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ERIC Number: ED173244
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Jun
Pages: 47
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Dispossessed of the Earth: Land Reform and Sustainable Development. Worldwatch Paper 30.
Eckholm, Erik
Major arguments and background of the worldwide land reform debate are reviewed. In developing nations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, the control of farmland remains a principal key to wealth, status, and power. Rural landless peasants at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder, estimated by the World Bank at more than 600 million people, are unable to meet basic needs such as food, fuel, shelter, education, health care, and family planning. Review of international agricultural output data indicates that the economic case for land reform often rivals the social case for redistributive policies. Not only do grossly skewed land ownership and oppressive tenancy conditions have social consequences, they also result in a system which uses land and capital less efficiently than small family farms. In addition to increased crop output, the economic case for land reform also rests on self-propelled economic development, full employment, and political and economic stability. However, although United Nations officials and diplomats from developing countries realize the contribution that land reform can make to agricultural progress, land reform is generally avoided by political maneuvering. The conclusion is that if developing nations combine land redistribution with population stabilization and intelligent use of foreign capital, they will generate more equitable and efficient land use. (Author/DB)
Worldwatch Institute, 1776 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. ($2.00)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Worldwatch Inst., Washington, DC.