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

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Trends in a North Indian Village: 1930s–2012

Small Farms in a Fertile Tract

From late colonial rent reliefs and agricultural researches to the recent land acquisition bill and the "second green revolution," Indian agriculture has seen several transitions. This paper tracks detailed quantitative and qualitative evidence on long-term shifts in agricultural practices, yields and land relations in Dhantala, a village in western Uttar Pradesh, from the 1930s to 2012. This is done with the help of family and kutcherry records, elders' recall and surveys as well as the interviews conducted personally in three revisits since 1989. This study combines anthropological and oral history methods to reconstruct agrarian change. Located in a well-irrigated, fertile tract and having experienced land redistribution prior to economic liberalisation, this village helps in grasping the limits and scope of agricultural growth in a predominantly small and marginal farm structure supported by favourable soil.

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