MULTIPLE EMPLOYMENT IN ASIAN AGRICULTURE
Professor in the Institute of Rural Development
University of Göttingen, West Germany.
I. The Extent of Multiple Employment
Most agricultural households in Asia live from a mix of
agricultural and non-agricultural income.
The size of farms show already that many of these cannot
suffice as the sole means of securing a family's basis of
Of the 103,7 million farms statistically recorded in Asia
around 1970, 52 per cent had less than 1 ha,
19 per cent were of a size of 1 to 2 ha, and
18 per cent of 2 to 5 ha.
89 per cent are smaller than 12.5 acres.
In Pakistan in 1980,
34 per cent of all farms were below 2 ha,
51 per cent were below 3 ha,
74 per cent were below 5 ha or 12.5 acres.
In the meantime, the percentage of marginal farms is likely
to have increased as a result of the inheritance custom.
Considering only the size of land available to a family,
it is to be expected that in a large proportion of farm-households,
the cash and non-cash incomes from agriculture are not sufficient
to secure but a modest subsistence to the often large families
the farmers have to support.
Indeed, some of the land is irrigated, but even then, only
in very favourable conditions less than 2 ha is sufficient
to support a family.
Considering these farm sizes in Asia, it must be assumed that
many farm families do not live from agriculture alone, but
that multiple employment is quite common. Since statistics
are not available, this assumption can only be substanciated
by the results of empirical surveys.
These case studies showed, that the following percentage
of farm-households increase their income by means of non-agricultural
||39 and 78%
||31, 40, 37, 55, 76 and 84%
||between 37 and 73%
However poorly representative the sporadic findings of case
studies can be, they still show that multiple employment is
widespread in Asia. It is likely to increase further in future,
considering the constant distribution of land due to inheritance,
while simultaneously, non-agricultural development takes place