III. Consequences of Multiple Employment

The great extent of multiple employment in rural areas has many consequences.

(a) The usual concept of a farm is not valid in many cases

Indeed, the great diversity of agriculture in the Thirl World is generally acknowledged. Mostly, however, agriculture is connected with the idea of a small family farm, in which the peasants family invests its labour and lives from the yields.

This does not apply in many cases. Neither are all workers available for agriculture — some of them work elsewhere — nor is the families standard of living dependent upon the farm's return, because additional earnings are often available.

Instead of farms or holdings, one should speak of 'types of rural households' which result from various forms of families and various economic activities. Thereby, the sources of income can vary from time to time and from region to region. Household activities do not have to take place in the same locality.

The usual relation between farm size and the farm families life situation — differentiated only by the varying quality of cultivation and of the natural and economic conditions for production — does not

According to the amount of non-agricultural income, interest in agriculture as well as internal distribution of income among family members, small farm households may have a high standard of living or live under poor circumstances.

The capacity of making investments is determined in part only by the agricultural income, but often much more by the non-agricultural income of family members. Thus the households dependence upon agriculture, its prices, costs and yields has decreased.

(b) The Farmers Objectives vary greatly

When the farm family is fully employed on the farm, thinking and activities are centeres on the farm. In case of multiple employment, this can be very different. The off-farm employment influences the interests in agriculture and limits the possibilities. A high income earned in the non-agricultural sector may reduce considerably the interest in cultivation, or may lead to expansion or modernization of the farmln contrast, if the small farm is considered as a hobby, the readiness to invest may disappear completely.

Objectives other than achieving a secure and satisfactory income from agriculture may be determining. Thus, agriculture involving a minimal amount of work can be of interest. Other households try to organize farming in such a way that the labour requirements are concentrated on a few days for planting and harvesting. On these days, the relatives in town are mobilized.

In still other cases, yields are uninteresting, and land speculation is the owners main pursuit. Rest from the noise and stress in the urban area may incite preference for a rural residence, or for sentimental reasons one would like to eat products from the inherited land. In the first generation of those who change their occupation, security also plays a role. As long as landed property is retained, one can go back to rural way of life should one loose the non-agricultural work place.

The possibilities of combining the household income from several sources depend upon the number of children, especially sons, of working age. Since multiple employment among marginal farms house-

holds is a means of improving their life situation, it becomes interesting from an economic standpoint to have many children. As long as family ties remain intact — and this often is still the case in the first generation employed off-farm — children send part of their income to their parents and thus create a way to improve their economic well-being possible from the agricultural income.

(c) Rural Development Approaches must be adjusted

The more common multiple employment is the closer rural development institutions have to examine whether their range of activities still corresponds to the wishes and needs.

The extension service must adjust itself to the clients' different objectives as well as to the fact that peasants are available at other times, and that knowledge and influence are also brought to the households by the sons employed in urban areas. Since those family members bear part of the financial burden when investments are made, they can hardly be excluded from planning.

Credit requirements, securities and repayment possibilities should be assessed different when multiple employment is taken up.
Farmers reactions to the measures of agrarian policy is not only determined by the farm requirements, but by whole situation in which the household finds itself. Relatives from towns may be involved in decision making.

(d) Increasing Differentiation in Agriculture

New possibilities and new objectives among the households with multiple employment with regard to agriculture allow important changes to be expected for the future.

In the first place, the future of agriculture is uncertain when multiple employment is taken up at a large scale. On the one hand, people concerned may loose interest in traditional agriculture. On the other hand, in case of early retirement from army or police force, there may be an incentive for a way of life in which the pension is supplemented by self-sufficiency in foodstuffs and a cheap and pleasant existence in the rural areas.

Rapid development outside agriculture will lead to increasing multiple employment. In some places, this may lead to improvements in agriculture by enlargement of the farm or by increase of productivity level through mechanization.

Other cases may develop to rural homes teads with orchard and vegetable garden and perhaps some small animals.
This would mark the beginning of a division between increasingly commercial agriculture on the one hand, and small rural living plots, on the other hand.

(e) The concept of 'agriculture' is no longer valid

The common idea of agriculture — from the macro-economic point of view — as a sector which separated from other sectors, has to play certain roles in economic development, is no longer correct.

Indeed, a certain interdependence between sectors is generally acknowledged, but the sectors are still considered as separate units that are inter-related.

In contrast, in regions where multiple employment is considerable, the sectors merge so much that the old concepts can hardly be applied usefully. The population no longer depends on one sector. It sometimes changes the focus of its involvement from year to year, as the requirements and possibilities change.

Financially, the population basis itself on several sectors and also utilizes the available funds in one sector or the other. The considerable intertwining calls for a reconsideration of all the strategies and theories based on the nation of separate sectors.