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New Agricultural Strategy and Small Farmers-A Case Study in Gujarat

Review of Agriculture March 1969 Notes 1 For a fuller discussion of the implication of labour productivity in the agricultural sector for a wages policy, see D R Khatkhate : "towards a Meaningful Wages Policy", 2 Agricultural Labourers in Four Indian Villages (mimeographed), edited by V S Vyas, Sardar Vallabhbhai Vidyapeeth, Vallabh Vidyanagar, 1964 3 "Plight of the Landless : Two Million Victims of Paralysis". Times of India, December 30, 1968.

Passing Pleasure

Sore Tail, Sick Elephant B S Minhas New Strategy and 1967-68 Harvest Ralph W Cummings Jr, S K Ray Rice Development W David Hopper, Wayne H Freeman Productive Irrigation J S Kanwar Irrigation: New Concepts N G Oastane Weather Service R Ananthakrishnan Identifying the Small Farmer S S Madalgi Agricultural Labour H B Shivamaggi Small Farmer in Gujarat V =S Vyas, D S Tyagi, V N Misra Resources from Rural Sector C H Hanumantha Rao Taxation of Agriculture P D Ojha Buffer Stocks M L Dantwala Passing Pleasure THERE is something bordering on religious fervour in the opposition to tne imposts on agriculture in the Budget. It is taken to be self-evident that the agriculturist

Problems of Buffer Stocks

Review of Agriculture March 1969 siderations, possibilities may need to be explored to make the land revenue 'progressive' in its incidence. Illustratively, this may be achieved by instituting a graduated scale of surcharge on land revenue; land holdings below a certain level may be exempt and on other operational holdings a graded surcharge according to the size of hold- ings may be introduced. The system of land revenue administration as it has existed for several years is a tried and easily recognisable system. The system has developed 'built-in' methods of granting Remissions' during 'baa times' also.

Resource Prospects from the Rural Sector-The Case of Indirect Taxes

Review of Agriculture March 1969 new technology would increase income of non-adopters of one-acre farms from Rs 524 to Rs 834. Similarly, on a 4-acre farm, farm business income of Rs 2,075 would be earned instead of Rs 1,489 which is available now. The adoption of the new technology would, therefore* increase the earnings of small non-adopter farms by a substantial amount The adoption of the new technology would bring increase in the farm business income by 27 per cent, or more, depending upon the size of the farm. It is also clear that increase in incomes is larger when non-adopters go in for new technology at 'high' efficiency level.

Small Farmers Problems of Identification

Growth in number of small farmers is mainly the result of (as is the growth of agricultural labourers the result of) population pressure and lack of non-farm employment. Benefits of development have not percolated to this sizeable section of the rural population.

Sore Tail, Sick Elephant

B S Minhas Foundations of Indian Agriculture edited by Vadilal Dagli; Vera and Co, Bombay, 1968; pp xvi THIS book, the first in the Commerce Economic Studies series, consists of thirty essays by as many authors plus an introductory contribution by the editor. It also contains a fifty-page section of statistical tables and charts and fourteen pages of selected bibliography relating to agriculture. Except for three new contributions, one each by Naik, Vyas and Patel, all the other essays (as well as the editor's contribution) are reprinted from the Commerce Annual of 1967. These essays are classified in seven broad themes

Taxation of Agriculture-Some Important Issues

The first issue which needs to be debated is whether the agricultural sector is in fact comparatively less taxed than other sectors. The next question, once this issue is settled, is io devise measures which would be administratively feasible, efficient and equitable.

The Agricultural Labour Problem-Past Misconceptions and New Guidelines

The acute pressure of population and the adverse effects of tenurial and tenancy systems have led to much uneconomic subdivision and fragmentation Of holdings. Many landlords have, besides, reduced their erstwhile tenants to the status of farm labourers in order to circumvent certain provisions of the land reform laws.

Weather Service for Agriculture

The salient features of a comprehensive weather service for agriculture should be (i) keeping constantly in touch with user requirements; (ii) rapid and efficient dissemination facilities ; (iii) interpretation of the forecasts to meet the specific operational needs of farmers; and (iv) intensive research for evolving improved techniques and for better understanding of crop-weather relationships.

New Concepts in Irrigation-Necessary Changes for New Strategy

With the introduction of the high-yielding varieties, water management in crop cultivation has assumed a new dimension. It is not merely that timely and adequate supply of water is required, but that a con- ceptual change has to be accepted regarding the factors determining the water needs of plants.

The New Agricultural Strategy-Its Contribution to 1967-68 Production

Review of Agriculture March 1969 ever, is : whether the assorted variety of opportunistic political groupings called united fronts and other Governments that rule the States will ever agree to dilute their powers in the manner suggested by Krishnaswamy, Only a bright optimist will answer this question in the affirmative. Another suggestion of Krishnaswamy relates to the creation of river boards (on the Jines of TVA in the USA) for each one of the major rivers and the linking of major rivers into a water grid. These river boards will be inter-State authorities and would not in any way interfere with the zonal councils. While, in matter of principle, I completely agree with Krishnaswamy's view of river development, none-the-less the accomplishments of DVC, for instance, have not been very satisfactory until now. The last essay "Regulating the Mar- SOMETHING fundamental and dynamic, with far-reaching consequences, has been introduced into the agricultural scene since 1965. However, there were previous periods, such as the end of the First Five-Year Plan, when optimism was similarly widespread. With this history in mind, the first rushes of enthusiasm regarding the New Strategy of Agricultural Development have more recently been tempered with caution. Some analysts are questioning the success of the high-yielding varieties programme at this early date [1, p A-l]. For example, the Agricultural Prices Commission has written :

From Protective to Productive Irrigation

Review of Agriculture March 1969 to meet the management needs of the new materials. Foremost among these is fertiliser. Without nutrient supplies there is no possibility for the farmer to innovate, and there will be no return on the public investment in rice research. The crucial need is for supplies of adequate quantities of the correct formulations to be available when needed at a market convenient to the cultivator. A combination of circumstances that still seems to elude the power of administration to effect.

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