chapter  10
18 Pages

Agricultural and Irrigation Labourers in Social and Economic Life of 'Irāq during the Umayyad and 'Abbāsid Caliphates

The peasants received a portion of crops in return for their labour, the remainder of the crops was taken away either by the landlords' agents or revenue officials. The share of the peasant in the crop was determined by various forms of bilateral contracts2 between the landlord and the cropsharing tenant-farmers. The peasants' bargaining power was limited by the economic forces of demand for and supply of labour in a particular agricultural district, and the ag<icultural resources available there. If the supply of labour in a particular district fell short of the demand for it, the lando.,.vners had to offer favourable terms to attract peasants from other agricultural districts with the concomitant result that their share in the crop tended to rise.