Modern agriculture is evolving strategy to agricultural innovations and farming practices that assist farmers to elevate efficiency and minimize the number of natural resources -land, water, and, energy - mandatory to attain the world's food, fuel, and, fiber needs. Modern agriculture is fueled by a continuous enhancement by not only digital tools and data, but also collaborations among farmers and researchers across the private and public sectors. In other words, in modern agricultural systems, farmers believe they have roles that are more central and are eager to apply technology and information to manage most aspects of the system, a different opinion from that of traditional farmers. In contrast to the segregation inherent in traditional planning, modern agriculture tends to consider it a success as dependent on linkages- access to technology, resources, management, investment, markets, and, supportive government policies.
Agrarian Era in China
On the side, rules of tenure describe how property rights to land are to be distributed. The fundamental economic efficiency standard for land- use allocation is land value intensification. In an agrarian society, the significance of agricultural land is defined by two elements, land tax and agricultural production. On the hand, those with the best, those with the best farming skills are able to produce the highest output but may face high land tax rates. On the other hand, those who have political power often enjoy tax privilege, but may not have good farming skills.
Problems Peasants Were Facing in Late Imperial China
During the Agrarian era in China, the living conditions for the city dwellers have improved, the income received by farmers was getting worse. In most cases, their incomes have reduced as their expenses had risen and food prices had dropped due to the excesses of crops and depreciation in demand by middle class Chinese. By some approximation, the income gap between farmers and urbanities was around1 to 6. Peasants were poor but often subjected to pay more tax than gentry were. These taxes took more than half of a farmer's annual income. Moreover, some of the peasants own fragment pieces of land. Landholdings in late imperial China were undergoing fragmentation, thus increasing the pace of their degradation and limiting agricultural development. Fragmentation of small landholdings and tiny land parcels is harmful to land conservation and economic gain, hence discouraging peasants from the adoption of agricultural innovations. Mainly the practice was induced by the dependency of the main proportion of an ever-growing population of peasants on agricultural land, further; the process of land fragmentation has been strengthened by the high level of tax the peasants have been subjected. The key challenges related to land fragmentation are several boundaries lines, the distance between parcels and the homestead, small size and the unequal shape of parcels, and, limited access. In specific, when parcels are spatially isolated, travel time and, thus, costs in moving labor machines from one parcel to another are elevated.
On the other hand, the proprietors of the farm less taxed though they lack the farming skills that can sustain the production of crops. A voluntary contractual arrangement between the peasant (tenants) and the proprietors under landownership can offer a solution to the land problem. Under dual landownership, land can be divided into the subsoil and the topsoil. This is because in China subsoil properties were sold or collateralized in the land market. Two proprietors can own of the subsoil while tenants become topsoil owners. According to Palat (2015), the separation of topsoil and subsoil has been one of the key aspects of the Chinese land market from the late 16th century to the early 20th century. Similarly, economic historians utilized this notion to describe the hierarchy of a land tenure scheme from salary employees at the lowest position, to sharecroppers and tenants of a land tenure system.
This recommendation would stand between the sole ownership and fixed-rent tenancy. While the gathering of a fixed ground rent makes dual ownership look like an ordinary fixed-rent tenancy, dual ownership is different from fixed- rent tenancy due to several factors. The several factors influence land ownership in many ones. First, it removes the evection threat as long as the rent of the ground was paid. Secondly, maintaining the cost price agreed between the topsoil owner and the subsoil owner, hence the rent could always remain cost. Thirdly, subsoil owners were not held accountable for land improvement. This solution uses the knowledge from the Ricardian principle of comparative advantage to maximize the worth of land Gentry families enjoyed privilege when it came to payment of tax, but did not have good farming skills, while gentry households had comparative advantage in tax cutbacks, peasant houses had a comparative advantage when it involved management of farm. Therefore, the peasants and the gentry entering into a perpetual lease that will lead to the assignment of the full responsibility of farm management to the former and assignment of total responsibly of payment of tax to the latter.
In late imperial China, two aspects, the social status of the payer, defined land rate and the operation cost of tax collection. The higher the social status of a taxpayer, the lower the rate of tax faced. The higher the level of the transaction cost of tax collection, the higher the effective tax rate. Different social classes encountered different effective land t rate of tax. The gentry was closely linked to official hierarchy and had privilege of the effective rate of tax. Land tax entailed two sections, the grain tax and labor services (di-ding quota). Peasant household paid a higher rate for both did-ding quota and the gran tax rate.
The dual owner system has additional institutional making ready, which has the ability to take advantage of the rate of tax differentiation - tax brokerage. Tax brokerage can offer the solution to the problem of tax inequality. Tax brokerage is an underground arrangement, which usually takes place between commoner taxpayers and gentry broker. Tax brokerage will lead to the gentry paying the tax on the behalf of the commoners who are the less privileged when it comes to land ownership in exchange for a brokerage fee. On the other hand, gentry' broker will bargain with a local government official to access a lower tax rate. This exercise is considered illegal because it is executing a plan at the expense of the tax revenue of the local government of China. Moreover, the practice involves a lot of risk than the dual owner system. Because of the risk of the transaction, the time of a tax brokerage contract should be shorter than that of a dual ownership contract.
The Impact of Tax Reforms on Dual Ownership
Dual ownership can reduce the rate of tax differential between the commoners and the gentry. The tax modification can eliminate informal taxes and prices, lessen peasant's tax burden and minimize tax evasions of rich gentry families.
Moreover, the type of land ownership will offer a chance for the practice of farming method such as double cropping. Double cropping programme aims at making a making optimum utilization of land, which remains without a crop in early spring and autumn, after the major crops such as maize and rice have been harvested and before the main summer, crops are engrained. Further, double cropping allows the production of an extra crop of cereals by ingraining spring barley, winter wheat or potato crops before the planting of the main crop occurs.
China has favorable climatic conditions for double cropping of wheat and soybeans. Dual ownership will permit the peasants to take advantage of the season by directly by planting soybeans into wheat stubble immediately after harvesting winter wheat. For this planting system to success, the peasants will be needed intensive input of labor.
From the history of China, it is clear that much of land had been concentrated on the hands of rich and powerful social class. While, the skilled farmers- the peasant households owned small fragment of parcels and they were facing a huge a rate of tax, which causes minimum use of agricultural land, however, dual ownership of land and reformation of tax. Since, it promises to increase by giving the full giving full farm management role to the peasants.
Palat, R. (2015). The Making of an Indian Ocean World-Economy, 1250-1650: Princes, Paddy fields, and Bazaars. Springer.
Yang, H. H. (2012). The Impact of Changing Agricultural Technology on Land Tenancy in Preindustrial China: Evidence from Confucius's Manors (1759-1901).
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