3. Implications for Development Policy

The socio economic differentiation which has been explained shows that agriculture, today, is not the same as 30 years ago. Land cultivation, especially, cannot always be perceived as `agriculture' understood in terms of farms employing the labour of the cultivating family and providing these people's subsistence.

It is perhaps necessary to explain the different types of land cultivating households by means of a different paradigm. Instead of farms, it might be better to speak of households that utilize all the resources available to them (land, labour and perhaps some capital) to secure survival and raise their standard of living.

Depending an the resource endowment, this can take place in various ways: if there is sufficient land, the household might concentrate an farming. Agriculture is then the sole activity. But if there is a. shortage of land, people have to make other arrangements to earn their living. They either try to find additional non farm jobs and thus increase their total income, they engage in household production and avoid expenditure in order to survive, or only an old couple instead of a family lives an the land.

Naturally, among the different households, the functions of land cultivation vary. For the household with sufficient land, the central function is to create reasonable means of existence for the members and produce food and raw materials for self sufficiency and the maket.

For households which do not have enough land, these functions play a smaller role while others become important. Partial self sufficiency is still a goal, but old age security, financing the costs of training or migration, security in the case of unemployment become more important. In part, these are alternative functions because there are no other ways of fulfilling these functions.

The goals which the people concerned have regarding cultivation also change with the functions.

Households with sufficient land are interested in increasing production and productivity as means of increasing their income. They therefore use the possibilities offered by modern technology and by the market. Side goals are to facilitate work and offer security for old age.

Households without sufficient land are much less interested in increasing yields. They have made the experience that, if they only have a small acreage, an increase in yield does not bring much in the end. Instead of the highest yield, one is more interested in the least labour input and the smallest possible investment in agricultural production. This makes it possible to use the existing labour force outside agriculture and is less risky. If one is successful in securing permanent nonagricultural jobs, then, the financial result is usually much better than all efforts in agriculture. Traditional farming brings self sufficiency, and keeping the land in the family is an important security for the household.

One has a rural house and a place where to live in old age, in familiar surroundings. Sometimes, the land is the family's savings bank.
The changing functions and goals of land cultivating families have consequences for suitable measures of development policy. Considering the strong differentiation in agriculture, a uniform policy for all household types is impossible. The usual instruments of agricultural policy, especially, are helpful only for a certain number of all of the households, and that for the smaller number.

For households having sufficient land, i.e., large landowners, progressive farmers, and economic holdings, agricultural policy is a suitable policy instrument. Price policy, structural policy and innovation policy are of help to these farms and to their cultivators. Especially the supporting institutions (cooperatives, extension, credit facilities, etc.) are of great importance and effect for these groups and, at the same time, for an increase in food production and food security. Whatever changes in agrarian structure are still lacking in the case of landlords have to be provided for by measures of agrarian reform.

For households not having sufficient land, measures of agricultural policy are of lesser interest. Of course, measures of structural policy and agrarian reforms may provide a possibility to increase the farm area and thus cause an `upward' development of the farm. Most of the instruments of agricultural policy, however, remain without effect for these households and, therefore, hardly serve their interests. This includes the supporting institutions for agriculture. A marginal farmer has nothing to sell via, the cooperative because he needs all his produce for home consumption. Households with multiple employment are not those which consult regularly the extension worker, and no bank or cooperative will give credit to the holdings of the aged. One cannot help the people concerned with agricultural policy, and the effects of such measures an production are equally minimal. Of course, within the margin between both types, there are possibilities of achieving positive effects, but these are exceptions to the rule.

Any promotion of the households not having sufficient land has to take into consideration that the longterm focus of interest of these people is usually outside agriculture and that the small size of their acreage necessarily limits the quantitative effect of all agricultural measures. The instruments of regional development policy (which, to some extent, include measures of agricultural policy) offer better prospects for these groups. Promotion of employment, diversification of economy in rural areas, smoothing the transition to non agricultural jobs by appropriate professional training are of help to these people. In some areas, where the relation between men and resources has become too narrow, a certain degree of outmigration is necessary to preserve the ecosystem from damages due to overuse. Usually, people realize this, and some of them leave the region. Finally, in our discussion of development and our focus an `helping people to help themselves', we must not forget that there are hundreds of thousands of people who are not able to help themselves because of illness, disabilities, old age, etc. Therefore, measures of social and welfare policy have to be an important component in the mix of policy instruments.