3. Sustainability in the Views of Different Land-Cultivating
This chhapter elaborates the role which sustainability,
definded as fulfilling the needs of the present generation
without limiting the chances of future generations to satisfy
their needs, plays for the different socioeconomis categories
described above. It comes to the conclusion that there is
a great variety caused by different factors.
Large Landowners (Landlords, plantations)
Today, most of them cultivate according to modern lines,
however, not always with sufficient consideration of the environmental
aspects. In other cases, they are traditional landlords operating
with share tenants and trying to achieve a high income through
strict control and skimming off as much as possible. In this
case, the tenants' interest in maintaining the quality of
the land may not exist at all. Chemical may be musused due
to insufficient information and carelessness. As far as plantations
are concerned, the management usually has all the technical
information which is necessary to organize cultivation in
line with care for the resource base, i.e., to observe the
requirements of sustainabWty. On the other hand, monoculture
and the exploitative character may have detrimental effects
as we! as the fact that plantations are sometimes operated
on concession so that the interest for tang-term sustainability
may be limited. It is probably justified to assume positive
as well as negative cases among the large landowners and plantations
as far as sustainability is concerned. We rate them.
These are mostly young, often well-trained farmers who manage
their land according to modern, 'capitalistic' criteria and
achieve high yields. These "children of the 'Green Revolution"
know about an ecologically sound agriculture. However, in
their eagerness to make money from the land, this goal sometimes
goes beyond the needs of an ecologically sound cultivation.
With the use of modern inputs, especially, they sometimes
do more than good. We rate them neutral, i.e., +.
These economically sound family farms have often been for
generations in the hands of one family. Here, the notion of
trusteship plays a role. Economic limitations and self-interst
caused them to be careful with the application of chemicals,
etc. In general, here thinking in terms of sustainability
is widespread. We rank them +.
Households with Multiple Employment
Often, their main interst, at least their expectations for
the young generation is concentrated outside agriculture.
Agricultural sustainability plas a limited role in their thinking,
especially among younger people. We rank them with.
Households with Household Production
Since they have not been able to find a non-agricultural activity,
their living condoitkms are bad. Their thoughts revolve around
survival, and the people lack the means to consider such aspects
as sustainability. Therefore, in this case, the lack of interest
is combined with the lack of funds. We rank them with.
Households of Aged People
These are residual households in which the shildren have
migrated and the old couple has to manage the small farm since
they neve no other means of survival. Disinvestment is frequent.
These are neither means, nor interest, nor understanding for
the notion of sustainability. The holding will cease to exist
when the old couple dies. We rank them with.
These houshdds which, for personal of material reasons, have
not succeeded in supplementing the income from the small acreage
mostly Bve in great poverty. The members have to use every
opportunity to ensure survival today without regard to the
question as to what tomorrow will be. We rank them with.
If Ms ranking is applied to the figure in Table 2 regarding
the number and cultivated area of different ocioeconimic catagories,
we obtain the picture illustrated in Table 3.
Table 3. Percentage of Cultivating Households and
Area and their Ranking Regarding Sustainability
Percentage of Cultivating
This means that only in the case of about 1/5 the cultivating
households and 2/5 of the cultivated area is sustainability
satisfactory considered. On the other hand, not less than
76% of the cultivating households holding about 40% of the
land are ranked negatively in that regard.
For sure, the ranking can be questioned. But the argument
dos not change if 5 or 10% more or less belong to one ranking
or another. The important statement is that the life situation
and interest of many people are such, that considerations
of sustainability hardly play a role in their life, often
cannot play a role because of their degree of poverty.