ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Revival of Agriculture Sector and Increasing Tenancy in India

The revival of the agrarian economy from the mid-2000s coincides with a significant revival of the foodgrain economy and to a lesser extent, by the non-foodgrain economy. There is a corresponding increase in the share of land under tenancy, specifically pure tenants. While there is a need to move on to high-value crops, the “land hunger” of agricultural labour through the tenancy market is constraining the shift to high value and highly uncertain horticultural crops.

Importance of Landowning Non-cultivating Households

There is an increasing importance of landowning households that do not cultivate and a significant presence of urban households owning rural land, which constrains the growth of the agrarian economy, as such households have low incentives to invest in agriculture, and tend to use land for residential purposes, reducing the cropped area. Agricultural labour households tend to lease in land and become cultivators.

The Agrarian Question and the Marxist Method

The Agrarian Question in Marx and His Successors, Vol I and II edited by Utsa Patnaik (New Delhi: LeftWord Books), Vol I: 2007; pp 319, Rs 450; Vol II: 2011; pp 332, Rs 500.

Agrarian Structure and Land Lease Arrangements

The Indian rural economic structure has been undergoing changes. One aspect of this is the growth of households who own land but do not cultivate it themselves. An implication of this is the potential for tenancy acquiring increasing importance in the rural sector. This study uses data from nine villages in Andhra Pradesh to present the relative significance of these households and analyse the resource adjustment process in the land lease market. The presence of non-cultivating peasant households in rural areas and tenancy contracts becoming the dominant institution for resource adjustment can act as a shackle on agricultural growth and development of the economy.

Rise of 'New Landlords'

Bhim Reddy and Abhishek Shaw's rejoinder (EPW, 26 May 2012) has misconstrued the central thrust of the article on the rise of "new landlords" (EPW, 4 February 2012). After restating the latter, this note deals with the rejoinder's main criticism centring on the implications of the increasing importance of non-cultivating peasant households.

Structural Retrogression and Rise of 'New Landlords' in Indian Agriculture: An Empirical Exercise

The Indian rural economic structure is witnessing changes, largely due to economic policies and consequent adjustments in the decision-making process of individual economic agents. The structural change observed is a reduction in the share of households dependent on the farm sector due to a decline in the share of cultivators in the workforce. Correspondingly, the set of non-cultivating "peasant" households is increasing in importance and its stakes in land are also on the rise. The ncphs have a low incentive to invest in agriculture. This has implications for agricultural growth and brings into focus the constraints to agrarian transformation. National Sample Survey data on household assets and liabilities in India is used to illustrate this structural change in the rural sector with increasing importance of the NCPH. At a second level, data from a primary survey conducted in nine villages in Andhra Pradesh is used to identify the micro-processes strengthening the NCPH in rural areas.
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