Measures to Reform Land Management

The political goals of agrarian reforms can be largely achieved on the basis of land ownership reform measures. Therefore, in the past when these goals stood in the foreground, land ownership reform were sufficient. An increase in production and income- as it is demanded today, in addition --can only be expected if the redistribution of the land is accompanied by measures to prove land management. By these measures,new farmers are either supplied with missing knowledge or inputs, or functions that were carried out by the landlords until then are taken over by someone else. In substance, these are first and foremost the usual agrarian policy promotional measures that are, in this case, integrated into the land ownership reform process and thereby increase its chances of success.

An important task is advising and training the beneficiaries of the reform. This is all the more important if previously landless are granted land. In this case, both the question of cropping techniques as well as farm organization and guidance in marketing have to be supplied. If the new farmers come from other regions, they do not have any knowledge of the local soil and climatic conditions and their consequences for agriculture. Tenants who were previously used to working under the supervision of a landlord need help in adjusting to the new situation. As a result of the size of the farming units being reduced, animal keeping will surely spread and bring along with it extension service tasks. Following an agrarian reform the number, level of knowledge and the type of production of the extension service clientele changes because instead of a few landowners there are many small farmers that have to be advised. That demands an increase in the number of extension workers and, possibly, a change in the extension service methods with a transition from individual to mass extension methods. This may make it necessary to organize the farmers in groups.

Before the extension work can be intensified, the extension workers have to receive the necessary training concerning both contents as well as methodology. Specifically regarding farm organization and marketing, there are often considerable gaps in knowledge. The extension personnel has to function as intermediaries between the farmers and the state promotional institutions and make public what the government offers. The activities of the extension workers make it necessary to further develop and reorientate the targets of research.

As a result of the change in land ownership and management, investment and financial problems arise that demand a functioning credit system. In particular, short term credit is necessary for financing the running production and cost of living until the harvest. In addition, the feeling of security might lead the new owners to make investments and, after all, the landlord used to often finance part of the farm costs. A substitution has to be made available for that if the farmers are to be kept from becoming dependent once again as s result of debts. Unless their demand for credit is met, the new farmers are sometimes unable to make use of the land allotted to them.

In practice, however, it has proved to be very difficult to organize functional credit programmes for small farmers. The banks are frequently not very interested in loans for small farmers, and if property rights are not transferred completely, then there is no possibility of getting a mortgage loan. Numerous experiments with group and cooperative credit failed because the procedure for granting credit was too slow and unwieldy and the loans were not repaid. Because of the high personnel expenses for small farm credit, it is sometimes not possible to avoid subsidizing them.

The organization of the marketing system for both selling the products as well as procuring inputs is important for the target of increasing the yield and incomes. As the existing facilities are mainly set up to meet the requirements of large farms, entirely new organization will have to be established in some cases. This is also often necessary because a change in the type of prodece is a result of a change in the farm size structure and leads to marketing of products for which there are no marketing channels. According to the state's choice, state, cooperative, or private forms are given preference. All of these can only then be successful if the required transport and communication networks are at hand as well as whether the legal framework and control instances have been created.

All of these services have a better chance, if the majority of the small farmers are organized in cooperatives or similar groups. Innumerable agrarian reforms make provisions, therefore, for the establishment of such organizations. These vary according to the number of services they offer and the extent of the self help concept behind them. Much more important than the organizational form and the contents of the statutes is that cooperation takes place; that is that the members make use of the advantages of acting together.

The facts have shown that it is not always enough to offer these measures to promote cultivation to the new farmers and leave it up to them whether to make use of them or not.mt. This would sometimes lead to a very slow adaptation by the individual farm managers and result in yield increases being hesitated. Therefore, it is believed necessary, in some cases, to make provisions to enforce the employment of modern farming methods. For this reason, the new farmers-after the Egyptian agrarian reform had been passed-had to, according to law, enter an agrarian reform cooperative that was given certain key functions to ensure the farms success. These cooperatives that were directed by a trained agronomist took over the responsibility for providing seed, fertilizer, credit, plant protection, machines, and marketing the produce. In addition, the crop rotation was made uniform in order to allow ploughing to be carried out without being limited to the boundaries of the single plots. All other field operations were the business of the individual farmers. Not only large increases in outputs, but especially the fact that there was no decrease in outputs immediately following the reform, proved the success of such measures.

In the case of some settlement projects as well, production under supervision plays a role and ensures that the large capital investments for the project pay off. If training for the purpose of creating more self- reliance is not included in these measures, it can easily result in a continual need for supervision and guidance which would cost the parties financing the project accordingly.