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The impact of rural inequality on fertility and migration, viewed as alternative household responses to changing population-resource ratios


In the developing world small, fairly equal farms seem efficient and equitable. What is their demographic and ecological impact ? This project's objectives are to show how farm size, and distribution of rights in land, water and animals :
* Affect family size norms and hence fertility and migration;
* Via these, and directly, change labour-intensity and land and water use;
* Through the above, affect ecological sustainability of farming and hence;
* Alter the desirable policies for land/water use, distribution and management.
In the context of EU development goals (poverty reduction, sustainable development), we shall show implications of farm size and rural distribution for policies on population growth and urban influx; assess gains from integrating agricultural and health/population policies; and indicate how agricultural research might help farmers profitably to "substitute employment for environment".
Expected Outcome

The results will be published in papers and a book. They should show - for fragile drylands environments, increasingly short of land and water - the nature and importance of (1) farm size land and resource distribution as a source of demographic change, (2) outcomes for land and water use and maintenance, (3) impact and feasibility of policy options, especially integrated policies for land, agriculture (including research), and population. Spin-offs include support for policy analysts and researchers in South Africa and Botswana in learning from India's successes and failures with sma1l farming, and for regional links between social and agricultural researchers in South Africa, Botswana and India.
These concentrate on selected drylands in Eastern Botswana, Northern Province, South Africa; and two districts of Rajasthan, India. Main activities are:
* State-of-the-art reviews on rural distribution and farm size, fertility, migration, agricultural sustainability and political organization of rural policy;
* Preparation of models, questionnaires and samples;
* Surveys within selected drylands to establish cross-section information on (and, where feasible, recall-based time-series household histories of) demographic change, land acquisition and disposal, access to other resources, land and water use, maintenance and sustainability - and causal linkages among these variables - for household and community/region;
* Testing models of how 1and access and distribution affect demographic behaviour and, hence or otherwise, soil-water use and sustainability outcomes;
* Exploration of policy sequences and options.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


University of Sussex
Arts C , Falmer
BN1 9QN Brighton - East Sussex
United Kingdom

Participants (4)

Institute of development studies
8B,jhalana Institutional Area
302004 Jaipur
Viale Morgagni 59
50134 Firenze
University of Botswana
Private Bag
10 Gaborone
University of Pretoria
South Africa
The Head Of Department
0002 Pretoria