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Distribution of land among the landless - a step towards self-reliance.

Pakistan's ability to endure as a political and economic entity was put to very severe test by the disruption and upheaval that accompanied the partition of the subcontinent. There was quite a few persons who considered Pakistan's economic prospects to be bleak because it lacked industry and modern commercial and financial institutions and because its share of subcontinent industry and minerals riches were too meagre. Agricultural methods were for the most part primitive and average yields were among the lowest in the world. The social services like education, health housing and welfare were limited in quality as well as quantity. The system of land ownerships, business activity and family traits, based on conventional set up had changed little despite of making progress in diffusion of innovations. As such people living in the villages were virtually introduced by the scientific and social advances. If we see the pace we have made in modernizing agriculture compare to productivity as well as in the field of social service than the situation is improved a little which needs dispassionate strategy to be adopted is herein conceived as an essentially intrasectoral activity which includes all services necessary to its promotion. In contrast, rural development is conceived as a multisectoral activity which includes besides agriculture, infrastructure that include schools, clinics, roads, communications, power, etc. and welfare services like control of disease, programmes services necessary to its promotion. In contrast, rural development is conceived as a multisectoral activity which includes besides agriculture, infrastructure that include schools, clinics, roads, communications, power etc. and welfare sevices like control of disease, programmes for improved nutrition, high adult literacy, family planning, etc. while the prime objective of agricultural development is increased growth in agricultural output and supplies. Thus the primary objective of rural development is the enrichment of material and social welfare. But agricultural development is the back-bone of rural development since it provides the increased income required for self supporting rural development. In another term it ensure speedy employment with attaining high rate of diversification and growth. The prime objective of planning is to help bridge the gap between planners and farmers by providing information for improving the capabilities which were in short supply in developing country like ours. The real development is not made as the gap between plan and performance in LDC's is often attributable to ill devised plans. In Pakistan first land reforms was introduced in 1959 with prime objective of equitable distribution of wealth thereby shifting its share from big land lord to marginal and the landless agricultural labours known as Harris or kissan. As such above fixed ceiling of holding all surplus land was annexed and distributed to the level of subsistence holding by providing all possible facilities specially credit for the procurement of both production and development ingredients. The cooperatives were assigned the major role to play. Similar steps were taken during land reforms introduced in piece-meal from 1972 to 1975. The land above ceiling fixed at low ebb i.e. from 500 acres to 100 acres irrigated land were resumed without paying any compensation to the landlords and distributed among peasants proprietors and the landless labour. Both the reforms were introduced with the prime objective of achieving political rather than economic objective bringing meagre development. As such both production and productivity increased in an absolute term rather than in relative term. Further no value added quality produce was realized as a result of which ample foreign exchange earning for transfer of efficient technology based on improved devices could not be introduced at massive scale. As against this sustainable growth in South Korea was attained long before on being land reforms introduced in 1951 on sound footings making 3.2 hectare as economically viable unit, thereby bringing high increase in production in a diversified manner. As against this, in India having belief in attaining balanced growth as that of Pakistan, made quite steady progress although the land reforms were introduced in 1951 with mixed political-cum-economic decision. In Iraq the situation was worst as the land reforms were introduced under political decision, thus bringing no increase in production and productivity. Thus the growth rate attained in Iraq has always been far below the envisaged one. Similar is the case for Syria and Bolivia. The fact is that an objective is the end result which the planning process is designed to achieve. Thus if the objectives are ambiguous, contradictory or otherwise subject to being misunderstood they provide inadequate guidelines for both planners and the beneficiaries. As against this if an objective is clear beyond doubt to achieve objective just as Government owned surplus declared culturable waste land is distributed among the cultivators or Harris the landless, if to them adequate finance is allocated to invest for farm development then the end result would be high production and income. The detail of Agricultural land declared as surplus and planned to be distributed among the peasants locally known as kissan or harris and the landless gathered from reliable source is given in table.

As revealed from above table in all 0.31 million acres are to be distributed among the landless of 453 villages only in Sindh Province. The decision regarding revival of National Assembly by the Supreme Court of Pakistan has been welcomed by almost all the circles of society on being reforms introduced by the present regime of public interest specially of poor society who have no resources at their command. The related programme of supply of tractors at subsidized rates under "Yellow Cap" scheme to growers specially of growers of low means will further boost production and productivity resulting in higher income. This in fact is a landmark decision which need to be spread over all provinces as distribution of such land alone can help in bringing even distribution of wealth in the country. As studied it appears that the main objective of distribution of such Government acquired surplus land among the landless cultivators is to bring agricultural development by increasing agricultural production, reduce unemployment, absorbing disguised labour to productive work. As a result the level of income and quality of life of poor farmers will be raised. For implementation of this programme of national importance effectively following recommendations and policy implications are made:-

1. The Government is to ensure that the land parcels distributed among the landless are free from the clutches of both bureaucratic and local feudal lords of the area. The local administration be made responsible for rectifying unlawful practices. This is necessary as through former all Government decisions are implemented, while later has unending influence;

2. There is need for arranging special educational programme for big land lords of katcha area so that they are mobilized to deviate from their century old established values and norms;

3. There is need to conduct investigation and to confiscate all the land allotted to landless harris under previous land reforms but fail to safeguard their rights for retention of allotted land because of unending power enjoyed by the feudal lords;

4. Timely supply of credit in the form of development and production ingredients needs to be managed so that the same is productively utilized and loan amount rapid in time;

5. There is need for adopting adequate measure and provide support services and other means required by newly owned allottees are used in a planned way;

6. Attempt should be made for setting up of cooperatives based on cooperative principles in diversified activities of Agriculture fields specially for raising livestock as supplementary sources of income;

7. Supervised Agricultural Credit Programme which in fact ensure both impartation of technical advice and door step credit service needs to be envisaged, where there is large concentration of such allottees of katcha land. ADBP is the only viable agency which can sponsor such programme in a desired manner.

8. Attempt be made to adopt area and block system as was planned under Agro. will as part of Integral Rural Development Programme (IRDP) formerly for both the related agencies and the extension workers assigning them with targets of agricultural production crop by crop, farm enterprise by enterprise with adequate provision of socioeconomic infrastructure specially by decentralization the marketing arrangement, if these allottees are to be made productive;

9. Because of the complexities involved policy making is a difficult task. For this there is need to evolve a development strategy in order to facilitate such allottees to work in a protected environment if at all Government desire to see the task successful;

10. There is need for starting package programme supplying essentials together, as combination of inputs is truly essential for obtaining increased output;

11. The combination of inputs and output prices, taxes, etc. together needs to be such that the farmers of the newly developed areas finds it in their interest to adopt new technologies and expand output. All these incentives provide for un-developed areas under rural industrialisation programmes needs to be applied in katcha area as well.

Agricultural development is crucial for our survival that holds the key to her future. The fact is that during our struggle for independence it was made clear that we achieved freedom not to value it for few belonging to high strata but because we thought that it would make it possible for us to bring about social and economic development of the masses through raising the standard of living and reduce the inequalities perpetuated over long centuries of foreign rule. The need to participate fully is a very basic and fundamental need of today. Only those who participate fully in the economic life of the community, who can and do contribute to producing the goods and services that the community needs and wants can have a claim to their rightful share of these benefits. In developing countries of the world of which Pakistan is no exception, the small farmers, marginal farmers, near landless farmers and the landless poor, who make up the majority of the population are non-participants in production activities fully. The allotment of land to the landless farmers under existing policy of the Government will yield good results only when given resources are utilized by them with realization and care for which education is the ultimate need without which no success of this programme implemented by the present regime will be possible. This is necessary as ultimate objective of envisaging this programme is to eradicate poverty through harnessing of available resources to its maximum through application of improved practices. As such Agricultural Development cannot be considered in isolation. It is more dependent on macro economic and other economy-wide policies than specific intervention in agricultural development by taking into consideration the main factors explained above. The fact is that without making appropriate institutional arrangements for development of operational knowledge of various aspects of modern farming and the efficient transmission of that knowledge to farmers in the field, productivity level in real terms cannot be enhanced. This, in fact, is a challenge which we have to face in a resolute and strategic manner. This will be possible only when sustainable development is attained on being fair to the future.
Showing Culturable Katcha Land Available in Sindh

District Culturable Land
 (In Acres)

Larkana 42718
Shikarpur 19969
Jacobabad 60209
Nosheroferoz 35634
Khairpur 40687
Nawabshah 9097
Sukkur 25831
Hyderabad 13594
Dadu 77893
Thatta 15000

Total Area 306487
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Title Annotation:Industrial Pakistan-1993
Author:Khan, Rao Abdul Rauf
Publication:Economic Review
Date:Jun 1, 1993
Words:1883
Previous Article:Social costs in economic development.
Next Article:Farmers profitability of alternative cropping patterns in Southern Sindh.
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