3.B. Requirements of Different Land Tenure Categories
The last chapter showed that the current main activities
of IRDP do not correspond to the situation and requirements
of most of the land tenure categories, and that the vested
interests of some groups prevent others from participating
in the services offered by the scheme. This chapter attempts
to outline the requirements of different land tenure categories
for their betterment. This analysis is not meant to be complete,
but rather to give an indication of the variety of requirements
and the multitude of approaches which are necessary - if IRDP
is supposed to become what its name suggests: a programme
for the benefit of the whole rural population.
Landlords usually have the necessary information
and contacts for the implementation of modern agriculture.
Their most serious problem is the timely supply of inputs,
a problem beyond the possibilities of IHDP and calling for
the expansion of input-production. In principle, they do not
need cooperatives to arrange for their supplies, credit and
marketing, and they usually make little use -of these institutions
(unless inputs are channelled through them). The private sector
(banks, merchants, etc.) is able to satisfy their needs. Even
for their technical information, they hardly depend on the
extension worker and the level of field staff is too low to
give the type of information required. Technical assistance
of the type required by landlords, i.e. farm management, change
of f-v- organization, etc. is too difficult to be rendered
by the extension staff. By ara large, landlords can handle
their affairs with the private sector and do not need •the
special attention of IRDP.
Family owner-operators (and most tenants
of better standing) need a solution to the physical supply
problem as well as an institution which would combine the
more limited 'quantities of inputs and marketed produce of
individuals in order to bring the economies of scale to them.
Because of their non-profit character, well-managed cooperatives
are best suited for this purpose. It is in these categories
that cooperatives can work moat effectively. They cater not
only for input and marketing, but also for credit requirements.
Here, the combination of these activities provides for proper
use of inputs as well as for repayment of credit. For this
group, credit should be combined with farm management advice
to ensure the most productive and economic use of resources.
This will require an individual farm approach by high calibre
extension staff. Cooperative activities should go further
than already mentioned and include cooperation to increase
production by organizing activities which are beyond the possibilities
of the individual farmer. Change of land tillage technology
is often a prerequisite for the intensification of cropping
but in many cases this exceeds the means of the individual.
The construction of tubewells and plant protection are other
examples which require joint action.
Marginal owner-cultivators are in an economically
weak position and, therefore, definitely require the services
of a non-profit institution like a cooperative. The type 01'
services they need, however, is quite different. Supply plays
a less important role, and marketing is not their problem.
They need assistance to increase their income by opening possibilities
to apply more labour to the little land they have. This could
include promotion of vegetable cultivation or animal husbandry
by opening the market for these products, providing special
technical advice and supplying special inputs. The shortage
of milk, ghee and meat seems to offer possibilities for small
peasants. By keeping goats, sheep and buffaloes, they could
increase their income considerably, not lastly by investing
their family labour in collecting fodder at roadsides, near
canals, etc. The prerequisite - besides opening the marketing
channels - is a specially desired credit scheme corresponding
to their limited possibilities. In view of the limited repayment
capacity, credit to purchase an animal might be repaid later
in the form of a youngstock, etc.
Organization of land tillage is another urgent requirement.
Tractor stations which in time will serve not only the big
farmer but the small holder as well, could free numerous areas
in which fodder for bullocks is now being cultivated or allow
a shift from bullocks to buffaloes. For this group of rather
poor people, any credit programme has to incorporate a component
for consumptive purposes so as not to drive the small holder
into the hands of moneylenders. As not all will be able and
willing to engage in the intensified type of agriculture,
provision of non-agricultural employment plays an important
role in the needs of this category. This may take the form
of permanent jobs in rural industries, etc. so that with the
change of generation, some will shift to non-agricultural
activities and perhaps rent out their land or take the form
of public works programmes. Integration of the People's Works
Programme into the IRDP activities is the prerequisite for
a meaningful participation of poor people.
Tenants-at-will are probably the category
whose needs are most difficult to satisfy, as their basic
requirements are of a completely different character to those
of other groups. A change of their tenure situation should
be given top priority if their level of life is to be improved.
As, in their work, they are more or less dependent on the
landlords, the services offered are not likely to influence
them much because they are not free to use them. In theory,
landlord and tenant pool their resources for their joint benefit,
the landlord offering land, capital, know-how, and the tenant
labour and perhaps a little capital as well. In practice,
it is often different: the decisive factor is only the landlord's
interest, and this is not always to increase production. Usually,
he takes little interest and the tenant does mn benefit from
the landlord's better knowledge and information. The tendency
is for the active "positive" landlord to change
to self-cultivation, while those less interested continue
with share-cropping without partaking economies of scale and
the benefit of their better management abilities to the tenants.
Tenants, especially in remote areas, see hardly any alternative
to their meagre level of life and stay on the land without
hope that their lot will change. They were born in dependency
and remain in this status, and lucky indeed is he who has
got a "good" landlord.
The necessary change in the tenure situation, in principle,
can be brought about in different ways. Details are beyond
the scope of this paper. In centres of the green revolution,
there is already a tendency for abolishing the share-cropping
system, and former share croppers sometimes have a better
life as wage labourers. Even if the transfer might cause frictions,
(in the long run ) this change will improve their prospects.
Another alternative might be to ensure greater independence
and security of the tenants. Share-cropping is not basically
wrong, only the excesses of the completely biased landlord-tenant
relationship prove to be so. One of the prerequisites of a
successful share-cropping system is that the landlord fulfils
his obligations. Among other things, he has to organize farm
management. If he shows no interest or is not able to undertake
this task, one might discuss vesting it into other hands.
Still another possibility to change the tenure system is a
transfer from share rent to fixed rent, a process which in
recent years has already been going on in certain areas with
remarkable success. Whatever the solution -possibly a variety
of approaches - growing unrest among tenants indicates that
it is high time to change this tenure system.
In time landless labourers will benefit
from development in the farming sector. Already a certain
number could improve their situation by becoming specialists
in operating machinery, etc. This process will become more
popular and will be promoted by training labourers and preparing
them for the skill requirements of advanced agricultural technology.
For instance, upgrading courses for village carpenters and
blacksmiths could do a lot to increase their chances and promote
agricultural development as well. Credit programmes will be
required for setting up workshops for these people. Other
needs to improve living conditions are more non-agricultural
employment opportunities and, last but not least, training
to prepare them for migration to centres of development. Especially
the dry regions of the country might offer little hope for
an accelerated development so that people have to migrate.
The frictions are likely to be less important if these migrants
have training and skills in a certain craft to offer to their
This short outline indicates that requirements of various
tenure categories differ greatly. A whole set of new activities
have to be added to the current IKDP scheme if this programme
really is to work for the benefit of the total population.