Evidence and Implications for Rural and
Agricultural Development Policy

Frithjof Kuhnen

In the course of the last 30 years, the main target of agricultural policy in Pakistan, as in many other countries, has been the small farmer. Although he has hardly been exactly defined, he is supposed to be poor he is, invariably and, with the help of a great variety of instruments extending from strengthening supporting services such as extension and cooperatives to price subsidies, the various governments have been trying to improve the lot of the smallholder in agriculture.

Over the same 30 years, we have experienced that it is not the smallholder but the large farmer who reaps most of the benefit from all supporting measures. The latter's prosperity increased while the small farmer still is a poor man. Quite a few peasants had to give up agriculture and lost their means of existence, if not during their lifetime, then at the time of change of generation.

This Long lasting experience not only here, but in many countries leads to the question: Is the theory, which is guiding our policy, correct? Or do we need a new understanding of agriculture?

The paper at hand tries to answer this question by analysing the existing types of farms in the 50s, the changes up to now, and the consequences for agricultural and rural development policy.