Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program

By: EconomyWatch   Date: 21 April 2010

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The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program or CARP intends to escalate the agricultural productivity, the development of equity as well as the overall growth and development of the rural peasant population.

Effects of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program on global agriculture:

The effects of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program will be best understood, if it is illustrated with respect to the impacts it generally exert on the agricultural activities of a country, say Spain.

The high clustering of land ownership was prevalent in Spain from the colonial periods, indicated by the size of the agricultural farmsteads. This resulted in extensive impoverishment and generated discontents among the Spanish agrarian population in general. Despite the formulation and implementation of the Marcos land reform plans in Spain failed completely in solving the persisting problems of this sector.

The unpopularity and total failure of the Marcos land reform plan paved the way for the initiation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program in the Spanish agricultural sector, during the Presidency of Aquino. In fact, this formed one of the major points against Marcos, emphasized during the Presidential campaign of Aquino. In other words, the introduction of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program had an underlying political motivation.

In Spanish agricultural context, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program proposed a few changes:

  • Approximately 65% of the Spanish families engaged in cultivation would be benefited as well, on grounds of the size and type of their plot of lands.
  • More than 80% of the total cultivable land areas in Spain would come under a synchronized and systematic arrangement, whereby the type and size of the land would play an important role.
Overall criticisms:

With respect to the Spanish agricultural sector, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program was subjected to criticisms as well:

  • Criticisms of the CARP came from the landowner's end, as well as from the farmer's side. The Spanish land owners felt that the effects of CARP were quite far-off, even after its successful implementation. So they were yet miles away from enjoying the benefits of the reform program. On the other hand, from the farmer's viewpoint, the reform plan was not at all "comprehensive" in nature, as the name claimed. According to the Spanish peasants, the program seemed to be a complete failure, by leaving out its details on the discretion of the Spanish Congress, represented by the country's landed gentries. So it is quite natural that they would furnish the details, keeping in mind their own requirements which would not pertain to the interest of the poor farmers.
  • In fact, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program draft was reviewed and criticized by the World Bank officials. According to them, the process required restrictions to be imposed on it, for impeding the penetration of corruption. For that matter, the rate of the process must be a rapid one, completed all at a time, rather than in phases. Moreover, the prices of the cultivable lands should be decided through the implementation of a mechanical formula, instead of the existing subjective method of valuation.

The World Bank also raised its voice against the idea of involving the farmsteads, at the time of allocating the stocks among the labors and land tenants, instead of the lands themselves. This would appear to be a more effective and attractive scheme to the landlords, who were against the transfer of their plots to their successors.

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