Increasing Incomes and the Living Standard

An improvement in the living conditions of the rural population can be achieved primarily by increasing production. Since land management reform measures in particular work as an incentive for production increases, these have a considerable effect on income. But increasing legal security, or even just clarifying the legal relationships, likewise has a positive effect. The feeling of security and the resulting willingness to work harder can increase production and, thus, income.

The effect on agricultural incomes from changing the distribution of the outputs, as foreseen in the land ownership reform measures, is comparatively smaller. Exaggerated hopes are often placed in these measures. Naturally, measures such as placing a limit on farmsize, rent or abolishing subleasing have positive effects. Making tenants into landowners saves them from paying rent but necessitates them taking over the services and obligations that were previously carried out by the landlord. Furthermore, distribution changes ,mean generally only the redistribution of chances that cannot be taken advantage of until there has really been an increase in production. Whether this is possible depends also on the concomitant measures for improving land management.

An income can also arise out of the secondary effects of agrarian reforms. All developments raise the chances of earning additional income from nonagricultural activities because of the increased demand for services and present, in particular for small farmers, an opportunity to improve their income.