Increasing Socio-economic Differentiation in Agriculture

In spite of the widespread dissatisfaction with the rather limited achievements of 50 years of development efforts – which is certainly justified in view of the still existing and even increasing poverty among millions of people – one cannot overlook many important changes in the general framework conditions in most of the Third World countries. Without going into detail or striving to achieve completeness, these changes can be described by the following key terms: the transition from stagnation to a dynamic situation; industrial, commercial and agricultural development in many regions; emerging non-agricultural jobs; world market integration; increasing population growth; political instability; poor administrations; and institutional vacuum in many cases. With all that in mind, one can say that the expectations of the 50s have not been fulfilled, but at the same time the situation in these countries today is not comparable with that of some 50 years ago.

These changes have had repercussions on the character of the farms and the socio-economic situation of the agricultural households. The people to land relation has been differentiated considerably.


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