This Chapter examines three important and interrelated problems. Firstly, what are the arguments which can be mounted in favour of a small farmer development strategy? Secondly, if a small farmer development strategy is to be pursued, it becomes essential to be able to identify the target groups of small farmers for policy purposes. This raises important issues, such as how to distinguish small farmers from landless labourers and marginal farmers, on the one hand, and from more favourably situated farmers on the other. Finally, it is necessary to consider the importance, actual and potential, of the small farmers in the ESCAP region. What proportion of the total and rural population comprise small farmer households? What proportion of cultivated land area is farmed by small farmers? What is their contribution to agricultural output or to the output of such important commodities as rice and wheat? We examine first the important question concerning why a small farmer development strategy should be adopted.

Related Subject(s): Economic and Social Development
Sustainable Development Goals:
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