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Masyarakat tani Semenanjung Malaysia telah mengalami berbagai-bagai perubahan sejak kemerdekaan pada tahun 1957. Struktur ekonomi masyarakat tani mula berubah dengan kedatangan pihak kolonial. Ekonomi semulajadi masyarakat tani telah terhapus apabila ja bertembung dengan ekonomi kapitalis yang diperkenalkan oleh penjajah. Kaum tani telah diheret keluar dari ekonomi saradiri dan ditolak masuk ke dalam ekonomi dunia. Keadaan ini berterusan selepas tahun 1957. Melalui program-program pembangunan desa dan bandar Iebih ramai petani yang menceburkan diri mereka dalam pertanian komersial dan sektor buruh. Ada petani yang terus tinggal di desa dan bekerja sebagai buruh pertanian dan ada juga yang meninggalkan kawasan desa dan berhijrah ke bandar unruk bekerja sebagai buruh kilang atau buruh binaan. Sejak akhir-akhir ini ada pula petani-petani yang meninggalkan bidang pertanian tetapi terus tinggal di desa. Mereka bekerja sebagai buruh di bandar-bandar berdekatan tetapi terus tinggal di kampung. Mereka berulang alik tiap-tiap hari ke tempat pekerjaan mereka. Ada petani-petani yang meninggalkan keluarga mereka di kampung sementara mereka tinggal di bandar. Mereka pulang seminggu atau dua minggu sekali atau pun sebulan sekali.
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