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P Changing Development Objectives and Agriculture 23 The basic needs approach is harmful because (i) it is impracticable and therefore must fail ; (ii) it would divert attention and resources away from productive activities and this would slow down the growth of production, particularly in agriculture; and (iii) it would greatly increase the power of the state and thus reduce personal freedom. We need to be clear about the 'welfare or distribution' effects of BN's social development policies on agricultural production.

L. Lijoodi and H. Ruthenberg, 'Income Distribution in Kenya's Agriculture'. 2 shows the characteristic inverse relationship between (per hectare) farm income and productivity and farm size, without which farm income Ginis would be greater. This supports the earlier assertion that income redistribution in peasant agriculture is unnecessary. In addition to income redistribution being unnecessary, it was also claimed to be undesirable and unachievable. This was argued on the grounds that individual performances within a group will always show variation, that economic incentives are a stimulus to improved performance and, therefore, that an unequal distribution of income is a necessary and inevitable outcome.

This is an important strategy of the international agencies, the World Bank and FAO, for example, which tend to design schemes to produce over-generous 'target' farm incomes (for a limited number of beneficiaries) which thus incur high capital costs per farm family. This is often due to 44 Agriculture, Poverty and Freedom the inclusion of a generous acreage of perennial cash crops (with a long pre-bearing period) and/or unduly large holdings. If the project is successful it produces a rural elite, which doubtless rejoices at its good fortune, but it has a limited impact on the general problem of rural poverty.

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