Promoting Equality in the Rural Population

Agrarian reforms influence the basis of economic and political power in rural areas- land and its distribution- with their redistribution measures. The extent to which equality is reached within the agrarian sector depends on how radical the agrarian reform is. It is, therefore, greater in the case of agrarian revolutions and socialistic reforms. If the reforms are mild, the effects are limited. By intensifying cultivation, the landlords can make up for eventual drops in income resulting from land losses. in other respects, one should not place too much hope in changes at the village level. The situation of the landless and tenants is hardly altered if a large landowner has to usually give up only a small part of his lands. The psychological effects are sometimes of most significance. The reform shows the lower class that it is possible to take something away from even the large landowners, and these see the reform as a warning to change their behaviour accordingly.

How compensation is regulated plays a great role in changes in the landowners' economic situation resulting from an agrarian reform. The higher the compensation, the less equality will result from the reform. This is important for the question as to what extent the landowners' power position will be changed at a regional and national level. Compensation in the form of industrial shares only changes the composition of the wealth, but not its extent.

The political position of the rural population is also influenced by land management reform measures. Making the necessary services available frees the farmers from certain dependencies, particularly in the credit sector, whereas reforms that do not regulate these needs can hardly change the old relationships.

Failing to consider water rights enough has likewiese made more than one "landlord" into a "waterlord".

Agrarian reforms generally shift the balance of power at the national level from the large landowner class to the state and, thus, increase its capacity to act and its scope of authority. Weakening the landowners' position decreases their influence. Furthermore, the state's influence on agriculture is increased by organizing the extension service institutions. Semigovernmental cooperatives are also a control instrument for supervising and influencing agricultural production. The arrangement of the compensation presents a chance to influence investments in the agricultural sector.