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
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