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By Hugh D. Clout (auth.)

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Sample text

It was argued that farming should be viewed simply as one among many economic activities rather than as a way of life. Mansholt envisaged that a total agricultural population of 5 million in the Six would be desirable in 1980. This would represent only one-quarter of the 1950 figure of 20 million which had since fallen to 15 million in 1960 and 10 million in 1970, some 12 per cent of the total labour force at that time. In the past the reduction of the agricultural labour force has not been planned and has resulted from natural decrease and the fact that more attractive wages were offered by industry.

Nns in hilly terrain have been abandoned, but only after the expenditure of considerable sums on building farmhouses and providing utilities. By 1962, 15 per cent of assignees had abandoned their holdings, but now the proportion must be considerably higher. nns. The new life proved difficult for many of them and a vast educational programme has been required. nns through land reform has led to a serious pulverisation of property which runs directly contrary to what has been, attempted by agricultural planners in other Western European countries.

Up the third group of countries, large-scale farming is represented almost entirely by state farms but these cover only a very small proportion of the agricultural surface since over 85 per cent is in private hands. Agrarian reform in both countries boosted the role of the family farmer. Polish reforms in 1944 led to the expropriation of estates of more than 50 ha (100 ha in west-central Poland) held by wealthy post-feudal landowners who represented only 0·2 per cent of the rural population. In all, 6'1 million ha were used to enlarge more than one million existing farms and create new holdings in western and northern Poland (Table 11).

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