Mode of Production Debate Revisited : Conceptual Issues in Bengal's Agrarian Transition
Author: Hussain Zillur Rahman
Theoretical efforts to understand the nature of Bengal’s agrarian transition appear to divide into two radically differing methodological discourses. In one, the point of departure is a counter-factual one revolving around a supra-historical understanding of capitalist transformation as a self-explanatory and hence unique process. The other, by contrast, departs from the issue of historical specificity the central aspect of which in Bengal’s case was the experience of British colonial rule. By drawing such a contrast, we are able to enjoin two prominent contemporary debates on the agrarian transition, namely, the debate on the mode of production in Indian agriculture and that on the creation of bourgeois property rights in Bengal. Traversing a complex methodological territory, it is argued that an adequate understanding of Bengal’s agrarian transition has of necessity to incorporate the state as an integral focus within the analysis of property relations
Forecasting of Yarn and Cloth Availability and Prices in Bangladesh : An Econometric Approach
Author: Sultan Hafeez Rahman
This paper attempts to provide an empirically testable conceptual apparatus which could be used to understand the process of market price determination in the yarn and textile sectors, and hence to forecast important market variables. A model of the yarn and textile sectors specifying yarn production, imports, consumption, price, cloth production, demand and price is estimated econometrically. Time series data for Bangladesh (1972/3 to 1984/5 as a whole have been used in the single equation instrumental variables estimating technique (2SLS). Though the sample size was small, the results of econometric estimation for most equations of the model were good and appeal to economic intuition.The model predicts further intensification of the structural change from cotton to non-cotton cloth which is already evident. Per capita cotton cloth demand declines from 7.20 yds. in 1985/6 to 6.25 yds. in 1994/5, while per capita non-cotton cloth consumption increases from 3.95 yds. in 1985/6 to 6.37 yds. in 1994/5. Total per capita cloth consumption increases from 11.15 yds. in 1985/6 to 12.62 yds. in 1994/5. The model also provides forecasts of other market variables mentioned above.
Limits to the Alleviation of Poverty Through Non-farm Credit
Author: S R Osmani
The Grameen Bank of Bangladesh and the IRDP (Integrated Rural Development Programme) of India have been trying for some time past to make a dent in rural poverty by extending credit for non-farm activities. While the results of IRDP have been generally disappointing, Grameen Bank has been hailed as a huge success. The efforts of Grameen Bank are, however, currently at a much lower scale compared to IRDP. So the question arises: will the Grameen Bank be able to make a substantial dent in rural poverty by extending its activities many times over? The possible limits to its success were analysed through two routes: first, we tried to see what lessons can be extracted from the experience of IRDP regarding the limitations of an expanded credit programme: secondly, we tried to discern certain limits which derive from the very logic of Grameen Bank’s approach to credit-giving. We conclude with the view that while there is still further scope for expanding its activities, the hope that Grameen Bank might prove a panacea for rural poverty is totally misplaced.