Agrarian Reform and Economic Development in Mexico
Many people in today's Third World society rely solely on farming in order to survive. However, most Third World agricultural areas are home to the worst conditions imaginable. These areas are often poverty stricken, despite the fact that the peasants supply a considerable share of the gross national product in many underdeveloped nations. The rural regions of Third World nations are often overcrowded and not sanitary, and many inhabitants are unlikely to possess many amenities that people from developed nations take for granted. Many countries, including Mexico, have taken steps toward agrarian reform. By returning power to the peasants, the nations are attempting to reconcile a system gone wrong.
There are many reasons for agrarian reform to take place, such as needs for social justice, higher productivity, environmental preservation, political stability, and economic growth (Handelman 110-113). The five are intertwined with one another, each with its own level of importance, but economic development may be perhaps the most significant argument for agrarian reform. As the "purchasing power (of workers) increases, they are able to utilize more national goods, thus encouraging economic growth (Handelman 113).
Around the world, the poorest of the poor are the landless in rural areas, followed closely by the land-poor, or those whose poor quality plots are too small to support a family. They make up the bulk of the rural poor and starving, and it is in rural areas where the worst poverty and hunger are found. The development of agricultural production for export controlled by wealthy elites, who own the best lands, continually displaces the poor to ever more marginal areas for farming. They are forced to fell forests located on poor soils and to farm easily eroded soils on precipitous slopes as they fall deeper into distress, despite their comparatively good so