By Eric Clayton
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Extra resources for Agriculture, Poverty and Freedom in Developing Countries
The provision of welfare services and income transfers are ruled out because they do not remove the underline causes of poverty. g. food, are exposed as being inadequate because of the lack of connection between changes in production and changes in purchasing power in the hands of the poor. Thus our conceptualisation of poverty makes it clearer why microand macro-economic tinkering are most certain to fail. The remedy lies in structural change [my italics], in changing the distribution of productive wealth (and consequently the distribution of economic power) and in increasing the participation of the poor in decision making (and consequently enabling them to exercise political power];'?
373 SOURCE: K. C. Lai, 'Income Distribution and Consumption and Saving Behaviour of Farm Households in the Muda Irrigation Scheme, Malaysia', unpublished PhD thesis, (University of London, 1977). 0- < 4. 0 ~ ~ <:) C"\ ~ 3 ~ ~ 'C ~ <:) 5..... 4 come from a detailed income distribution study of the Muda irrigation scheme which was undertaken by K. C. Lai. The aim of the scheme, implemented between 1966 and 1974, was to provide irrigation water for double-cropping of rice to approximately 51 000 farm families, who were previously settled there, on about 242000 acres which without irrigation was cropped only once a year.
Their prime purpose is to measure the physical rather than the economic attributes of an agricultural sector; and data acquisition is based either on a lengthy form completed by the farmer or on a single farm visit. National expenditure surveys are equally unsuitable for distribution analyses. Expenditure is not a sound proxy for income when family food is mainly home-grown and it disregards saving and dissaving. The point about widening disparities of agricultural incomes is also worth underlining.
Agriculture, Poverty and Freedom in Developing Countries by Eric Clayton