George Mason University Land Reform Discussion

Description

Draw on Lecture 8 and associated readings. What kind of experience has Latin America had with land reform? What kinds of economic arguments and political arguments were advanced in support of land reform? How has it been undertaken? What kinds of problems have been experienced and what has been learned? How has agriculture in Latin America changed as a result of land reform? Provide some evidence using country examples, including examples from your country. chapter 10 of Cardoso, Eliana and Ann Helwege. Latin America’s Economy: Diversity, Trends, and Conflicts.
Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1995. (paper) ISBN-10: 0262531259 and the slides are the only sources that can be used

1 attachmentsSlide 1 of 1attachment_1attachment_1.slider-slide > img { width: 100%; display: block; }
.slider-slide > img:focus { margin: auto; }

Unformatted Attachment Preview

Agricultural Policy & Land
Reform in Latin America
An historical overview
Read: C&H Ch10
Objective – Overview of changing
agricultural policies for development
?
?
?
?
Land Reform after the Cuban revolution
(1960s & early 1970s) – main focus
High Food prices stimulated a push for
production (1970s)
Getting the prices right (1980s)
Non-traditional exports and export promotion
(1980s-1990s)
Agriculture thus far in this course:
?
?
?
Colonial history of agriculture: latifundio /
mini-fundio land holding structure and feudal
relationships between peasants & Spanish
lord, and colonial export agriculture.
We’ve also discussed the serious bias
against agriculture during the years of ISI
policies – caused by subsidies for industries
and overvalued exchange rates.
We’ve made contrasts with the U.S. Midwest
The unequal distribution of land in
Latin America also contrasts w-U.S.
?
?
?
?
?
Latifundio-Minifundio landholding structure.
Latifundios — for the landed elite.
Minifundios — small parcels of land — too
small to support a family
In Mexico on the eve of the revolution (1910)
1% of the population owned or controlled
85% of the land.
See Lorenz curves – some of the most
unequal distribution of land in the world,
Lorenz Curve for land distribution
?
?
?
From C&H,
Fig 10.1
Source
FAO,
c 1970
Traditional landholding patterns in
Latin America:
?
?
?
?
Plantation agriculture with wage labor &
manager
Haciendas (ranches) with absentee landlords
& underutilized land
Communal farms among indigenous groups
Minifundistas with subsistence plots tied to
large estates (Huasipungero-Ecuador,
conuquero-Venezuela/DR)
Land Reform could increase efficiency
?
Traditional structure was inefficient
?
?
?
Latifundios – idle land, labor monopsony
Minifundios – lack of capital & investment, subject to
overuse
Hopes for Land Reform
?
?
?
Secure rights to land should encourage investment.
Better land/labor/capital mix should improve
productivity.
Improved income distribution should spur demand in
rest of economy.
The politics of Land Reform
?
?
?
?
Land reform might calm the peasantry.
But difficulties of trying to break the power of
the landed elite.
Food production often fell with LR – resulted
in unhappy urban workers and political
problems.
The goal of modernizing agriculture may not
be entirely compatible with the goal of land
reform.
Types of Land Reform in Latin America
?
?
?
Colonization of State lands
Turn over land to squatters (who farmed the
land without owning it) w/ or w/o
compensation to the landowners.
Confiscate private holdings and distribute to
designated individuals w/ or w/o
compensation to landowners.
Colonization of State Lands
?
?
?
Expensive – need to clear land, build roads,
infrastructure (drainage, irrigation?)
Do the colonists have farming and
entrepreneurial skills?
Lands may be abandoned by beneficiaries
without the means to make a go of it.
Turn land over to squatters, w- or w-o
compensation
?
?
?
?
Common type of land reform
Squatters are already farming the land, know
how to farm, have friends in the area
But, landlords might expel the squatters in
anticipation of land reform, or sell off some of
their parcels.
Sometimes ag census show consolidation of
land rather than improved distribution.
Confiscate private holdings
?
?
?
?
Distribute to designated individuals or groups
w- or w-o compensation to owner
Do the designates know how to farm? New
situation….
Dividing private estates often resulted in loss
in agricultural production – especially for
urban markets.
Economies of scale lost, scarcity of
managerial talent.
Collectives, Cooperatives or
Individual holdings
?
These countries provide interesting case
studies, see C & H, Chapter 10
?
?
?
?
Bolivia – individual
Mexico – ejidos (in between)
Peru – collective farms
Investigate the experience of your country –
e.g google “agrarian reform, Nicaragua” or
see sources mentioned in C&H
From Carrie Meyer: Land Reform in Latin America: The Dominican Case, 1989
An Historical Overview –
Fashions in Aid for Development
?
?
?
?
Land Reform after the Cuban revolution
(1960s & early 1970s)
High Food prices stimulated a push for
production (1970s)
Getting the prices right (1980s)
Non-traditional exports and export promotion
(1980s-1990s)
Food prices at historic levels mid-1970s
(Real prices are adjusted for inflation)
Food prices at historic levels mid-1970s
?
?
?
Drought in Maharashtra, India 1972
Famine in Ethiopia 1973
Bangladesh Famine of 1974
?
Brought attention to the issue of food
production in developing countries.
?
Land reform had often resulted in less food
production for urban areas
Efforts to extend the Green Revolution
in the 1970s – early 1980s
?
What was the “Green Revolution”?
?
?
?
?
Improvements in agricultural technology
(especially high yielding cereal grains, used with
fertilizers, pesticides )
Increases in irrigation infrastructure
Associated with Norman Borlaug, the “Father of
the Green Revolution” who won the Nobel Prize in
1970, credited with saving over a billion people
from starvation
Based on work that began in the 1930s, but the
term “Green Revolution” was coined in 1968.
Borlaug had worked on wheat in Mexico
?
?
?
?
Grew up in N.E. Iowa.
Worked with the Mexican Government and the
Rockefeller Foundation on a project that led to
the foundation of CIMMYT (International
Maize and Wheat Improvement Center)
Borlaug began his work in Mexico in 1944 –
worked there through the 1960s.
He was invited to India in 1961 – Green
Revolution particularly successful there.
CGIAR Research Centers in Latin
America
?
?
Consultative Group on International Agricultural
Research (CGIAR) – this worldwide network was
established in 1971 by UN – FAO (Food &
Agriculture Org).
Of the 15 research centers worldwide, there are
3 in Latin America:
?
?
?
CIMMYT – Mexico – wheat and corn
CIAT – Cali, Colombia – tropical agriculture – beans,
cassava, rice
CIP – Lima, Peru — potato
Successes of the Green Revolution
?
?
?
Green Revolution is well known for the new
strain of rice – IR8 – from the International Rice
Research Institute (IRRI) (also part of CGIAR)
Required use of fertilizer and pesticides, but
much higher yield – tripled rice yields in India –
turned India into a rice exporter.
Brazil has turned its vast “cerrado” region –
formerly regarded as unfit for farming – into
soybean fields by applying lime to the formerly
acid soils.
Integrated Rural Development Programs
of the 1970s – early 1980s
?
Effort to extend “Green Revolution”
technologies to small farmers
?
?
Subsidies for credit and irrigation were typically an
important part of the program.
Credit subsidies attached to the adoption of
fertilizers, pesticides, new seeds, tractors.
Distortions caused by 1970s policies
?
?
?
Subsidies for credit encourage capital
intensive agriculture – especially ag
chemicals with negative effects for human
health & the environment
Subsidized irrigation encourages overuse,
waterlogging, salinization and lower
groundwater tables.
Subsidized credit destined to poor farmers
usually went to well-off farmers anyway
Distortions caused by 1970s policies
(cont)
?
Subsidies helped to provide tractors that
might be shared by a group of small farmers
– but then there was the problem of repairs.
?
Subsidies for agriculture attempted to
compensate for the biases against agriculture
caused by ISI policies.
Getting prices right became fashionable by
the late 1980s –Impact of price policies
?
?
?
?
?
Overvalued exchange rates made food
imports cheap,
Subsidies to agriculture caused other
distortions
Low food prices benefit the poor
High food prices provide incentives to
produce
Policies in LDCs & developed countries
Impacts of food prices
?
?
?
?
?
?
?
Determine the cost of living for the urban poor
Price*Quantity determines farm income — incentive
to produce a marketable surplus
relative prices of various food products relative to
input prices determine: choice of crops to be grown,
type of technology, demand for ag inputs
Unfavorable prices may keep agriculture very
traditional, low technology adoption
Relative prices help determine consumer choices
Rural employment may be negatively affected by
low ag prices
Higher food prices have disproportionate impact on
the poor — even rural wage labor may be hurt by
higher food prices.
Non traditional ag exports and export
promotion in the 1980s & 1990s
?
Traditional ag
exports:
?
?
?
?
?
?
Sugar
Coffee
Tobacco
Cacao
Cotton
Bananas
?
Non-traditional:
?
?
?
?
?
Fruit – tropical &
temperate
Flowers
Vegetables
Organic coffee, cacao,
tobacco, bananas
Processed
agricultural products
Summary
?
?
?
Land reform has been a hot issue in Latin
America, but while some progress has been
made, often results were disappointing.
Sometimes a positive result of land reform
was that non-land reform lands became
better utilized.
Some countries have turned agriculture into a
growth engine in the post-ISI years especially
with some of the non-traditional ag exports.
You might look for this in “your country.”

Purchase answer to see full
attachment

Explanation & Answer:
650 Words

Tags:
Latin America

Economy

Land Reform

User generated content is uploaded by users for the purposes of learning and should be used following Studypool’s honor code & terms of service.