B.A. (Hons), M.A (Econ). Ph.D., Hon. D.Sc Europe).

distinguished Indian Economist


  • Overview
  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Index
  • Review

This book is a collection of papers presented by the participants and faculty members at a Seminar on "Planners, Peasants and Poverty" at IDS, Sussex University in 1983. These papers are updated with the assistance of the participants, wherever possible, and duly edited. As part of the Seminar, an International conference was also organised by Prof. Michael Lipton and the papers presented are also included. The book contains an in-depth economic analysis of fourteen countries in the world. The papers are from professors of universities, senior administrators and organisations.

To make the coverage and analysis more comprehensive, some case studies by the participants in their respective countries have also been included. This book will be of tremendous value not only in the fourteen countries covered but also in other countries interested to know of Rural Development and Poverty in the underdeveloped and developing nations of the world.












The Study Seminars of the Institute of Development Studies, at the semi-rural campus of Sussex University in England, typically bring together thirty or so administrators and scholars, mostly from developing countries, for six weeks to exchange knowledge and experience on a particular theme: structural adjustment, or land reform, or statistical policy. The role of the Seminar Director is to set a framework, a structure, into which the participants can set their experience for analysis—and to provide them with lectures and other means to impart new expertise or techniques. The goal is to improve both analysis and policy design. A Senior Director needs to have a clear idea of structure and content, but to be flexible and modest in face of participants who often have much more locally applied experience.

In our 106th Study Seminar, Dr. Puttaswamaiah was an outstanding participant— even more so than his earlier work had led us to hope. We at IDS are delighted at his efforts in preparing this symposium of papers, based on some of the contributions to the Seminar.

This seminar had a title and a subtitle. Was it about "planners, peasants and poverty", or about "rural-urban and farm-nonfarm relations in economic development"? My work leads me to believe that in most developing countries, most of the time, these are very nearly the same question. In other words, the evils of peasant poverty that planners seek to reduce—being due to low agricultural growth, and to bad intra-agricultural and rural-urban resource distribution—are primarily the result of decisions centred in, and made in the interests of cities and urban groups. Such decisions tend to produce inefficient and inequitable outcomes within the rural sector—not just between rural and urban sectors.

For example, tractorisation, the steering of credit to large farms, and "extractive" pricing of farm inputs and outputs, all often have these sort of causation. Where unban-based development depends on the flow of surpluses—marketed food; savings—from country to town, it is a natural urban reaction to put such resources as the rural sector does get at the disposal of larger farmers, who will use them to generate surpluses of that sort.

However, though I tried to bring the seminar back to this issue at time (for example, on the question of whether markets and/or States provide necessary proportions of imports and of investment to agriculture, if given quantitative targets are to be met), participants were free to consider other, purely rural, issues affecting "planners, peasants and poverty". In view of enormous range of experience and knowledge, participants were not constrained to set such issues into the context of rural-urban relations, if they deemed it inappropriate.

Some of the planning issues affecting "poverty and peasants" are in fact issues of describing and measuring. Where and who are those with little purchasing power? Where and why is food production potential low? Some of these issues are more credibly presented as intra-rural than as rural-urban. And in a few cases rural poverty would not be greatly affected by inputs of resources, whether limitations upon those inputs are due to urban bias or to an unpromising physical and institutional environment; it is sometimes more plausible to assign rural problems to international factors affecting trade, or to national project-cycles (especially for small countries and small projects respectively).

However, I believe that the central model stands. This is the model in which urban power is the major explanation of inefficient and inequitable distribution of resources (a) between town and country, and (b) between the rural rich (generating surpluses) and the rural poor.

The historical introduction to this seminar (not reprinted here) presented three very different policy experiences. However, Britain, China and Russia (introduced respectively by Drs. Mingay and Nove) all showed considerable agricultural development-institutional and technical—prior to the extraction of a surplus from agriculture. All fed the heifer before they milked the cow. In Britain, enclosures made available formerly common land for intensive farming (albeit with severe harm to some of the displaced workers); technical change took the form of rotations including turnips, marling ("mining" of manure), horse-ploughing, etc. Only later did savings or food marketings (or labour) move on a large scale from the rural areas. In Russia, emancipation of the serfs, together with new techniques on the black-earth soils, preceded two attempts to squeeze agriculture in order to fuel urban development—two attempts (under Vyshnegra-daskii and Witte before the Revolution, and under Stalin after it) which did not succeed in extracting significant surpluses or in developing the urban economy on the basis of them, precisely because prior agricultural growth had been insufficient. In China, the prerevolutionary gentry squeezed agriculture for their urban interests only via the price system, and did not significantly use the squeeze to support capital-intensive industrialisation; after the revolution, urban-rural income disparities were kept to about 2.5:1, but the post-1953 effective ban on migration from villages to towns constituted a very powerful means of maintaining low relative rural incomes.

One general historical point worth bearing in mind is this. In all the nine or ten now-developed countries for which we have reliable figures, the disparity in income-per-head between non-agricultural and agricultural activities was about 1.1- 2.3 to 1. In almost all developing countries for which figures are available now, the disparity is 3 to 1 or more—in Africa closer to 5 or 6 to 1. Furthermore, there is little or no historical precedent for the situation prevailing today in typical developing countries, where 70% of people engaged in agriculture and allied activities, typically, are receiving about 20% of investible resources, although those investible resources are usually associated with significantly more output than in the rest of economy.

This collection concentrates on presenting papers by seminar participants.However, in unpublished lectures by IDS and outside contributors, a few key topics also emerged. First, rural disadvantage in health and education is professionalized, by preferences of providers (teachers and doctors), in a way that does not have any clearly applicable analogies in the field of rural investment allocations. One result appeared in an unpublished data set from one of our participants; Mrs. K. Dandekar; extremely low body size was linked to higher death-rates in rural, but not in urban, Maharashtra. Ashok Mitra's book Indian Population: Aspects of Quality and Control, makes clear that marked rural mortality-rate disadvantages exist at all ages, especially for women, throughout India.

Second, the physical-investment disadvantage of agriculture persists, despite widespread evidence on the relative returns to physical investment in agriculture and elsewhere (and indeed in small vis-a-vis large industry), and on the impact of agricultural failures on the non-farm sector. In India there has been some increase in the share of investment going to agriculture—the 70% of Workers there are supported by 22-24% of investment, instead of 18-21 % as was the case in the early 1960s. For most of the Third World, the share of investment in agriculture has not been increasing in the last twenty years—despite "Green Revolutions" that raise returns in agriculture, and oil price explosions that reduce returns in transport, infrastructure and industry. Formerly compensating donar allocations of aid have dwindled since their peak in the late 1970s; the World Bank/IDA group (source of over a third of all official foreign flows to Third World agriculture) provided 30 per cent of its total disbursements to that sector's projects in 1977-9 but only 17 per cent in 1986-8, corresponding to a 23 per cent fall in real dollar value from the peak. Third, some modification of the agriculture-"industry", or even rural-urban,dichotomy may be needed. Construction, transport and infrastructural activity (in each case with "standards" set and maintained by an urban and indeed professional elite), rather than "industry", may constitute the set of economic activities which harmfully rival agriculture in competition for resources. The rural-urban debate in questions such as infrastructure tends to be sidelined; for example, people seeking to improve resource allocation in road construction concentrate substantially upon labour-intensive construction of rural roads, when 80-95% of the roads budget is being spent on large metalled interurban highways. The diversion to "rural roads", of people whose main concern is with poverty reduction, prevents them from getting to grips with resources that go to activities with gigantic scale, overstated or dubious returns, and poor equity-outcomes.

Fourth, on the rural content of non-farm activity, several points were made: (a) The enemy of the really small-scale rural artisan activity is often not the large urban activity but the subsidised intermediate one, sometimes termed "small industry", (b) South-south transfer of technology might possibly be the key to the efficient development of the very small-scale rural sector, which had been largely neglected by big-scale research (even in the crop research institutes—see for example the labour-displacing "IRRI rice transplanter"), (c) Appropriate and economic microtechnology might in turn be the key to reducing the food deficit in much of Africa, e.g. animal-drawn, village-made row transplanters in Maharashtra are relevant in several semi-arid areas of East Africa, especially where millet is mixed with another seeded crop.

A fifth key topic was that there had not been as much urbanisation as many people believed. Certainly, permanent migration from village to city as insufficient to enable large proportions of poor people to redress the disadvantages of life in rural areas. Indeed, such migration as does happen may increase these disadvantages for those who do not migrate. In particular, the flows of remittances and technology from migrants to rural hinterland, which are much discussed, are counter balanced and sometimes outweighed by flows in the reverse direction, especially when migrants are seeking urban jobs or receiving urban education. Since urbanisation tends to favour the better-off rural groups (partly because they have better information about opportunities, partly because they are better able to afford to wait while seeking good urban jobs), such migration—while it certainly benefits the migrants themselves and probably the economy of which they are a part—usually does not reduce rural poverty, intraruralinequality, rural-urban inequality, or urban bias.

Sixth, land allocation and land use, in the geographer's or town and country planner's sense, emerged as a neglected and important dimension of rural-urban and farm-nonfarm relationships. In their different ways, Dr. Farmer's lectures and the presentation of Chinese experience by Dr. Brecher made this point. Seventh, following on the point about South-south transfers, technical and research charge—as embodied in land and capital and affecting factor efficiency— were seen as a key to the relative rates of growth of rural and urban incomes, partly along the lines presented in Dr. Mathur's paper. The way in which mechanisation of agriculture might enrich, not large or small farmers, but contractors or tractorowners, was cited as an example. So was the fact that high-yielding varieties of cereals are inherently pro-poor (labour-using, producing cheap food, risk-reducing), yet at first—before the cost-price squeeze cuts into profits!—go mainly, alongside fertilizers and credit, to the better-off farmers who provide surplus food for the towns. It was suggested, in a talk by Martin Greeley of IDS, that innovation, and derived research, in rural energy and post-harvest technology were very far from pro poor, and were again orientated towards farmers providing the surplus, and towards urban and foreign suppliers of "sophisticated" but not always locally efficient bits of capital.- Food processing and post-harvest sectors, indeed, were spotlit as an area where very substantial and effective propaganda, both private and public, had been misdirected towards the adoption of methods not economically tested under local conditions, and in fact not benefiting rural people. Participants' papers pointed to five areas related to urban-rural relations, and affecting the impact of planners on peasants and poverty. They are: the adequacy of investment and resource allocation; pricing; the role of institutions, institutional stability, and institutional bias towards big surplus sub-sectors; types of state action; and the structure of research and innovation.

As indicated, investment and resource allocation appear as major disproportions, as between rural and urban sectors, when we compare them with the workforce and GNP shares in these sectors. This was shown for agriculture in Guinea, Nigeria, the Yemen (despite verbal "top priority"), and elsewhere by participants' papers. On tha other hand, high ratios of agricultural to total investment were identified in Fiji (by Mr. Naidu) and Malawi (by Dr. Sriramappa), and have cut the rural-urban disparities, possibly reversing them in Fiji. However, unsupported by other policies, investment reallocations alone lead to disappointing output growth in the rural sector; for example, Mr. Godding pointed out that in Rwanda the "small is beautiful" approach to projects has been shown to carry a risk of a very high ratio of "rip-off" to total investment! In general, partial (incomplete) redressals of urban bias can lead to odd results: for instance, on education in Kenya, Mrs. Mawiyoo suggested (see her paper below) that, if it is not seriously proposed to increase substantially the returns to educated persons in rural areas, it would be much better to scrap the idea of vocational training in which claims to train people for rural rewards that in fact do not exist. Similarly, for Niger Our discussion of price policy pointed to the polar opposites of Guinea (see the paper by Mr. Shotton) and Malawi, with Malawi's agricultural performance far better, yet with one lesson in common: that quite high inputs of investment and current resources to agriculture, in default of carefully thought-out price policies, do not produce incentives for efficient growth. In a system with a big state sector, as in Guinea or the Yemen (Mr. Saeed), correct price signals have to be set for parastatals, as otherwise there is not clear guidance about the proportion of inputs which any parastatal should allocate to one rather than to another, possible activity. Discussion of Tanzania, Guinea, Nigeria, Uganda and Malawi indicated that where borders are open (and very few countries can control them) the State, by setting prices that are very far out of line with relative prices on world markets, tends to lose control of the "parallel economy" and thus of its own tax base, and even to lose political control. (Paradoxically, a greater degree of effective State control and action may therefore require more, rather than less, willingness to allow prices to return towards market levels.) However, the ratio that price corrections—especially without corrections of the under allocations of real resources to rural people—can produce major increases in total farm output is very seldom correct. One particular problem was that of pan-territorial price structures, which were discussed both in the context of Tanzania (Dr. Ngasongwa) and Malawi; they induce further distortions, are not clearly equitable (the more distant farmers are not necessarily poorer), and even if equitable are a very inefficient means of helping the poor (Tanzania's recent well thought-out reversal of the ia, better rural education could well lead to more brain-drain unless other things are done to improve chances in the rural sector for people who have been educated, as Mr. Kiyawa's paper (reprinted here) showed. territorial price policy was cited and discussed in this regard). Monopoly procurement, if at prices below those reflecting cost of production plus normal profits for many farmers, had been shown by a brief Indian experiment to carry enormous risks of perverse incentives, and did not seem to most of the participants to besensible. It was stressed that such a conclusion did not imply anattack on ''the State" (which is here to stay anyway, and willprobably get bigger in most developing countries relatively as well as absolutely), but suggested that there are principles of efficient resource allocation that apply to the public sector andthe private sector alike, and which are particularly important when the public sector is being enlarged.

Despite all this, we all had our reservations about the extreme forms of "getting the prices right" sometimes advocated for agricultural planning by some advisers— seldom at the "sharp end"—within some international organisations, and in 1980-86 (but less go since) too often hypostatized into conditions for international lending. First, we felt that better prices, while often necessary to redress the rural-urban balance and improve equity and efficiency within the rural sector, were seldom sufficient to do so; for instance the experience of Rwanda, with very little price squeeze but also rather little strategy for agricultural investment, has poor prospects as land exhaustion approaches. Second, conflicts between producers and consumers, created by "better prices" under circumstances where major food subsidies were either too costly or largely urban in their influence (Bangladesh, Egypt, Thailand), were real and Third, "higher producer prices" for export crops in price-inelastic demand were highly questionable for large producer countries in a particular crop—and for the Third World as a whole, if advice was given independently, however innocently, to large numbers of individual small producers who acting together provided price incentives to suppliers who then glutted the market. Mr. Mayaki's comments on cocoa in Nigeria were especially relevant here. And if several dozen countries with the role in world sugar production of, say, Fiji, were to undertake the very sensible policy set—looking at Fiji in isolation—that Mr. Naidu advocated there (see his paper below), the effects on world sugar prices, and thus on the South as a whole, could be damaging. Fourth, the apparently neat prescrip-pan- tion of "higher, i.e. more realistic, prices of both inputs and outputs in the agricultural sector" had equity consequences that may be undesirable, as in the analysis presented by Mrs. Kabeer of Kumarpur village, Bangladesh, where just these changes in price policy have induced the smallest farmers to share-crop their land out to larger tenants and to become labourers (and hence more vulnerable). Finally, (and we shall return to this) it was stressed that better price incentives—if there is neither a lot of land to expand agriculture into, nor available and economic research for farmers to adopt—are rather like "pushing on a piece of string". On institutional policy, the distinction between what is appropriate in big countries and in small countries seems crucial, combined with the need to embody an institutional policy in a stable commitment India, Bangladesh or Nigeria—all large—can perhaps gain from lots of distinct experiments in distinct areas; in small countries like Rwanda or Fiji, such an approach to the rural sector would constitute—perhaps has constituted—a lack of strategy. Participants heavily criticised self-contained experimental schemes with their own, usually foreign, funds and experts and with no proper liaison or integration with the machinery of agricultural and rural administration that must continue when they depart.

Such projects easily degenerate into islands or showpieces, notreplicable and often not even continuable. Just as universities some times freeze course-structures and examinations to allow time to see whether things work, perhaps some developing countries should consider freezing experiments in rural institutional change, to give what has been tried a chance to settle down and work? Even if this is admitted, some fascinating examples of institutional innovation were presented. In each case we must ask if they involved a thrust to independence or dependence, by rural people, on (inevitably, the world being what it is, ultimately self-interested) urban involvement, extraction and control. First, it was interesting in this context to contrast the experiences of the Employment Guarantee Scheme in Maharashtra, originated in the city but certainly providing very substantial and at present wholly rural and localised jobs, and Proshika in Bangladesh, which certainly seems a splendid idea to allow rural poor people to control their own assets, but which appears to depend heavily upon urban initiatives and leaders; interesting accounts were given by Professor Dandekar and Dr. Wood respectively.

Second, we heard from Dr. Bailur of the evolution in India of the Small Farmers' Development Association and the Marginal Farmers and Landless Labourers programme into the structurally distinct Rural Development Agency, and discussed possible organisational problems arising from conflicts between concentration on the poor and the old community development ethos—and also between local integration of services and departmental responsibilities (see Dr. Puttaswamaiah's paper in this collection). Third, following on Mr. Jayewardene's contribution, second paper reproduced below, we discussed the implications of interventions to favour the "tailenders" in irrigation schemes by issuing water first to their small turnout groups in Mahaweli, Sri Lank. Fourth, for Malawi, Mr. Sriramappa (in his paper for this collection) examines the possibility of institutionalising the development of field-orientated research and extension. Fifth, Mr. Godding's paper (below) allows us to examine carefully the contributions of non-governmental organisations in Rwanda.

Towards the close of the seminar, two visitors from the FAO gave us, in effect, two sides of the coin—or two different coins?— in regard to the role of inputs and institutions. Certainly there are no bricks without straw, but also no bricks without organisation. Oddly, we still seem to have a model of inputs as being what produces outputs, and institutions as being what produces equity (or the reverse); but bad institutions harm both output and equity, and are particularly liable to do so if they are (a) unstable and constantly being changed, or (b) used by the urban rich either to deprive the rural sector of resources (this is nothing wicked, just a natural use of power) or to allocate rural resources towards those people who provide the surplus for the towns.

On institutional forms, we do have some evidence that for many activities, inside and outside farming, small, labour-intensive and efficient go together in many developing countries. However, in respect of Indonesia, Dr. Saragih presented interesting evidence that some forms of plantation processing did require large scale—and that it was possible to use this to support and help small farmers profitably, without extraction of surplus. Conversely, Dr. Speller indicated the regional distortions induced by migration to N Brazil—even with generous land entitlement— by South Brazilian farmers, displaced by multinational "corporate farming", where neither old nor new lands were farmed in labour-intensive ways. Here as elsewhere, it is not a question of efficiency versus equity, but of the power structure that often militates against both. Since Dr. Speller wrote, serious environmental threads to stable production in the NW have also emerged from this sequence.

Should the State, then, have a high or a low profile, if the inefficiencies and inequities likely to be associated with the rural urban power balance are to be minimised? "Left" and "Right" appear to converge on an analysis in which the bureaucrats are cast as villains, creaming off the surplus. Yet we all came to the view—not only the bureaucrats among us!—that this was naive. Bashing the engineers, professionals, academics, middlemen, or bureaucrats are all pretty useless forms of scapegoating. All these animals are necessary (abolishing middlemen would be crazy even if feasible), and are anyway here to stay (power positions of their own). The very low policy profiles vis-a-vis the rural and agricultural sectors adopted by Rwanda and Nigeria do not appear to beany more conducive to rural development than biased inter-ventionism by an urban State, such as characterises several other developing countries. This leads to the question: "How can an active State be induced to respond to the needs of the rural poor?" The easy answer of "participation" is too localised, too decentralised, while the major area of non-response and of bias is macro and central. One very hopeful possibility is that many of the organisations represented at this very seminar, are, as it were, parts of government in which the career structure itself "rewards" activities designed to improve the well-being of the rural poor. Even if a State or government as a whole has an inevitable urban bias (being where it is, comprising whom it does), there will inevitably be many bits and pieces of the State machinery, centrally and locally, pulling in the other directwith the powerful; a journal like Bombay's Economic and Political Weekly; a smallholders' association like Zimbabwe's, or a diverse and technically skilled agricultural economics division at a freely functioning university, is worth any number of "policy planning units" and other gimmicks in improving and democratizing rural planning.

Invention, innovation, and the diffusion of innovation—institutional as well as material—may hold the long-term key to the structure of development processes and gains as between urban and rural, agriculture and non-agriculture, rich and poor. The key problem is the "Singer effect": the tendency, at international level, for most research to be done into activities and products and processes, and for scales of production and levels of capital-intensity, that suit the great bulk of demand, of surplus, and of pressures. As a result of this, research brings down—for example—the average cost of using tractors much faster (due to innovation), than the average cost of using animal traction; this brushes off even onto developing countries. This works, too, within a national economy, as between rural and urban, agriculture and non-agriculture, etc., unless it is explicitly controlled (by whom?) or counteracted. Thus the growth of urban demand and of large-farmer power, will generate research that systematically increases the relative advantage of those who generate surplus from the rural sector for urban use. At present, the mechanics of intermediate-technology development and South-south transfer are seriously inadequate; there is much talk, but not all that much happening for particular technologies. For instance, how much has sub-Saharan Africa learned from ecologically comparable areas in Latin America, West India, and North Africa about such matters as low-lift irrigation and row-planter construction at village level? (Of course there are plenty of lessons the other way too.) The point is that the existing structures and imbalances of supply and demand create patterns of research which in turn reinforce those imbalances, and cause relative costs to move in perverse ways. The first three papers in this book examine some of the ways in which international impacts can strengthen or weaken such effects. I hope we did not go away too gloomy. South Asia has grown faster in the past thirty years than in the previous three hundred—possibly three thousandion. States are not monoliths. Career structures such as that of the Indian Rural Development Agency can favour the rural poor. Even more important is the development of institutions of "civil society" through which the poor can review, expose, and engage There has been real modernisation—and, more important, real improvement in life-indicators such as, infant mortality, literacy, safety against famine. Even the worst period for Africa, 1970-86 continued growth of real output per head for several countries (though for few in agriculture, or in the group of seventeen least- developed countries). The trouble—in both Africa and Asia—is that the proportions in poverty in most countries remain as high in the late 1980s as in the early 1960s, and are especially high in rural areas. The developing countries that have seriously attacked urban bias, I contend, while politically a very mixed bag, form striking exceptions, and have generally got some benefits through to the poor.

Whether or not we agreed with this, we did learn from each other something about which lines of attack upon these problems are relatively promising, and which have, and have not, worked elsewhere under similar conditions. It is our hope that this book may convey some of these lessons more widely.

International Food Policy
Research Institute, Washington D.C., U.S.A.
30th June 1989

Mass poverty in the developing and developed world is still baffling in spite of the efforts put in by the concerned nations. The World Bank itself, having realized that poverty should be mitigated through rural development programmes has pursued the rural development strategy in different nations for 15 years, based on experiences of the previous 25 years. In spite of these efforts the poverty and hunger of the masses in several nations— under-developed and developing—have not touched the fringe of the problem. Secondly, there has been a drift from the agricultural to non-agricultural activities and in India alone, it is estimated that 27.7 percent of the urban population is living below the poverty line. India is now on the threshold of the Eight Five Year Plan and innovative schemes, in addition to modifying the existing schemes like IRDP, RLEGP and the like (Integrated Rural Development Programme and National Rural Employment Programme). The nations should come out of the employment riddle and try to correct urban-rural imbalance.

Keeping these factors in views, the Institute of Development Studies, under the direction of Prof. Michael Lipton, conducted a seminar under the title "planners, peasants and poverty" in which about 35 participants from different parts of the globe participated. Each participant had to present a paper in the seminar. Some papers were too short with only points and some spoke without writeups. Therefore, I could find 19 papers relating to 19 participants. The countries to which these participants relate are Brazil, Tan Zania, Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Republic of Guinea, Malawi, Fiji, Jakarta, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India. These papers are brought together in this volume duly updated and edited. At the outset, I am grateful to Prof.Michael Lipton and the Institute of Development Studies for their kind permission for me to bring together the editable papers and have them published. I am more particularly grateful to Prof. Lipton for having encouraged me to do this work and for his kind foreword which he has written in the midst of his busy schedule. I am again grateful for his kind words used in the foreword. As part of the seminar, an International Conference was organised and these papers are also included. I am grateful to Prof. Michael Lipton for his suggestion to include these papers and to the Institute of Development Studies for their kind permission to reproduce these three papers. These papers contain "on rural-urban relations in the development process. Michael Lipton, in a paper entitled 'Aid to agriculture and rural development', examines the changing scale of aid to agriculture, and the need for corresponding changes in the project cycle if such aid is to produce the expected rates of return. Jean-Pierre Godding, in 'Foreign aid as an obstacle to development: the case of Rwanda's rural development project', contributes a first-hand field report on the problems facing rural aid projects in Rwanda. Finally, Martin Godfrey, in 'International migration and rural-urban balance', outlines the scale, pattern and prospects of international migration, reviews the costs and benefits of exporting workers from the point of view of a low-income, labour-surplus economy and, in the light of a Sri Lankan survey,assesses the likely impact on rural-urban balance within such an economy.".

I fully acknowledge with gratitude the permission to reproduce these already published papers in DP 197 of IDS and, in particular, to Ann Segrave, Editorial Assistant, IDS. Further, Prof. Lipton in his lengthy foreword has given the summary of the seminar which had made my task easy as it avoided my summarising the papers in this 'Preface.' My grateful thanks to him in this regard. Coming to the participants, I am glad that each one of them whose papers are included have shown interest. In particular,I shall be failing in my duty if I do not mention the names of Prof. Jean-Pierre Godding, Mr. Jayantha Jayewardene, Prof. Achmad Rofi'ie, Prof. Ashok Mathur, Dr. Juma Nagsongwa, Rajendra Naidu, Mrs. Kokeya Rahman Rabeer. They have shown particular enthusiasm in bringing out this work and updating the material wherever necessary. Prof. Ashok Mathur's paper "Why Growth Rates Differ in India—An Alternative Approach', was earlier pnblished in the 'Journal of Development Studies'. I gratefully acknowledge the permission given by Frank Cass publishers, London to reproduce the above paper read by Prof. Mathur at the seminar. Mathur wishes to acknowledge his indebtedness to RCO, Mathews, Michael Lipton, Hans W. Singer and Suresh Tendulkar for their comments on the draft. Another debt which he wishes to acknowledge is Jeffrey G. Williamson as some of the ideas emerged following up his suggestion during a discussion. Further, the chapters on "participatory Action Research on Labour Co-operative Movement—A Field Action Report from Bundung" and "participatory Action Research on the Informal Sector—A Field Action Report from Jakarta" are papers from Prof. Achmad Rofi'ie and have been published by the Institute of Development Studies, Lembaga Studi pem-bangunan. The suggestion from Rofi'ie to include these studies is welcomed with thanks. This was done with a view to enrich that area material contained in this work. Finally, I wish to express my gratitude to Prof. Michael Lipton for his immense help and support in finalising this work.

When it is estimated that 800 million people are in absolute poverty in the world, palliatives at least, if not remedies, are urgently needed. The rural-urban imbalance is continuing. At this juncture, it is hoped, that this work which contains the experiences of some of the under-developed and developing countries, will be of use in several countries of the world to planners, professors and students, Administration and the people interested at large.


Foreword • Michael Lipton                                                         xi
Preface                                                                                      xv
The Contributors x
1. Aid to Agriculture and Rural Development                              1
Michael Lipton
2. Foreign Aid as an Obstacle to Development: The
Case of Rwanda's Rural Development Projects
Jean-Pierre Godding                                                                 21
3. International Migration and Rural-Urban Balance
Martin Godfrey                                                                         44
4. 'Why Growth Rates Differ' within India:
An Alternative Approach
Ashok Mathur                                                                           62
5. Planning and Implementing a Development
Programme for the Poor: A Case Study from the
Mahaweli Development Programme in Sri Lanka
Jayantha Jayewardene                                                           112
6. Economic Inequality between Top-enders and
Tail-enders in Sri Lankan Irrigation Schemes
Jayantha Jayewardene                                                           138
7. Options in Irrigation System Management and
Their Implications for Farm Technology in Sri
Lanka                                                                                     144
John Farrington
8. Farm Power and Water Use in Sri Lanka
John Farrington                                                                      171
9. Observations from a Bangladesh Village
Kokeya Rahman Rabeer                                                         183
10. Employment: An Indonesian Portrait                               189
Achmad Rofi'ie
11. Participatory Action Research on the Information
Sector—A Field Action Report from Jakarta                            200
Achmad Rofi'ie
12. Participatory Action Research on the Labour
Co-operative Movement—A Field Action Report
from Bandung                                                                        226
Achmad Rofi'ie
13. Sugar Production and Rural Development—A Case
Study of Fiji                                                                           236
Rajendra Naidu
14. Education and Land Tenure: The Colonisation
Process in Northern Mato Grosso, Brazil                               264
Paulo Speller
15. Relative prices of Farm and Non-Farm Sectors
in Tanzania, 1965-1985                                                        270
Juma Nagsongwa
16. Rural Transformation through River Basin
Development: A Case Study of the Upper Benue
River Basin Development Projects (UBRBDP),
Nigeria                                                                                 293
O.D. Famure
17. Implications of the New Educational Policy
for Rural Development in Nigeria                                         307
Ibrahim A. Kiyawa
18. Cocoa Rehabilitation Programme in Nigeria,
1972-1981—An Effort to Check Rural-Urban Drift
and to Reduce Poverty among Peasant Cocoa
Farmers                                                                              317
J. Mayaki
19. Coping with Unemployment Problem in Kenya:
A Case Study of the Village Polytechnic Movement            330
J.N. Mawiyo
20. Development of Agricultural Infrastructure as a
Strategy for Agricultural Development—A Case
Study of Small-Farm Sector in Malawi                               339
K. E. Sriramappa
21. Rwanda's Profile of Development                               357 
Jean-Pierre Godding
22. The Popular Revolutionary Republic of Guinea:
Effective Discrimination against Small Farmers
in a Socialist Economy                                                      380
Roger Shotton
23. Planning for Poverty Alleviation through Rural
Development in India
K. Puttaswamaiah                                                            399
Index                                                                                421


THE Third World countries are at the crossroads. This is so because they cannot blindly follow the development strategy of any particular rich country. They are assiduously reorienting their growth strategies based on their own development experiences. This has become a continuing conundrum. The book* under review contains papers presented at a seminar on 'Planners, Peasants and Poverty' held at Institute of Development Studies, Sussex University in England in 1983. Containing 23 chapters (including a few case studies) the book deals with problems of rural poverty alleviation pertaining to fourteen countries. Among the issues discussed in the book, mention must be made of foreigp aid, international migration, implementation of development programmes, irrigation schemes, relative prices of farm and non-farm sectors, new education policy, unemployment and poverty alleviation.

Any anti-poverty strategy ought to give high priority to agricultural development and basic needs.Diversification of rural sector with stress on non-farm activities and diversification of agriculture itself with stress on multiple cropping will provide answer to the worsening problems of poverty and unemployment in most of the developing countries. While the poor farmers should have access to crucial inputs like institutional credit and irrigation, the proper management of assets provided assumes importance. For instance, in the case of irrigation, there is gap between potential and actual utilisation.

Farm mechanisation in a labour surplus economy should be selective and gradual, but its role in improving agricultural productivity needs to be recognised. About trac-torisation, it has been pointed out, based on Sri Lankan experience, that the following steps have to be taken: (i) increasing the use-intensity of the existing tractor stock from the low observed levels; (ii) ensuring that such increased use-intensity represents a net contribution to production by tractors, and not merely the substitution of tractor draught in operations which animal draught can perform adequately: (iii) promoting a more balanced rural infrastructure and (iv) ensuring adequate maintenance and spare parts facilities so that loss of tractor time through breakdown is avoided (pp. 176-177).

Most developing countries have to still strengthen their agricultural infrastructure to place farm sector on a sound footing. While fruitful research relating to rural technology is going on in these countries, there are serious constraints on adopting new technologies in view of infrastructural inadequacies. Efforts should therefore be devoted towards strengthening areas like agricultural extension and marketing, irrigation, rural transportation and communications, rural energy, health, housing and education.

True, a number of incentives are offered to small and marginal farmers. Crucial inputs like irrigation and fertilisers are subsidised. There are price supporting programmes to minimise uncertainty for the farmers. However, these measures cannot strengthen the small and marginal farms in the long run. Efforts should be concentrated on improving agricultural productivity as farmers are interested in maximising their net incomes. This means that the new agricultural technology should be made accessible to small and marginal farmers.

Considering the incidence of rural poverty and unemployment, there is of course justification for implementing special schemes for the rural poor. But, these schemes have not formed an integral part of planning at the local level. Therefore their economic viability is greatly eroded. Also, identification of ineligible beneficiaries, wrong choice of programmes and assets continues. It may be noted that it is not possible to bring all the rural poor above the poverty line by simply providing assets, even if these are appropriate to rural situation. Some people ought to be assisted through wage employment. Foreword by Michael Lipton, the book, besides throwing useful light on challenges facing on the rural front, indicates the desirable direction of development for developing countries.

                                                                                            -I. Satya Sundaram

· POVERTY AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT, Eddited by K. Puttaswam-aiah. Oxford &1B.H Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. 66,
Janpath. New Delhi-110001. 1989.