Monday, December 10, 2007

The Sumilao Farmers' March: What's at Stake

Those who believe that the Sumilao March is of little concern to them should consider the following:

"Theory and empirical evidence suggest that widespread ownership of land not only improves equity but also improves land productivity. All the [High Performing Asian Economies (HPAEs)] with substantial agrarian sectors have widespread land holding, resulting from either traditional ownership patterns (Indonesia and Thailand) or land reform (Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, China). Malaysia, with a relatively small population and ample land, is an exception; there, corporate-owned plantations have dominated agricultural output since the colonial era. Hong Kong and Singapore have almost no agricultural sector." - World Bank Development Brief Number 21, October 1993
"inequality in the ownership of land not only is more important for explaining growth than inequality in the distribution of income, it also turns the distribution of income into an inconsequential factor." - Elhann Helpman, The Mystery of Economic Growth
"The [feudalization of industry] manifests itself in the pervasiveness of rent-seeking activity on the part of the local industrial elite, reflecting the dual activity (perhaps 'schizophrenia' would be more appropriate) of that group, which has one foot still in the landlord-tenant relations of the countryside and the other foot in the urban or industrial commercial sector. There has never occurred a severing of the links between the landed elite and the urban industrial / commercial elite as there has been for example in certain other Asian coutnries via the overthrow of landlord power through genuine land reform." [emphasis mine] (O'Connor 1990) - Temario C. Rivera, Landlords & Capitalists: Class, Family, and State in Philippine Manufacturing
"More significantly for policy purposes, though, are the findings that per capita expenditure, per capita income, and per capita net farm incomes of farmers owning lands...are significantly higher than their counterparts who do not own land. This shows unambiguously the importance of ownership or control of the land in determining incomes of farmers. Moreover, he also found that the odds that a household is non-poor is higher by between 1.8 and 2.6 times than the odds that it will be poor, if it owns land—again reinforcing the importance of land ownership. For poverty reduction, and for income growth, CARP is crucial." - Solita Monsod, A Look at CARP’s Impact on Poverty and Growth, 12/01/2007
What the Sumilao farmers are fighting for are the keys to our economic development which for too long have been in the hands of a pathological and predatory elite.


mschumey07 said...

Thanks, Chuck. I will add you to the list.

Jego said...

That and... Im still batting for some sort of protection for our agricultural products. Open up the market only when our farmers are ready.

EQ said...

let's boycott SMC's MONTEREY Meat Shops!