Reform is a term that implies improvement or rectification of a current situation, political or social system, or institution. It is typically initiated by the government or authority to bring changes to the lives of its people. The term is closely linked with agriculture and land usage, which leads to the concepts of agrarian reform and land reform. Although many individuals consider these terms to be the same and use them interchangeably, there are differences between land reform and agrarian reform that will be discussed in this article.
What is Land Reform?
Land reform refers to the relationship between farmers and the land they work on. It aims to bring changes in land ownership or possession, alterations in cultivation methods, and changes in the relationship between agriculture and the rest of a country’s economy. Historically, land has served various purposes, including:
• Means of production
• Source of status symbol
• Social and political influence
• Source of wealth and value
As the population increases, the per capita land availability declines, and the value of land rises proportionally. This causes conflicts between land-owning social groups and communities and those who work on the land. Governments in every country and society have endeavored to initiate land reforms to change land ownership patterns. This primarily involves redistributing land by taking it from the rich and powerful and giving it to poor and landless farmers. The purpose of this redistribution was to bring about a change in the lives of impoverished peasants, giving them a sense of belonging and boosting their self-esteem. It had both social and political objectives but led to social revolution in nations worldwide as feudalism gave way to communism, capitalism, and democracy.
What is Agrarian Reform?
Agrarian reform is a relatively recent term that encompasses all land reform meanings and includes other aspects aimed at improving a country’s agricultural system. While land reform was the top priority for governments in the past, agrarian reform has become the focus for authorities in recent decades. This shift is due to the changing role of land and agriculture in a country’s development process. Land reform has now merged into agrarian reform because of its relevance and importance in the current scenario. Land redistribution alone is not sufficient for achieving optimal development, although it is more than enough to bring about social equality and desired changes in land ownership patterns.
Agrarian reform includes land reform and changes in farm operations, rural credit, farmer training, product marketing, and the implementation of the latest technology to improve farmer productivity.
• Land reform refers to changes in land ownership or possession, alterations in cultivation methods, and changes in the relationship between agriculture and the rest of a country’s economy.
• Agrarian reform is a broader term than land reform and encompasses all land reform meanings while also including other aspects aimed at improving a country’s agricultural system.
• Agrarian reform includes land reform as well as changes in farm operations, rural credit, farmer training, product marketing, and the implementation of the latest technology to improve farmer productivity.