SMALL IS SOMETIMES BETTER: FARMS

This is exactly what the Christian Commons Project™ is about. We are for land reform but peaceful land reform. We are for buying land to farm in the manner described below. We want organic, manually farmed land to feed the world for free. Please help!

Peasants are detested by both communists and capitalists - but when it comes to productivity a small farm is unbeatable

George Monbiot

The Guardian, Tuesday June 10 2008
...
Though the rich world's governments won't hear it, the issue of whether or not the world will be fed is partly a function of ownership. This reflects an unexpected discovery. It was first made in 1962 by the Nobel economist Amartya Sen, and has since been confirmed by dozens of studies. There is an inverse relationship between the size of farms and the amount of crops they produce per hectare. The smaller they are, the greater the yield.

In some cases, the difference is enormous. A recent study of farming in Turkey, for example, found that farms of less than one hectare are 20 times as productive as farms of more than 10 hectares. Sen's observation has been tested in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Malaysia, Thailand, Java, the Philippines, Brazil, Colombia and Paraguay. It appears to hold almost everywhere.
...
The most plausible explanation is that small farmers use more labour per hectare than big farmers. ...the quality of the work is higher. With more labour, farmers can cultivate their land more intensively: they spend more time terracing and building irrigation systems; they sow again immediately after the harvest; and they might grow several crops in the same field.
...If governments are serious about feeding the world, they should be breaking up large landholdings, redistributing them to the poor and concentrating their research and their funding on supporting small farms.
...
Big business is killing small farming. By extending intellectual property rights over every aspect of production, and by developing plants that either won't breed true or don't reproduce at all, big business ensures that only those with access to capital can cultivate.
...As developing countries sweep away street markets and hawkers' stalls and replace them with superstores and glossy malls, the most productive farmers lose their customers and are forced to sell up. The rich nations support this process by demanding access for their companies. Their agricultural subsidies still help their own large farmers to compete unfairly with the small producers of the poor world.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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