Archive for September, 2013

Land reform vs. agrarian reforms in Pakistan

Recently I read some thing calling for land reform in Pakistan. Land reform is important, but leftists need to be clear on the parameters and forms of land reform necessary. Here are some tentative thoughts.

It’s not enough to break up large landholdings and to distribute them amongst small farmers.

For many small farmers who already have possession of land, they lack the capital (that is, money) required to invest in the land to make it intensively productive. They cannot afford fertilizers, pesticides, appropriate seeds, and other forms of inputs needed to make things work out.

Additionally, some kinds of capital, especially machinery, requires extensive (not just intensive) farming. The smallholding patterns, with individual households making individual decisions about crop growth and consumption/sale, will and does get in the way of potential for larger scale farming.

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