As in many developing countries, the prospects for land reform in Iran seemed promising. It was intended to erode rural poverty and stimulate agricultural development by replacing the traditional landlord-peasant system with more modernized and profitable farming. The text assesses the economic consequences of land reform, focusing particularly on its effect on the living standards of the rural poor and argues that a "bimodal" system of large and small farms emerged after the reform. Large farms, with governmental support, grew more profitable cash crops but smaller farms found difficulty in obtaining credit and continued to rely on traditional techniques and staple food crops. Unfortunately land reform was, contrary to official propaganda, a failure for the majority of the Iranian rural population who experienced declining living standards and a growth of rural inequality as a result.
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