5. Man-Land Relations at the Beginning of Industrialization

In recent times, more and more non agricultural income opportunities have become available in Asia with great variations between countries and between regions within countries. This may be the result of increasing industrialization and of expanding the service sector, or sometimes take the form of manpower export to other countries. While the latter involves a smaller number of people, it is of great influence because of the relatively high incomes and transfers.

As a result of emerging alternatives, young people, especially, become less interested in small scale traditional farming because they see no future in rainfed areas where the soil conditions are poor. To a rapidly increasing extent, households with small farms do not live from the proceeds of their cultivation alone, but have non- farm incomes in addition. This development, which has far reaching consequences for the man-land relations, can take different forms depending an family structure and economic conditions. Sometimes, peasants take a side job and become part-time farmers. In many cases, one or more sons take an a job, locally or at distant places, permanently or whenever they can find work and improve the financial basis of family life. In still other arrangements, agriculture is an occupation for part of a lifetime only. The younger family members take an non- agricultural jobs while the father operates the small farm. When the young generation is about 45 years of age, the father becomes too old so that the son has to take over the farm. This is when the next generation reaches working age. Sometimes, an "extended family economy" emerges, in which relatives residing in the city receive products from the farm for their subsistence (and for sentimental reasons) and contribute regularly or only in case of special requirements to the farming relatives' budget. In all these cases, the family only partly depends an agriculture, which sometimes makes up the smaller share of income. This influences the interest they have in land, their willingness to invest, and their goals concerning agriculture. As about 70 % of all census registered agricultural holdings in Asia outside mainland China are less than 2 ha in size- in many cases not enough to live on - these mixed households are quite common.

As such households having a multitude of economic activities develop, the attitude towards agriculture changes. The level of income is the focus of interest, not the size of the landed property a family owns. A farm is only one possibility among others to earn this income. Equality of income is of importance, not equality of landownership, and the comparison is not made within agriculture, but between sectors.

The differentiation within agriculture goes further: while, for many families, agriculture is still a way of life as for their forefathers, other farmers become entrepreneurs and engage in business like commercial farming along scientific lines and sometimes surprisingly achieve high production and productivity. This may go an until the stage of agro-business is reached, for instance in broiler production, hog fattening, feed lots, etc. Often, it is combined with a trend to expand the farm units by purchasing, or more often renting in, the land of smallholders. Those who rent out their land are often those who failed in the rougher climate of a market integrated agriculture and have had to give up farming.

This process of differentiation within agriculture brings with it a new phase in the land market. Non- agricultural speculators enter the land market, invest there and compete with bona fide farmers, often successfully, because of their greater financial resources. In the absence of a land policy, more and more agricultural land often the most fertile land is converted for other uses like roads, housing areas, industrial sites, etc. In contrast, cultivation is given up in marginal areas because the income a man can obtain there cannot compete with the existing alternatives. If this concentrates in certain regions, the population density may decrease to a level that has detrimental effects on the service structure. Moreover, the development of rural towns and even villages and the availability of services may reach a stage, at which differences in the level of living between urban and rural areas shrink in the people's evaluation.

The increasing differentiation in agriculture requires instruments for balancing the supply of and demand for land. The bias against lease as an instrument has to be re-examined. As well, too small farms often cannot earn the cultivator an income which is attractive to an able young man. Ceiling legislation has to find an optimum between giving land to as many rural families who demand it and assuring the basis for a desirable income. Increasing shortage of labour in agriculture and increasing capital intensity are bound to lead to larger holdings. Besides, release of labour out of agriculture is a prerequisite for developing the secondary and tertiary sectors.

In a time of beginning industrialization, land has to fulfil additional functions. It is no longer only the basis for agricultural production and residence of the agricultural population, but rural industries and services develop, and people working in these sections live on the land. In addition, ecological problems coming up with modern agriculture have to be taken care of so that the resource base is maintained.

To the same degree as fundamental changes in land ownership lose importance, measures to improve land management are necessary to enable especially smallholders to compete with commercial farmers. Change in existing and development of new institutions to fulfil peasants' requirements in extension, marketing of products, supply of Inputs, credit and insurance, transportation and similar supporting services are required. These institutions cannot be created by agriculture but have to be supplied by the society.

However, their very supply by the society cannot be taken for granted. The more general socioeconomic development takes place, the less the general interest centres an agriculture. While, in an agrarian society, everybody lives directly or indirectly from agriculture, as industrialization increases, agriculture becomes a shrinking sector and, soon, to guarantee a policy allowing peasants to earn an income that a minority which needs support from other sectors of economy and society, is attractive to the young generation. The struggle among sectors for a "big piece" of cake in the economy is all the more difficult as there are no institutions to represent agriculture in debates with other sectors and against the government to represent its justified interests.

Increasing interweaving of agriculture and non-agricultural activities within households, mutual dependence between sectors for markets and inputs, shrinking differences between urban and rural areas make isolated measures to change land tenure obsolete. In industrializing societies, the agrarian question can be solved only when integrated into the general economic and social policy of societies.

The Example of India:

In recent years an increasing differentiationnwithin agriculture has been one of the most remarkable tendencies. While the "Green Revolution" led to a differentiation between irrigated and non- irrigated areas, in which production increases were more or less limited to the former, the differentiation process continues in other fields. Depending on the individual cultivator, some holdings develop into progressive farms managed along commercial lines. Modern management and an increase in the scale of operation are quite common in these cases. Other landowners continue with traditional farming and are satisfied with a moderate income, part of which at least is rental income. The natural growing conditions and economics of location can explain these differences only partially.

Many of the increasing number of small and marginal farmers try to earn a non-agricultural income by working in industrial or commercial establishments, and young people, especially, sometimes cannot see a future in cultivating a small plot of poor land and migrate to the cities, renting their land to larger holdings. As, at the same time, many tenants have been dismissed, tenancy rapidly becomes a different phenomenon than in former times. More and more larger farms rent in land instead of renting it out. An important drive in all these developments has been provided by the improvement of supporting institutions for agriculture, especially credit and marketing.

All these changes in man-land relations happen at a speed and to a degree that vary widely in the different regions of the country. Gradually, however, agriculture is changing from way of life for the mass of the population towards a possibility of making a livelihood, one among others.

The Example of Korea:

With the increasing industrialization of the country, migration from the rural areas to the cities continues rapidly. This is caused not so much by differences in income, but by the absence of a successful regional development policy bringing industries to the smaller cities and rural towns. Besides the concentration of industry in a few big cities, the difference in the quality of educational facilities plays a great role, because remaining in the village reduces the life chances of the young generation.

However, because of the close relations among families and the children's duty to look after their parents in old age as well as their ancestors' tombs, a network has been developed with some members of the extended family living in the cities, others remaining in the village and cultivating the land. Between them close social a well as economic relations exist. The village is becoming increasingly the living place for the aged and the small children, while family members of working age reside in the city.

Land cultivation is concentrated in fewer holdings, usually in open or disguised forms of tenancy, is increasingly using modern technology and becoming capital intensive. The government policy to modernize the rural areas has changed the picture of villages. Modern houses have replaced the traditional farm house, and all modern facilities are available on the village site. Much money earned in the city has been invested in the rural areas.

In the absence of a sound land policy, the man-land relation is changing rapidly. Following the improvement of supporting institutions and favourable price policy by the government, investment in land has become of interest to speculators. Other good land is used for housing areas, industrial sites, roads, etc. The abolishment of ceilings is under discussion, hardly to the advantage of bona fide farmers. Understanding for ecological considerations is developing only very slowly. The tremendous industrial development in the past often causes public interest to be judged solely with industrial eyes, and the absence of a representation of agriculture's interests often makes this sector the playball for other quarters.