A concept first elucidate
d by anthropologist
Eric T. Wolf. Wolf contends that one of the defining
characteristics of peasant
societies is their use of resources. The replacement fund is constituted by those resources allocated to assuring that the subsistence
agriculture practiced by many peasant societies may continue during the next growing season
This fund is often composed of the actual material necessary for continued farming: seed, tools, and livestock. Or anything that must be purchased or produced for continued tenancy. It is also frequently composed of credit, although usually not in the sense of dealing with a financial institution like a bank. In this case, credit is given by the landlord, often in terms of yield from the next year's crop. Banks don't care too much to deal with peasantry, since peasants don't have the kind of capital necessary to meet minimum requirements for loans and the like.