4.b) Impact an larger farmers

Larger farmers make up about five per cent of the rural population but they are of great importance because of their better economic position. As is indicated by the name surplus farmers, sometimes given to them, their enterprise is large enough to exceed the subsistence level and provide a marketable surplus. Usually, the farms cover more than five acres, i.e., their owners are not bio landlords, but they are relatively better off than the majority of the village population.

This group has hardly been covered by the activities of the Academy. The surplus farmers, by and large, are no members of the cooperative and often have an unfavourable Attitude towards the work of the cooperative and the Academy in general. It 1s not unusual that they agitate against the cooperatives and try to persuade members to give up their membership. This attitude has economic as well as social reasons. Surplus farmers act as moneylenders to the small peasants in the village with the spread of the cooperatives and their credit activities, the moneylending business of the larger Farmers and the income they could draw from it went down. At least of equal importance is the fact that the activities of the Academy challenge their traditional leading role in the village. The credit activities bring about a financial independence, the services of cooperative associations reduce the economic disadvantages of small holdings and the training activities deprive the Surplus farmers of their information monopoly. Finally, a new type of Administration developed direct relations between Government and peasants.

The non involvement of the larger Farmers seems to be detrimental to the Academy's activities; at least it creates some difficulties. It seems, therefore, necessary to try to interest and integrate them into the rural development work of the Academy. After all, they have to offer some important assets: better training and some capital. It will probably be difficult to integrate them into the existing cooperatives. They might easily be a disturbing factor and endanger the successful work of recent years. Therefore, the place of the larger farmers has probably to be found outside the cooperatives. On the other hand, to obtain their cooperation, they should be given a new feeling of importance and leadership which satisfies their demand for prestige in a new Field where they can use their abilities.

It might be worthwhile to investigate the possibilities of using their abilities and their Funds in rural industrialization. This would be similar to some other countries where, after land reform, the landlords with their managerial abilities and their capital have been guided into industrialization. In a similar way, they could invest, even an a smaller scale, the Funds used so far for moneylending into rural industries and gain a reputation as entrepreneurs and employers. In view of the limited funds available to the individual, the industries have probably to be organized as share companies. As these landlords might dislike the risk of organizing the enterprise, it might be necessary to run the industries, at the beginning, by a government sponsored corporation and sell them as soon as they make profit. This system is not unknown in the development of large scale industries in Pakistan and could perhaps be adapted for rural industries as well. In some other countries, the experience has been made that shares have an important side benefit for their owner. They make it easy to obtain a credit from banks because the latter accept these shares as security.

In order to avoid an exploitation of the workers similar to the Former exploitation of peasants it might be necessary to develop a new organizational form of share companies with limited profit to shareholders, whereas any excess profit is reinvested or distributed to workers. The Institute of WAQF could perhaps be adapted for the development of such an organizational form, Ownership of shares by surplus farmers might, in the course of time, have a favourable influence an farm structures, because shares could be inherited by some of the children instead pf land, and this would reduce the tendency to break up the land into smaller and smaller parcels. While these ideas are so far rather vague, it might be worthwhile to elaborate an the possibilities to implement them.

Another possibility is that surplus farmers might become interested in other crops than rice, since these will become more and more important as the pap in staple food is closed. In view of the lack of raw materials for industries in East Pakistan, non food crops have perhaps particularly good prospects. The Academy could, after some experimentation, ,introduce them to the surplus farmers. They might be interested, especially as in many cases a combination with processing is possible in small industries, thus offering possibilities for non agricultural activities.