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Zitierweise / cite as:
Entwicklungsländerstudien / hrsg. von Margarete Payer. -- Teil I: Grundgegebenheiten. -- Kapitel 17: Lebenserwerbs- und Wirtschaftsformen. -- 2. Teil: Jäger und Sammler, Fischer, Bauern / von Carola Knecht. -- Fassung vom 2018-10-06. -- URL: http://www.payer.de/entwicklung/entw182.htm. -- [Stichwort].
Erstmals publiziert: 14. Januar 2000-01-14
Überarbeitungen: 2018-10-06 [grundlegend überarbeitet von Alois Payer] ; 2001-02-22 [Update]
Anlass: Lehrveranstaltung "Einführung in Entwicklungsländerstudien", HBI Stuttgart, 1998/99
©opyright: Dieser Text steht der Allgemeinheit zur Verfügung. Eine Verwertung in Publikationen, die über übliche Zitate hinausgeht, bedarf der ausdrücklichen Genehmigung der Herausgeberin.
Dieser Text ist Bestandteil der Abteilung Entwicklungsländer von Tüpfli's Global Village Library.
Skript, das von den Teilnehmern am Wahlpflichtfach "Entwicklungsländerstudien" an der HBI Stuttgart erarbeitet wird.
Jagen und Sammeln (Wildbeutertum) ist die nachhaltigste Lebenserwerbsform, die der Homo sapiens je hatte: die überwältigende Mehrheit unserer Vorfahren überlebten auf diese Weise zumindest bis zum zeugungsfähigen Alter. Dennoch ist diese Form des Lebenserwerbs am Aussterben.
Abb.: !Kung-Sammler mit Nüssen während einer Rast, Kalahari, Namibia (©Corbis)
Abb.: !Kung-Jäger gräbt Kaninchen aus Kaninchenbau, Kalahari, Botswana (©Corbis)
Abb.: !Kung-Jäger mit gefangener 3 m langer Python, Kalahari, Namibia (©Corbis)
"Yet even a cursory perusal of ethnographic literature shows that there is considerable diversity among ethnographically known bunter-gatherers, even within a delimited region such as the Kalahari Desert.
Hunter-gatherers everywhere manifest a variety of kinship systems, for example.
Hunting is important in some societies; in others, gathering is critical.
Some have been more substantially affected by colonial governments than others.
Some are very territorial, others are not.
Some are egalitarian while others are ranked societies.
The list goes on, and includes variability in work effort, fertility, health, mobility -- in all areas of life."
[Kelly, Robert L.: The foraging spectrum : diversity in hunter-gatherer lifeways. -- Washington [u.a.] : Smithsonian Institution Press, ©1995. -- ISBN 156098466X. -- S. 2. ]
Abb.: Jäger und Sammler müssen nicht unbedingt in "primitiven" Hütten wohnen: rekonstruiertes Haus der Hoopa-Indianer, Humboldt County, Kalifornien (©Corbis)
"Modern foragers do not, in Sahlins' phrase, live in a prehistoric world of hunters, but in a world of IBM, Cocacola, World Bank-sponsored cattle ranches, international lumber markets, and guerrilla movements. All live physically and socially on the outskirts of societies different from their own. They interact with these societies through trade, marriage, and employment, and have done so for some time. The Penan of Borneo gather rattan today for the world market and probably traded with Chinese merchants at least as long ago as 900 A.D. In Africa, many Bushmen were impressed into modern military forces because of their knowledge of bushlore; some may have oscillated among pastoralism, agriculture, and foraging for centuries. African Pygmies were involved in the ivory trade long before Europeans penetrated the Ituri Forest. In North America, Algonquians trapped beaver almost to extinction beginning in the early sixteenth century for the manufacture of hats and other goods in Europe. Shoshone preyed on the livestock of mid-nineteenth-century California-bound immigrants, and California hunter-gatherers were devastated by disease and acts of genocide beginning in the eighteenth century. Down under, Australian Aborigines traded with Macassans from the Celebes well before British colonization. After contact, immigrants hunted Aborigines for sport on the mainland and in Tasmania. Virtually no hunter-gatherer in the tropical forest today lives without trading heavily with horticulturalists for carbohydrates, or eating government or missionary rations. Some authors have even suggested that it is impossible to live in the tropical rain forest as a hunter-gatherer without the carbohydrates and iron tools provided by horticulturalists. Terry Rambo predicts that Southeast Asian foragers would cease to exist if trade with villagers were cut off.
Abb.: Inuit-Sommerjagdlager, Southampton Island, Kanada (©Corbis)
In brief, long before anthropologists arrived an the scene, hunter-gatherers had already been contacted, given diseases, shot at, traded with, employed and exploited by colonial powers, agriculturalists, and/or pastoralists. The result has been dramatic alterations in hunter-gatherers' livelihoods. ... Those people labeled hunter-gatherers today rarely obtain all their food from hunting and gathering -- some do a bit of agriculture, some receive government welfare, and some do wage labor. Others are also deeply involved in cash economies, making crafts and gathering forest products to sell on the world market. They often live an cultural "frontiers," shifting between foraging and wage labor or commercial foraging. Some retreat into forests or deserts to avoid conscription, taxes, and the administrative arms of colonial powers. For others, foraging is a political message, a way to reaffirm their cultural worth. Reanalyzing the concept of original affluence, Nurit Bird-David suggests that modern hunter-gatherers have a "cosmic economy of sharing," with social Systems designed so as to incorporate non-hunter-gatherers' resources and yet maintain a foraging way of life. There can be little doubt that all ethnographically known hunter-gatherers are tied into the world economic system in one way or another; in some cases they have been so connected for hundreds of years."
[Kelly, Robert L.: The foraging spectrum : diversity in hunter-gatherer lifeways. -- Washington [u.a.] : Smithsonian Institution Press, ©1995. -- ISBN 156098466X. -- S. 24 - 26. -- Dort auch Nachweise zu den einzelnen Behauptungen.]
"In terms of sheer human numbers the importance of small-scale fishing looms large indeed -- involving ... perhaps 100 million persons worldwide, compared with fewer than half a million in the large-scale sector. In gross economic terms, and particularly in terms of overall economic efficiency, the contributions of small-scale fishers are surprisingly large. About 45 percent of the total world fish catch that is designated for human consumption -- about 20 million tons annually -- is caught by small-scale fishers. Moreover, nearly all that fish is designated for human consumption, whereas about a third of the catch of large-scale fishers goes into the production of fish meal, which is used mainly for animal feed. The catches of small-scale fishers are also more often designated for local and regional consumption than those of large-scale fishers, who are considerably more involved in production for export."
[McGoodwin, James R.: Crisis in the world's fisheries : people, problems, and policies. -- Stanford, CA : Stanford University Press, ©1990. -- ISBN 0804723710. -- S. 43]
Abb.: Fischmarkt, Jakarta, Indonesien, 1992 (Quelle: FAO)
Theoretiker sind sich uneins, ob Fischergesellschaften eine Unterart der Jäger und Sammler sind oder nicht.
"In the literature on fisheries and fishing peoples, as well as in the everyday parlance of national and international development agencies, scientific institutions, and so forth, smallscale fishers are identified in a variety of ways. Among development organizations, a favorite tag is "artisanal" fishers. In other circles, we find the terms "native," "coastal," "inshore," "tribal," "peasant," "traditional," or "small-scale." In essence, what all of these fishers have in common is their relatively small capital commitment.
Abb.: Dorf Ta-Our Sar, Kambodscha, 1997: dieses Dorf steht während der Regenzeit bis zu 4 Meter tief im Wasser. Es ist vorwiegend ein Inland-Fischerdorf, das auch von der Herstellung von Geräten und Zubehör für die Fischerei lebt (Quelle: FAO)
The Label "artisanal," favored by various international development agencies, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), is quite apropos for describing fisher-artisans who fabricate much of their own gear, perhaps by weaving their own nets, fashioning fish pots or traps with palm fronds and cordage, or employing crude, homemade watercraft, such as log rafts or dugout canoes. Julio Luna notes that the artisanal fishers' art is the skill, experience, and intuition they apply to their fishing effort. But, the term "artisanal" hardly seems apropos when applied to fishers who use small motorized watercraft with fiberglass hulls, for example, or fishing gear that is nearly all purchased or supplied from sources outside their local communities. Yet quite often, and confusingly, these people are still identified as artisanal in fisheries management and development contexts.
For some, the crucial distinction is between "inshore," "coastal," or "near-shore" fishers and "deep-sea" or "distant-water" fishers, but I do not find this distinction particularly satisfactory either, because there are some fishers with very large capital commitments who still fish quite close to shore.
Richard B. Pollnac, who has had considerable experience with a great variety of fishing peoples around the world, has convinced me that for purposes of talking about the problems of artisanal, peasant, tribal, traditional, and other such fishing peoples, the term "small-scale" is the most useful, mainly because it is the most encompassing. It circumscribes a diversity of maritime peoples around the world who share similar problems, and whose individual capital commitments and levels of production are relatively small-scale. Obviously, some definitional precision is lost through blanket employment of the term, for example when it is used to refer to both tribal and peasant fishers, who otherwise have considerably different cultures. Nevertheless, the tag seems both descriptively valid and operationally useful when discussing either of these groups in the context of fisheries management, because in this larger context the groups find themselves in a similar political position vis-ä-vis the establishment of fisheries management policies, they both experience culture strain and economic and political marginalization as a result of the industrialization of fishing, and they both contribute to the resource depletions that increasingly
worry fisheries experts.
Because small-scale fishing implies a small-scale capital commitment, it also usually implies small-scale power, that is, an inability to influence fish markets, little representation in the formulation and implementation of fisheries management policies, and an inability to safeguard fisheries against the environmental degradation caused by external developments. This is particularly true of small-scale fishers in the developing nations. Because of their great number and decentralization, and sometimes because of their cultural heterogeneity, it is difficult for such fishers to organize collectively for their common welfare. This often places them at a great competitive disadvantage with large-scale fishers, who form powerful organizations to secure favorable marketing arrangements for their catches and to lobby government officials.
While the majority of small-scale fishers are found in the developing nations, a considerable number can be found along the coastlines of the developed nations as well. Though the latter may employ more sophisticated types of fishing gear and measure their daily catches in tons rather than in kilograms, they may still qualify as small-scale in terms of their capital commitment. And though many of them occupy the low end of the social, economic, and political continuum, some earn incomes and enjoy standards of living that are comparable to or better than the national averages of their countries. This is rarely the case in the developing nations, however, where small-scale fishers tend to be among the poorest of the poor. Some have been traditional fishers for a long time, and because fishing is the only way of life they have known for generations they may persist in it even though it provides only a very marginal livelihood.
A growing number of fishers in these countries are also comparative newcomers to fishing. Often they are severely impoverished farmers who have lost their lands or cannot subsist on them, and, unable to find the growing sectors of the national economy, have migrated to the land's end. They often arrive with little more than a naive dream of somehow extracting a living from what seems a comparatively free, commonly owned, and essentially uninhabited domain. Yet once there they may find themselves engaged in an even more desperate struggle to survive.
Abb.: Meer- Stelzenfischer, Wellgama, Sri Lanka, 1996 (©Corbis)
Abb.: Meer- Speerfischer, Fidschi, 1974 (©Corbis)
Small-scale fishers comprise an astounding diversity of peoples and cultures scattered around the world. In the developing areas of the Western hemisphere, we find impoverished rural Mexican campesinos, throwing cast nets for shrimps in a shallow lagoon; the Miskito Indians in eastern Nicaragua, who capture sea turtles for a commercial market; and Brazilian raft fishers who work their country's mangrove swamps, as well as far offshore.
Abb.: Meerfischer mit Zugnetz, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka (©Corbis)
Many other small-scale fishers can be found along the coastlines of Africa, the Middle East, and still farther east. They include the canoe fishers along the coast of West Africa, who fish at night by lantern light; Egyptians, Sudanese, and Arabs fishing in the Red Sea from graceful dhows; and other Moslem fishers farther east, in the Persian Gulf, in the Bay of Bengal, along the Malay peninsula, and throughout the Indonesian archipelago. We also have the maritime peoples of Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia, as well as the so-called "sea gypsies" living around the Philippine Islands, who spend nearly all their lives aboard junks and sampans, to and the countless other maritime peoples inhabiting the shores of India and the mainland coasts of South and Southeast Asia.
An astonishingly large number of equally diverse small-scale fishers can also be found in the developed nations. In the United States, for example, we have the Eskimo seal hunters of northern Alaska, the ruggedly individualistic New England lobster fishers, the New Jersey and Chesapeake Bay watermen, sponge fishers descended from Greek immigrants in Florida, father-and-son salmon trollers in Northern California, and Vietnamese immigrants setting trab pots in the inshore bays of Texas or fishing in California's Monterey Bay.
Likewise, around much of the North Atlantic rim, in such countries as Canada, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Scotland, and Ireland, one still may find fisher-crofters, crab-pot fishers, net fishers who employ oar-powered wooden skiffs, and so forth. Small-scale fishers in other modernized Western European nations indude the Portuguese whalers from Pico Island in the Azores, who still hunt whales from wooden skiffs using hand-thrown harpoons, and free-lancers of every sort plying the coasts of France, Spain, Italy, and Greece.
The list could be extended endlessly: to the more developed nations of Asia-Japan, Korea, and Taiwan-to Australia and New Zealand, to the farthest reaches of the Soviet Union. In short, small-scale fishers work in every Corner of the world, from the coldest arctic region to the warmest tropical sea.
Starting with primitive fishers and working our way through tribal, peasant, artisanal, and small-scale commercial fishers, we move up a developmental continuum marked by an increasing degree of capitalization, technological sophistication, and catch sizes. Somewhere further up this hypothetical continuum we encounter intermediate-scale and finally largescale fishers. Unfortunately, the definitional boundaries between these various categories are fuzzy and we can clearly distinguish them only when they are at the opposite, extreme ends of this continuum."
"Whether the poorest of the poor in a developing nation or middle-class people in a developed nation, fishers usually have high-risk jobs, low occupational mobility, uncertain incomes, and chaotic family lives, and they often find themselves caught in an increasingly competitive struggle with other fishers. Moreover, they are often hold in low esteem by the nonfishing populace and occasionally even by some fisheries management professionals. But these are only the more obvious problems plaguing fishers today, particularly the small-scale ones. There are others, that trouble them just as greatly but are more subtle. Modernization processes, particularly, have taken a heavy toll. ...
For many fishing peoples, modernization has prompted longer working hours, unemployment, greater economic risk, the depletion of vital resources, the disruption of traditional modes of subsistence, the marginalization of what had heretofore been satisfying and viable lifestyles, and the disintegration of well-established patterns of social life. Sometimes with changes in fishing technology, important cooperative activities have become unnecessary -- the need to carefully hang up nets to dry, for instance, which is no longer necessary once nylon nets replace those made of cotton. Also there have been shifts to more inpersonal modes of recruiting fellow workers. Old patterns of relations have given way to more individualistic and competitive patterns, with the rcsult that the organization of many fishing communities has become more atomistic. Many formerly cooperative fishing peoples have become more guarded in their dealings with one another and have found themselves embroiled in an increasing number of conflicts with other community members.
Modernization and modern lifestyles and values have also fueled some rather crazy production, marketing, and distribution patterns in certain fisheries -- for instance, in those supplying species of fish that confer social prestige on consumers. In such fisheries we often find excessively high market demands placed on scarce species while other abundant and equaly nutritious Stocks remain underutilized. E. N. Anderson, Jr. for example, describes how pomfrets and prawns caught by Hong Kong fishers are objects of conspicuous consumption that reinforce consumers' social status, with the result that the high demand has severely reduced these stocks, while abundant stocks of red snapper, jack fish, and other excellent protein sources remain underutilized.
Modernization and technological change in the fisheries have often come about fairly rapidly, as when new competitors force local fishers to adopt new types of fishing gear, or when larger markets for production present themselves. Quite often technological changes have been stimulated and then guided by various development organizations. And sometimes the seductive allure of the new technologies themselves has prompted fishers to adopt them, especially the so-called high-tech electronics, which are feverishly promoted by national and multinational business organizations.
Generally urban-based, highly capitalized, and seen by national governments as more significant and economically promising, the large-scale sector usually enjoys government support, sometimes even direct subsidization, to a degree practically unheard of in the small-scale sector of fisheries."
[McGoodwin, James R.: Crisis in the world's fisheries : people, problems, and policies. -- Stanford, CA : Stanford University Press, ©1990. -- ISBN 0804723710. -- S. 8 - 14]
"Granting the considerable diversity of fishing peoples, what is generally characteristic of their cultures, and particularly of the cultures of smallscale fishers, who constitute the vast majority of fishers worldwide? What general features do such cultures have in common? In the previous chapter I mentioned several cardinal features of fishing peoples:
they derive their livelihood primarily from the sea;
their view of the world is essentially local;
and while collectively they number around 100 million people, their social, political, and economic clout is relatively minor.
To these features we can add several more.
Nearly all fishers stress independence, self-reliance, freedom from regimentation, and challenge as important aspects of their occupation. A high degree of independence and self-reliance is necessary for psychologically coping with fishing activity, and it is especially important for seagoing fishers, who are beyond the support and help of their communities ashore. Faced with a rapidly changing and potentially dangerous force, fishers must be prepared to make critical decisions with little hesitation.
Most fishers are physically hardy people who enjoy working outdoors, and most are extremely proud of their identity as fishers, which they will sometimes emphasize even when fishing activities take up only a small portion of their total working time each year. Indeed, strong feelings of pride and satisfaction have been observed in nearly all studies of fishers, irrespective of culture and region, and several good data-based studies have further corroborated these observations Thus B. Gatewood and Bonnie J. McCay conclude from their study of job satisfaction among New Jersey fishers: "Fishermen derive a considerable 'satisfaction Bonus' from their work. Fishing is not merely a
means to an end, but is intrinsically rewarding . . . . Fishing is not just a livelihood, it is a way of life."
Such personal satisfaction encourages fishers to be unusually tenacious in their adherence to their occupation, which sometimes puzzles economists and fisheries managers confronted with the fact that fishers will persist in the pursuit even in the face of diminishing stocks, declining yields, and very substandard incomes. As Arthur F. McEvoy notes: "Fishing requires special skills as well as a tolerante for hard and dangerous work at low pay. It also has the Power to hold the loyalty of its workers and their children, who will to the consternation of modern economists stay in the business long after it ceases to produce incomes comparable to those in other trades."
In communities where fishing is the main occupation, it will always be interwoven throughout the fabric of the local culture. In such communities it will also be the central attribute of the community's identity. It will pervade important rituals as well as the main social and economic institutions, and it will be the subject of popular myths, folktales, and local history. The various surrounding conventions and mores may have been handed down through several generations. Thus in communities composed mainly of fishers or in which fishers constitute a large proportion of the local populace, fishing will usually be considered as much a way of life as a way of making a living.
Compared with those who do not fish for a living, fishers are usually more mobile, especially geographically, and sometimes economically as well. They are often able to enter a particular fishery rather quickly when new opportunities arise. Such mobility often poses special problems for fisheries managers -- problems with few analogs in the management of most land-based resources, where common-property ownership and open access are far less commonplace.
An overwhelming majority of the primary producers in the fishing industry are male, which has important implications for patterns of social and economic organization and patterns of interpersonal relations, as well as for fisheries management. Just why fishing is so overwhelmingly a male occupation bears mention here. Mainly it seems to stem from the disproportionate share of child-rearing responsibilities that women assume in
practically all societies. ...
Where women do engage in fish production, it is usually as shellfishers or collectors of other marine fauna along the seashore or in tidal pools that is, in activities that do not take them far from their children. Where they do work aboard fishing vessels, it is usually as "day trippers," that is, for comparatively short intervals of time, so that they are not away from their children for long.
There are notable exceptions to this general pattern, of course, particularly in Asia, where whole families live and work together aboard fishing boats, as well as aboard certain Russian factory ships, where many women work as fish processors. ...
One should not conclude, however, that women in fishing societies play secondary or insignificant roles in their local economies. To the contrary, as I shall shortly explain, they often make exceedingly important contributions in marketing and distribution, besides being the mainstays of community social organization and social life. Moreover, because the men are so often away and the women must take on proportionally more responsibilities in the community, it is no surprise that fishermen's wives are often more independent and are accorded relatively greater prestige in fishing communities than the women in nonfishing families. This phenomenon has been reported in such disparate regions as south India, West Africa, New England, Canada, Great Britain, Taiwan, and Japan. Moreover, in fishing societies where the men are absent for particularly long periods of time, there is often a pronounced tendency toward matrifocality in local social organization.
Another important characteristic of fishers is that most have a highly specialized and intimate knowledge of the marine ecosystems they exploit, although the depth and extent of this knowledge is usually much greater among small-scale fishers. When it comes to formal education, however, fishers are often at a disadvantage compared with nonfishers: Many young men have been enticed into quitting school and taking to the sea, which may be part of the reason why fishers are so often held in low esteem by their neighbors.
In fact, being held in low esteem by their nonfishing neighbors seems to be a rather ubiquitous phenomenon for fishers in many societies and cultures around the world. Sometimes even their nonfishing kin and neighbors share such pejorative views. And many modern urbanites who know very little about fishing often view fishers as pariahs or as members of an underclass. ...
Fishers share a somewhat paradoxical worldview and ethos that separate them from nonfishers living nearby who otherwise may share their culture. This is partly because fishers are often not as well connected to the modern world as are nonfishers from the same region. Coastal communities are often geographically remote from the noncoastal communities in their regions and even from one another because of the linearity of coastlines, such that communities tend to be strang out rather than clustered around a major population center or distributed evenly throughout a region. Geography also isolates coastal communities from the modern world in a psychological sense. The greater vulnerability of coastal communities to outside incursions, especially economic incursions, often prompts coastal dwellers to be more suspicious of outsiders than are noncoastal dwellers in neighboring communities."
[McGoodwin, James R.: Crisis in the world's fisheries : people, problems, and policies. -- Stanford, CA : Stanford University Press, ©1990. -- ISBN 0804723710. -- S. 23 - 27]
Neben den Meeresfischern darf man nicht vergessen die für die Eiweißversorgung ebenfalls sehr wichtigen
Abb.: Flussfischerboot, Mekong bei Phnom Penh, Kambodscha, 1991 (©Corbis)
Abb.: Flussfischer wirft Netz aus, Mekong bei Chiang Saen, Thailand, 1991 (©Corbis)
Abb.: Fluss- Krabbenfang, Asmat, Irian Jaya, Indonesien, 1990 (©Corbis)
Abb.: Inlandfischerei: Fischverarbeitung, Tonle Sap, Kambodscha, 1997 (Quelle: FAO)
Aquakultur (Fischproduktion) betreibenden Fischer
Abb.: Fischfang (Karpfenarten) in Teich (Aquakultur), Orissa, Indien, 1987 (Quelle: FAO)
Für eine betriebswirtschaftliche Darstellung der Landwirtschaft siehe:
Entwicklungsländerstudien / hrsg. von Margarete Payer. -- Teil I: Grundgegebenheiten. -- Kapitel 6: Landwirtschaftliche Betriebssysteme / zusammengestellt von Alois Payer. -- URL: http://www.payer.de/entwicklung/entw06.htm
Eine bahnbrechende Studie zum Wirtschaftsverhalten von subsistenzorientierten Bauern ist:
Tschajanow, Alexander [Chayanov, Alexander Vasil'evich] <1888 - 1939>: Die Lehre von der bäuerlichen Wirtschaft : Versuch einer Theorie der Familienwirtschaft im Landbau / unter Mitwirkung des Verfassers aus dem Russischen übersetzt von Friedrich Schlömer. -- Berlin : Parey, 1923. 132 S. : Ill.
1925 erschien die russische Fassung:
Organizatsiya krest'yanskogo khozaistva. -- Moskva : Tsentral'noe tovarichestvo kooperativnogo, 1925. -- 213 S. : Ill.
Eine englische Übersetzung dieses Werkes mit verschiedenen Einleitungen ist:
Chayanov, Alexander Vasil'evich] <1888 - 1939>: The theory of peasant economy / ed. by Daniel Thorner ... -- Madison, WI : University of Wisconsin Press, 1986. -- 316 S. Ill. -- ISBN 0299105741
Das Folgende ist eine gute Zusammenfassung der Grundgedanken Tschajanows:
"The distinctive economic behavior of the subsistence-oriented peasant family results from the fact that, unlike a capitalist enterprise, it is a unit of consumption as well as a unit of production. The family begins with a more or less irreducible subsistence consumer demand, based an its size, especially which it must meet in order to continue as a unit. Meeting those minimal human needs in a reliable and stable way is the central criterion which they knits together choices of seed, technique, timing, rotation, and so forth. The cost of failure for those near the subsistence margin is such that safety and reliability take precedence over long-run Profit.
Many of the seeming anomalies of peasant economics arise from the fact that the struggle for a subsistence minimum is carried out in the context of a shortage of land, capital, and outside employment opportunities. This restricted context has at times driven peasants, as A. V. Chayanov has shown in his classic study of Russian smallholders, to choices that defy standard bookkeeping measures of profitability. Peasant families which must feed themselves from small plots in overpopulated regions will (if there are no alternatives) work unimaginably hard and long for the smallest increments in production-long after a prudent capitalist would move on. Chayanov calls this "self-exploitation" When this pattern becomes characteristic of an entire agrarian system, as it did in Tonkin and Java, it represents what Clifford Geertz has called "agricultural involution.". That the marginal return on his additional labor is miniscule matters little to the capital-poor, Land-short peasant who must wring the family's food out of what he has.
Because labor is often the only factor of production the peasant possesses in relative abundance, he may have to move into labor-absorbing activities with extremely low returns until subsistence demands are met. This may mean switching crops or techniques of cultivation (for example, switching from broadcasting to transplanting rice) or filling the slack agricultural season with petty crafts, trades, or marketing which return very little but are virtually the only outlets for surplus labor. Chayanov shows how, holding the family size constant, the proportion of the year spent in crafts and trades increases as the land available to the peasant family diminishes. The strong traditional role of crafts and trades in land-starved areas such as Upper Burma, Annam, and Tonkin, and the pattern of small-scale peasant marketing in Java are in keeping with this relationship.
Guaranteeing themselves a basic subsistence, an orientation that focuses unavoidably an the here and now, occasionally forces peasants to mortgage their own future. A crop failure may force them to sell some or all of their scarce land or their plow animals. If the failure is widespread they must sell in a panic at extremely low prices. The result may be both tragic and preposterous: "It is well known, for example, that in the famine year of 1921 in the lower Volga area, meat was cheaper than bread."5
The overriding importance of meeting family subsistence demands frequently obliges peasants not only to sell for whatever return they can get but also to pay more to buy or rent land than capitalist investment criteria would indicate. A land-poor peasant with a large family and few labor outlets is often willing to pay huge prices for land, or "hunger rents," as Chayanov calls them, so long as the additional land will add something to the family larder. In fact, the less land a family has, the more it will be willing to pay for an additional piece: a competitive process that may drive out capitalist agriculture which cannot compete an such terms.
It seemed to Chayanov some fifty years ago that the peculiarities of peasant economics invalidated the assumptions of classical economics about rational behavior. Today, however, such peasant economics is better understood as a special case of what standard microeconomic theory would predict.'"
"Given the social reality of the subsistence crisis level for most peasant cultivators, it makes eminent sense for them to follow what Roumasset calls the 'safety first' principle. In the choice of seeds and techniques of cultivation, it means simply that the cultivator prefers to minimize the probability of having a disaster rather than maximizing his averag return." This strategy generally rules out choices which, while they promise a higher net return on the average, carry with them any substantial risk of losses that would jeopardize subsistence.
In one form or another, this risk avoidance principle has been noted by most economists who study low-income agriculture in the Third World. The four statements that follow are taken from the major works on the economics of subsistence farming and express the basic accord on this point.
»For near-subsistence peasants, risk aversion may be quite strong because the returns above expected values may not offset the severe penalties for returns below the expected values.« [Jere R. Behrman]
»Special value tends to be attached to survival and maintenance of position as opposed to change and the improvement of position . . . . The economic basis for an attitude which is conservative . . . lies with the high risks associated with change in traditional agriculture and the potentially high penalties for failure in change.« [John W. Mellor]
Risk avoidance is also invoked to explain the preference for subsistence crops over nonedible cash crops:
»It is quite rational for peasants in "overpopulated" countries with very little margin for taking risks above their subsistence level to be content with a lower return for subsistence production than to choose the higher but riskier returns from cash production.«
The most careful formulation of the principle of decision-making involved, however, is that of Leonard Joy:
»We might postulate that farmers' willingness to innovate for an increase in long-run average net return is subject to the condition that the risk of reducing the net return in any one year not exceed some given value. Further, we might postulate that the degree of risk that farmers are willing to incur is related to their nearness, in some sense, to "biological subsistence." . . . We thus have a hypothesis that subsistence farmers may resist innovation because it means departing from a system that is efficient in minimizing the risk of a catastrophe for one that significantly increases this risk.«"
[Scott, James C.: The moral economy of the peasant : rebellion and subsistence in Southeast Asia. -- New haven [u.a.] : Yale University Press, ©1976. -- ISBN 0300021909. -- S. 13f., 17f. -- ]
Das folgende Zitat warnt, diese Risikovermeidung nicht zu ausschließlich als Grundeinstellung von Subsistenzbauern zu sehen:
"Moral economists have posited that peasants have an aversion to risk when evaluating economic strategies -- they prefer strategies with low but certain returns to strategies that may produce higher returns but also may have a higher risk of a disastrous drop in output. Certainly, political economists would agree that whenever a small loss would be disastrous, peasants will be extremely risk averse. Although poor and close to the margin, however, there are still many occasions when peasants do have some surplus and do make risky investments: the fact that they are poor and risk avers does not imply, either logically or factually, that they do not make investments. Peasants make long-term as well as short-term investments, and therefore have long-term and short-term investment crises, and they make risky as well as secure investments. Peasants plan and invest throughout both the crop cycle and the life cycle, and they place a high priority on investment for old age. Furthermore, besides deciding between long-term and short-term investments, peasants must choose between public and private investments, both long and short run. Peasants do decide whether to invest in children, animals, land, and other individual or family goods, on the one hand, or on the other, whether to spend their surplus through the village, on insurance or welfare programs or village improvements."
[Popkin, Samuel L.: The rational peasant : the political economy of rural society in Vietnam. -- Berkeley [u.a.] : University of California Press, ©1979. -- ISBN 0520039548. -- S. 18f.]
Ein ganz wichtiger Faktor für Subsistenzbauern ist auch, dass Subsistenzwirtschaft unabhängig macht von übergeordneten Wirtschaftssystemen (z.B. nationalen oder globalen Märkten) sowie von Politik, die meist im Interesse der Städter und der Oberschicht ist (z.B. Preispolitik, Steuern). Das Beharren auf vormodernen Wirtschaftsformen kann also auch ein Ausdruck der höheren Bewertung von Freiheit und Unabhängigkeit gegenüber Konsum sein.
Abb.: Chilli-Pfeffer, eine wichtige cash crop, wird zum Trocknen ausgelegt, Padipanchawa, Sri Lanka, 1993 (Quelle: FAO)
Zwischen rein subsistenzorientierten Bauern und rein marktorientierten Agrarunternehmern gibt es unübersehbar viele Zwischenstufen. Die Grundtendenz der Entwicklung schildern O. und D. Solbrig:
"Once farmers all over the world were mostly self-sufficient. The popular image of a farm as portrayed in movies and children's books still conforms to that picture, with its blend of cows, pigs, horses, vegetable gardens, and fields. There are farmers who still grow most of the food they eat, but they generally live in remote places with poor communications, limited access to markets, and barren land. Most subsistence farmers today use traditional labor-intensive farming techniques. Because they are poor they cannot obtain credit and therefore suffer from a shortage of machinery, fertilizer, and other inputs that require cash.
Abb.: Bauer und sein Sohn pflanzen Blumen, eine wichtige cash crop, El Savador, 1994 (Quelle: FAO)
Modern farmers, by contrast, are highly specialized and grow only a few crops for city markets. Specialization requires greater capital investment, more organization, more productive technologies, and machinery. Together these elements result in greater crop yields and increased productivity of land, labor, and capital. The modern farm is highly integrated with, and dependent on, city-based markets. Farmers have changed from self-sufficient individuals to agricultural industrialists.
A consequence of specialization and market-oriented production is the development of new industries. When farmers were largely self-sufficient there was no need for factories to make farm machinery. The local smithy made the hoes, shovels, and sickles. When farmers used animal manure there was no room for the manufacture of chemical fertilizer. When most produce was consumed on the farm, food processing was limited to basic processes such as milling, wine making, or olive pressing. These activities took place on or close to the farm. But when farmers started selling most of their produce to cities, whole industries sprang up in response to the need for elaborate farm products.
In turn, as city-based industries expanded, they offered steady employment for underemployed rural workers. As the proportion of population living and working in cities rose, the market for farm products grew, serving as an incentive for farmers to increase production and efficiency. Those farmers who adopted agricultural methods that reduced costs or raised production gained an advantage over other farmers, for as production increased the price of farm products decreased. This forced every farmer to adopt new technologies to stay competitive.
Today urban dwellers and the industries that depend on farm products have an interest in keeping their cost low.' Therefore they also favor highly productive agriculture. To increase productivity, governments encourage agricultural research and provide financial incentives. During the latter part of the last century in both Europe and the United States, governments set up agricultural experiment stations and established a system to deliver agricultural information to farmers. Universities began research programs and agronomy departments to increase and diffuse knowledge about the best farming methods. Today financial instruments such as crop insurance, farm credit, and futures markets reduce financial risks and ensure regular and steady production. Governments intervene by providing both direct and indirect subsidies. Subsidies are designed at times to encourage farm production, at other times to reduce planted acreage and decrease production. Sometimes governments want to guarantee minimum prices for farmers; sometimes they are interested in ensuring low prices for consumers. The result: Modern agriculture is very efficient and fulfills the objective of producing a steady supply of cheap food.
A curious consequence of all these changes is that while the absolute productivity of the economy's farm sector has increased, the farm sector's contribution to the total gross national product, its share of the laborforce, and its growth in relation to the manufacturing sector have decreased. A comparison of the economies of countries at various levels of development illustrates this trend. Agricultural production accounted for
32 percent of GDP (gross domestic product) among the 39 countries with the lowest per-capita income in the world in 1985.
In the 56 countries classified as middle-income countries, agriculture accounted for only 15 percent of GDP, and
in the 23 high-income countries it represented only 3 percent.
Yet agricultural production per person was
$422.81 in high-income countries, and only
$79.74, respectively, in middle- and low-income countries.
In high-income countries the average value of food produced per farmer is five times greater than in low-income countries, but agriculture represents only a thirtieth of the total production of high-income economies.
The change toward market-oriented agriculture has not come easily. Just as the enclosure movement in Europe increased productivity but created dislocations and social strains, so the change toward high-Input, market-oriented agriculture in developing countries is creating social disruptions. This is exemplified by the "green revolution" in the Asiatic tropics. This is only one of many dilemmas posed by the widespread adoption of modern farming. Perhaps the most challenging dilemma is this: How are we going to feed some additional five billion people in the next fifty years without degrading the environment on which agriculture depends?
Profit maximization was not the motivating force in traditional selfsufficient farming. The long-term objective of the farmer was the lowering of risk to ensure a steady supply of food for the family, for when crops failed the family was at risk. Crop diversification was the best way to reduce risk, and farmers favored crop varieties with broad tolerances that could grow well under various conditions. Often they cultivated more than one variety. Low-yield varieties were better than higheryield but less tolerant ones. Even so, crop failures and famines were common in traditional farming communities.
Seeds came from the previous harvest; farm animals, crop rotation, and fallow restored soil fertility; and the farmer's family provided most of the labor. Farmers did not have to pay for labor, so they probably did not calculate labor costs or labor efficiency. Work was routine and physically exhausting. Farmers tried to find a middle road between ensuring enough production to satisfy the needs of the household and keeping the amount of drudgery to a minimum.
Typically, traditional farmers lived close to villages. Villages gave community support that brought with it constraints. Farmers near villages had access to community labor over short periods for raising a barn or harvesting a crop. Villages usually also had common grazing lands. In turn, village life determined crop types and farming methods. Institutions and people outside the village -- for instance, landlords, the church, and the state -- further restricted the freedom of the traditional farmer. They exacted part of the produce, either in kind or as money tribute or labor.
As we have seen, all of this began changing in Europe in the seventeenth century. The industrial revolution of the nineteenth century gave further impetus to agrarian restructuring. In other parts of the world, the type of change that took place in Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries has been taking place more recently. In the Americas, Spanish, Portuguese, and English colonization wiped out most native farming communities and laid the ground for market-oriented agriculture. Today North America, Australia, and New Zealand practice the most advanced farming in the world. Meanwhile, in Asia and especially Africa the two types of farming coexist:
the traditional, village-centered, self-sufficient farms, and
market-oriented farms producing mostly for export.
But even there traditional farming has come under pressure from a spectrum of factors and is giving way to high-yield, high-input, market-oriented agriculture.
Traditionally, growth in food production has come from expansion of the cultivated surface. The process proceeded steadily for 10,000 years, then exploded over the last 150. According to historian J. F. Richards 911.1 million hectares have gone under the plow in the last 130years .Only 59.6 million hectares reverted to noncropland in that period, for a net gain of 851.5 million hectares, or 5 7 percent of present arable fand. With expansion no longer feasible, farmers have had to intensify cultivation to improve yields per unit surface. This involves the use of improved varieties, fertilizer, and year-round cultivation without fallow, collectively known as industrialized or "high-input" farming. Although it has taken root in much of the developed world, many questions about its sustainability are being raised." (S. 204 -208)
Abb.: Organische Dunghaufen auf Feld, Bhutan, 1995 (Quelle: FAO)
Abb.: Maisfeld, nur mit organischem Dung gedüngt, Bhutan, 1995: der Ertrag ist gering und unregelmäßig (Quelle: FAO)
"Animal manure has been used since the early days of agriculture to improve soil fertility. Leguminous crops have been grown toward the same end. The litter and roots of these crops, when incorporated into soil, make the nitrogen they have taken from the air available to other plants. Although legumes increase the nitrogen level in the soil, they consume phosphorus and potassium, which must be supplied to the soil.
Abb.: Bauern machen Komposthaufen, Madagaskar, 1994 (Quelle: FAO)
As crop yields increased during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, more nutrients were removed from the soil and exported to the city. A number of materials were brought in to supplement the farm's animal manure -- the contents of privies and cesspools, sweepings from stables and streets in nearby cities, and so on. By the 1830s water transport had become cheap enough that Peruvian guano -- bird droppings from offshore islands -- could be imported into Europe for use as fertilizer. This was supplemented by inorganic nitrates from Chile in the second half of the nineteenth century. Eventually scientists learned an industrial method of taking nitrogen from the air.
Abb.: Bauer düngt Mais, Burkina Faso, 1986 (Quelle: FAO)
Abb.: Bäuerinnen düngen frisch gepflanztes Kartoffelfeld, Peru, 1994 (Quelle: FAO)
By the end of World War I I, cheap nitrogenous fertilizer could be industrially produced. For the first time in history, fixed nitrogen from the air became both abundant and relatively cheap. Now it was possible to apply nitrogenous fertilizer to enormous areas. The cereals were among the most responsive crops. Yields have continued to increase, primarily in industrial nations capable of widespread fertilizer production but lately also in developing nations that import nitrogenous fertilizer or produce it themselves.
Although nitrogen usually represents the principal deficiency in soil, phosphorus and potassium are also in short supply. Phosphorus was traditionally provided through manure; crushed bones are also a good source. In the 1840s, "superphosphates" were introduced in England, the result of treating phosphate rock with sulfuric acid. This was the first artificial fertilizer and is still the major source of phosphorous fertilizer.
Inorganic fertilizer in large measure accounts for the increase in agricultural production since World War II. Modern high-yield crops have been bred to respond positively to additions of inorganic fertilizer. Only a fraction of the inorganic fertilizer applied to a field is absorbed by the crop or retained in the soil. The remainder is dissolved in rainwater and washed away into creeks, rivers, lakes, and oceans. Some can also find its way into groundwater. Increased nutrients encourage the growth of aquatic plants and algae that can rob water of its oxygen and result in the death of fish and other aquatic life, a process known as eutrophication. A high nutrient content in drinking water, especially a high nitrate concentration, is harmful to human health. This is a serious problem in areas of intense agriculture such as the Netherlands and parts of the United States.
Abb.: "Vergrößere Produktion und Einkommen", Plakat des nationalen Düngeprogramms, Zaire(Quelle: FAO)
An indirect effect of inorganic fertilizer has been to increase the disparity between rich and poor countries. Rich countries have the industrial base to produce reasonably-priced fertilizer, which is not always the case in poor countries. Consequently farmers in rich countries can more easily increase their productivity. Without inorganic fertilizer, the United States could not be the big producer and exporter of grain that it is. Without it, Europe would be a big importer of food.
Abb.: Hochertragssorte von Maniok (Cassava) wird auf Blausäuregehalt untersucht, Malawi, Mzuzu Research Station, 1994 (Quelle: FAO)
Breeding, like fertilizer, has contributed to the structural transformation of farming. Knowledgeable farmers always selected the strongest, healthiest, and most productive plants in a field as the source of seeds for the following year's crop. However, only with the unraveling of genetic principles at the beginning of the twentieth century did scientists come to understand the basis of plant selection, making possible planned breeding of high-yield varieties with desirable characteristics. Agricultural colleges and research centers supported efforts to breed new varieties. New crop varieties and the better understanding of plant nutrition, which led to improved soil management and the application of chemical fertilizer, significantly increased agricultural productivity. Wheat and then maize yields rose rapidly in Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, and Argentina." (S. 213 -215)
Abb.: Bauer sprüht Insektizid auf Reisfeld, Hyderabad-Distrikt, Indien, 1996
"To protect crops, agronomists introduced insecticides, compounds that poison insects. The first insecticides were plant products such as pyrethrum, which comes from the plant of the same name, and nicotine, from the tobacco plant. Over the last fifty years scientists have developed many synthetic chemicals to combat insects as well as weeds and plant disease." (S. 216)
"Sophisticated machinery was yet another factor in the remaking of agriculture. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, farmers employed the same tools as medieval farmers: wooden plows, band hoes, and harrows for cultivating, sickles, scythes, and cradles for harvesting, and flails for threshing. Agriculture was a backbreaking enterprise the extent of which was determined by the size of the family, except on plantations employing slave labor.
Abb.: Von Ochsen gezogener Pflug, Sambia, 1996 (Quelle. FAO)
Abb.: Von Kamel gezogener Pflug, Marokko, 1990er Jahre (©Corbis)
As America's Midwest and West were opened, to agriculture, farmers encountered soil too heavy for the wooden plow. In 1837, building on others' experiments with cast-iron and steel plows, John Deere of Illinois built a one-piece wrought-iron plow with a share made of steel. The Deere plow was so efficient in turning the heavy Illinois soil that it got nicknamed the singing plow. By the mid-1850s 10,000 of them were being produced annually. Today wooden plows survive only in traditional agriculture, especially in stony soil.
Abb.: Pflügen von Kartoffelfeld, Mustang, Nepal, 1996 (©Corbis)
Abb.: Moderne Feldbearbeitung, USA, 1985 (©Corbis)
The most labor-intensive operation of the farm year is the harvest, which must proceed rapidly once the crop is ripe. Until harvesting could be made more efficient, no real advance in labor productivity was possible. After many independent attempts in the United States and Europe to produce a reliable and efficient mechanical reaper, Cyrus McCormick developed one in the 1850s. It soon became popular, making the McCormick Company the leading manufacturer of reapers.
Abb.: Reisernte, Afghanistan, 1994 (Quelle: FAO)
Abb.: Bauernfamilie kehrt mit Reisernte zurück, Kambodscha, 1996 (Quelel: FAO)
Almost simultaneously, threshing machines were invented in Europe and the United States. At the beginning they only threshed; straw, used for various purposes, including animal feed, still had to be separated by hand. The gram likewise had to be independently winnowed to separate the grain from the chaff. Eventually the J. I. Case and Pitt companies in the United States developed equipment that combined all these operations. The machines were large, cumbersome, and expensive. Because ordinary farmers could not afford them, specialized itinerant operators would charge a fee to thresh and winnow gram with the new machines. Twenty years later machines called combines appeared. Pulled by as many as forty horses, these cut, threshed, and winnowed. Today all grain harvesting is done with selfpropelled combines.
Abb.: Reisernte mit Mähdrescher, Bolivien, 1996 (Quelle FAO)
Abb.: Reisernte mit Mähdrescher, Bolivien, 1996 (Quelle FAO)
Once the harvest had been mechanized, horse-drawn cultivation machines like harrows, planters, and mowers appeared on the market. Each of these machines represented a considerable investment. Labor shortages speeded up the adoption of farming machinery, rapidly accelerating per-person output.
The last stage of mechanization was the replacement of horses by tractors. Tractors appeared in the last decade of the nineteenth century and by 1910 were firmly established. Trucks and self-propelled harvesting equipment followed. Finally, cheap fuel enabled the internal combustion engine to be used in agricultural machines. Increasingly, these changes made agriculture more productive as well as capital intensive, as one California farmer recently made clear: »A retired neighbor of mine was doing some planting for me with our new 13-foot, 6-inch drill, which takes 1800 pounds to fill the seed hoppers. He started at 6:30 and went home at 5:30, and planted over 75 acres of grain. He was just shaking his head, because he said that if he planted 20 acres a day in the early 50s, he'd had a big day. So now it's easier, but it's capital intensive.«" (S. 217 - 219)
[Solbrig, Otto Thomas ; Solbrig, Dorothy J. <1945 - >: So shall you reap : farming and crops in human affairs. -- Washington, DC : Island Press, ©1994. -- 284 S. : Ill. -- (Sharewater books). -- ISBN 1559633093.]
Zu Kapitel 18.3: Lebenserwerbs- und Wirtschaftsformen, 3. Teil: Hirten, Handwerker, Händler, Dienstleistungsberufe, Sklaven und Zwangsarbeiter, Rentiers