ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Sukhpal SinghSubscribe to RSS - Sukhpal Singh

Doubling Farmers’ Incomes

The government’s initiative to increase farmers’ incomes is welcome as it is central to dealing with the agrarian crisis in India. Various mechanisms for increasing farmers’ incomes from the perspective of small farmers and farm workers are critically examined. The article proposes a focus on high-value crops and rain-fed areas, non-farm occupations, agro-industrialisation, and strengthening and innovating producer and worker institutions in India. It also presents insights from China’s proposed strategy for doubling farmers’ incomes there.

Agrarian Distress: Beyond Cropping Pattern and Credit

Pointing out some analytical and factual limitations in Ajay Dandekar and Sreedeep Bhattacharya’s paper (EPW, 27 May 2017), important aspects of agrarian distress are discussed.

Addressing the Agrarian Crisis in Punjab

The state of agricultural markets, the agricultural market policy and regulatory reforms in Punjab are reviewed in the context of the agrarian crisis. The farmer and farm worker manifesto of the Aam Aadmi Party is critically assessed. Policy mechanisms for agro-industrial development of the state are suggested.

Tenancy Reforms

There is no doubt that the agricultural land leasing laws in India need to be amended to make land leasing legal and easier. The Niti Aayog report (2016) proposes a formal model law on land leasing. Critically examining the logic for liberalisation of land leasing laws, the limitations of the model lease agreement are brought out. It is argued that the model law ignores the diversity and dynamics of leasing arrangements in India and the socio-economic implications of the realities of tenancy practices.

Inclusiveness and Viability of Value Chains

​ Commercial and Inclusive Value Chains: Doing Good and Doing Well edited by Malcolm Harper, John Belt and Rajeev Roy; Warwickshire (UK): Practical Action Publishing, 2015; pp 200, ₹2,040.

Commission Agent System

Responding to the critique of their article on the commission agent system in Punjab, the authors highlight the perils of private solutions to agrarian problems. They propose an enhanced role of the public sector in obliterating the exploitative stronghold of arthiya system in order to protect the interests of farmers and address the problems of Punjab's agrarian economy.

Arthiyas in Punjab's APMC Mandis

A critique of "Commission Agent System: Significance in Contemporary Agricultural Economy of Punjab" by Sukhpal Singh and Shruti Bhogal (EPW, 7 November 2015).

Commission Agent System

Despite favourable policy measures, growth of financial institutions and public interventions in the marketing of agricultural produce, the structure of Punjab's agricultural economy makes farmers dependent on commission agents. These agents trap the farmers in a vicious circle of indebtedness. Based on a field survey, this study locates the commission agent system in Punjab's agriculture set-up and recommends reframing it in order to extricate farmers from the clutches of these agents.

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