Meaning and Definition:
The land reforms or agrarian reforms means all those measures which are aimed at removing those obstacles which are responsible for keeping the agriculture sector backward socially and economically. Through these measures not only changes will be brought in the use and the distribution of the land, but the relationships between land lords and tenants will also be improved. Thus due to land .reforms govt. gets legal right over the possession of the lands of people (big landlords). However, in this connection govt. pays the compensation, in certain cases.
The land reforms are made in order to attain certain social, political and economic objectives. They are discussed below:
(i) To bring Political Change: The biggest objective of land reforms is to create and maintain political balance in the society. Under land reforms the big tracts of land owned by land lords and feudals are confiscated by govt., and then they are distributed amongst the land less peasants. This will not only weaken the mighty and influential feudals but it will also remove resentment amongst the poor farmers. But it has been observed that those agrarian reforms which are made without any revolution fail to bring any change in the social structure of the villages. As in case of Pakistan, despite land reforms the political power of feudals and land lords did not come down.
(ii) To bring Social Change: The other objective of land reforms is to bring a social change in the society, i.e., to reduce the inequalities in the distribution of incomes, wealth and opportunities. But it may lead to class conflict amongst the land owners and landlessness.
(iii) To bring Economic Change: The land reforms will bring economic change in the society through redistribution of land when the agri. production and productivity will increase. The agri. sector will generate surplus. More labor could be able to find jobs. The capital accumulation in agri. sector will increase. The demand for inputs like fertilizers, pesticides, sprays, tractors and other machinery will increase. Consequently, the industries producing such agri. inputs will grow, and the inter-relationship between the agri. and non-agri. sector will increase. Moreover, the land reforms will be more satisfying to the poor peasants. They shall work hard leading to enhance the production. In this way, the exports of a country will increase, and imports will decrease leading to improve the BOP position of a country.
But it is told that objectives of land reforms in each country depend upon the circumstances and political set-up of a country.