No, not second

This is the first reason for the problem.

The second is Meles\’s purblind refusal to reverse the Marxist folly of his 1995 law that put all land under state ownership. “Land holding certificates” graciously permit farmers to till land that their forebears have farmed for generations; but surveys show that 46 per cent still expect to lose their farms.

The policy is a disaster. It discourages careful land management; it deprives farmers of collateral to raise bank loans to buy fertiliser and agricultural tools; and they cling to plots too small to feed their families because, with nothing to sell, they have no alternative. The coffee and infant rose-growing sectors apart, most Ethiopians farm as their ancestors did, with hoes, wooden ploughs, oxen and an anxious eye on the skies.

Insist that people have the property rights of feudal peasants (replacing only the Monarchy with The State) and they\’ll farm like feudal peasants.

There\’s absolutely nothing at all surprising or odd about this.

3 thoughts on “No, not second”

  1. What arrangement do you have in mind, Tim, involving “feudal peasants” and “the Monarchy”?

    Tim adds: Under Willie t’t Bastard all the land belonged to the King, no?

  2. BlacquesJacquesShellacques

    “all the land belonged to the King”

    Still does does it not? Don’t British lawyers still call land owners “tenants in fee simple in possession’? Whose tenants do you think?

  3. Be that as it may, I don’t see its relevance. If people lived in those areas where they did strip farming in common fields, and all swapped strips every year or every few years, no-one has any incentive to look after the soil of a particular strip, whether he be slave, serf, villein or whatnot. Sod all to do with William, more a T of the C. Might have relevance in those areas where they farmed individually, if they thought that their knight’s feu, or tenancy, or whatever was insecure (except that Mr Marr on the telly implied the other evening that all farming was done in common and the Beeb never errs).

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