1. Types of Farms in the 50s
During the initial years of development efforts, Pakistans
agriculture consisted of a limited number of socioeconomic
types of farms. Leaving out some special types that exist
only in a a, small number, one had to differentiate primarily
between three types
- large landowners (landlords)
- small farms
- marginal farms.
The landlords usually did not cultivate
their land themselves. Decentralized cultivation by share
tenants was rather common. For the landowners, their property
was primarily a source of power and prestige, while production
was considered to be of lesser importance. Their strategy
for achieving a high income was to skim off high rent, not
so much to increase the yield. The rather stagnating agriculture
resulted in a, low standard of living for the share tenant.
Small farmers hold family farms where the
family members apply all their labour an the land (sometimes
with the help of some additional hired labourers), and where
the family members live off the produce of the land. Cultivation
follows local customs and is controlled by the village society.
The larger the Farm, the more produce can be sold, but even
in the case of larger family farms, the self sufficiency requirements
for the family and dependent households played a great role
in determining the cropping pattern.
Marginal farms had too little land in relation
to soil quality. They produced almost exclusively for self-sufficiency,
but the yield was a meagre basis for existence. Whenever possible,
these peasants tried to improve their income by working as
labourers an larger farms. Many of the share tenants belonged
to this type.
For all three types, the land and the farm were the basis
of livelihood and life security and, therefore, the centre
of common interest of all family members. The farm family's
expectations were homogeneous and farm-centered. Differences
in farm size were the main reason for differences in the standard
of living at the local level.
Under these conditions, instruments of agricultural policy
could be rather uniform, and defining the target group was
no issue. In the case of large landlords, land reform was
the first requirement for creating conditions that were more
suitable for development. For a large number of family farms,
the usual instruments of agricultural policy (market and price
policy and supporting institutions) were applied. Those instruments
were supposed to help the marginal farms as well, since these
were understood merely as smaller issues of family farms.
Soon, it became obvious that these very Instruments hardly
attained the marginal farms, a problem which has been neglected
for a, long time.
Since the early days of development efforts, the economic,
social, political and technological framework, within which
agriculture has been working, has changed considerably:
- The size of farms decreased because of inheritance, population
increase and land reform.
- New technologies have been introduced in agriculture,
leading to a close interweaving of this sector with other
- Non agricultural development created employment opportunities
and caused too early migration to cities.
- Mass media, and mobility of the population have integrated
the rural society into the overall society.
- Misuse and overuse of the land have led to damages to
These factors are more marked in some regions than in others
but have, to a certain extent, influenced the whole country.
The result is an increasing differentiation in agriculture.
Within the course of this process, target groups for measures
of development policy have become more specific, and so has
the suitability of different instruments.