Landholding Fragmentation Phenomenon and its Impact on the Income of Farmer Cooperatives in Deraa Province

Shaza Mohammad Nabel Turkmane
Administration of Economic & Social Studies, General Commission for Scientific Agricultural Research (GCSAR)
Faculty of Agriculture, Damascus University


The fragmentation and dispersion of farm holdings represents one of the most distinctive feature of the agricultural sector of Syria. In this context, this research aims to overcome this phenomenon; analyze a set of distinguishing features of the fragmentation of farm holdings; indicate the development timeline for this phenomenon, and identify the most important factors behind the deterioration of this situation. It also discusses the main implications of this phenomenon, in addition to reviewing a number of national and international experiences of the farm holdings fragmentation. The research has concluded to the necessity of activating the role that can be played by the farm cooperatives in the compilation of farm holdings or assembly crop, and the establishment of joint stock companies among farmers to facilitate procedures for obtaining loans from the Agricultural Cooperative Bank. The policy that controls this phenomenon along with a set of complementary policies are so important: reducing registration fees on agricultural land; linking funding to agricultural extension; and creating accurate data base on domestic and international markets available to the cooperative societies, companies and individuals alike, with the presentation of the main problems and constraints faced by farmers and trying to find optional solutions and perceptions to these constraints to achieve the interest in general and smallholders in particular.
For this purpose, the research has been prepared and targeted farmers in Derra province, limited to WEP administrative areas in the province (Ezraa, Sanamayn, Deraa city) including (15) villages. The research has reached the following results: The degree of holding fragmentation in Ezraa ranged between (0.0712-0.2231) and in Sanamayn between (0.0851- 0.2412). In Deraa city, the degree of fragmentation was (0.0840-0.2681) as a result of inheritance or land transfer to residential areas and the observed low degree of fragmentation in small pieces where it is sold in most cases. Through data analysis, it leads to know the extent of change in the fair distribution of holdings by developing cumulative relative of data (Lawrence curve).
The Gini coefficient (accompanying Lawrence curve obtained by using the relative data Tramps of space and number of holders) was computed and the extent of changes in non-equality (inequality) in the distribution of holdings in digital forms. The Gini coefficient (0.619) in Deraa has pointed to a large unfairly disparity in the distribution of land among individuals in the region . It has been found that the greatest impact on the income is due to the order of (the size of tenure X1, distance between the pieces X2, number of holders X4, the monetary value of the land X6 and number of individuals working in agriculture X9) as shown by equation (2) that the mutants were significant (p <0.05), while the rest of other variables are insignificant in the equation. The equation may have virtually or individually influenced these variables, but did not affect significantly the meta-analysis. It was also noted that the size of the possession of X1, the monetary value of the land X6 and the number of individuals working in agriculture X9 have a direct impact on farm income, while the distance between objects X2 and the number of holders X4 have impacted adversely.
Through the results obtained, several recommendations have been formulated, notably the need to identify a minimum economy of the farm, and working to achieve unity of ownership or management unit for the acquisition of farm lands, through activating the role of cooperatives in the compilation of agricultural or create partnerships between farmers and the development of legislation controlling the fragmentation of agricultural land and speculation in real estate markets.