The prospects for off-farm employment as an anti-poverty strategy among Malaysian paddy farm households: macro and micro views

Corner, L.

Off farm employment in the development of rural Asia Papers presented at a conference held in Chiang Mai Thailand 23 to 26 August 1983, 2: 45-67

1986


Accession: 001714370

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Abstract
The paper presents an overview of off-farm employment at both the macro, economy-wide, and micro or household levels with particular reference to the Muda region of West Malaysia. It begins with a resume of the main policy aspects and a brief survey of data and definitional issues before proceeding to a macro level analysis of relationships between development and the extent and nature of off-farm employment. The household context is then examined from the perspectives of both income and labour supply. Macro and micro levels are drawn together in the concluding discussion which suggests some policy implications. A number of points emerge from the paper: (1) there is a need for the expansion of off-farm employment as an anti-poverty strategy; (2) there is considerable potential, in the high levels of underemployment and the lack of labour force activity among the young and household dependents, for the integration of off-farm employment into the current pattern of farm labour utilization; (3) if off-farm employment is to be an effective anti-poverty strategy for raising farm incomes it must offer incomes above the supply price of rural labour; (4) an alternative to the creation of industry-oriented off-farm employment that may be feasible for such regions is the relocation of public authorities providing off-farm employment opportunities in the service sector.