increasing income increases agricultural activities and vise versa. Thus, the counties with high household income levels are more capable of incorporating agriculture in economic growth while the counties with significant agricultural activities are more competent of improving income levels. Overall, results conclude the importance of secured satisfactory level of income through agriculture to enhance economic growth.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/sar.v2n2p142


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