Skip to main content

Concentration of large holdings in fewer hands, marginalization of Gujarat farmers

Average large land holdings in selected states (hectares)
By Rajiv Shah 
A recent Government of India report, giving complete details of the state of agriculture in India, has suggested that while Gujarat may have seen around 9 plus per cent of agricultural growth in the last decade, this has happened alongside a simultaneous marginalization of the state’s farming community. The data put out in “Agriculture Census 2010-11”, finalized this year, have found that large farmers, who form just one per cent of the total farmers in Gujarat, each with an average holding of 20.91 hectares (ha), own 10.30 per cent of the total operational holdings in the state. By sharp contrast, marginal farmers, forming 37.16 per cent of the total farmers – and each with an average holding of 0.49 ha– own 7.7 per cent of the total operational holdings.
What is equally disturbing in that, while there was a sharp rise in the number of marginal farmers in Gujarat from 15.85 lakh to 18.16 lakh between 2005-6 and 2010-11, suggesting a high rise of 14.55 per cent, there was a simultaneous fall in the absolute number of farmers with large holdings by a whopping 28.05 per cent, from 11.33 lakh to 10.20 lakh. While one could see a simultaneous marginalization of the farming community across India, Gujarat’s percentage rise in the number of marginal holdings – 14.55 per cent – has been one of the highest in India. Among major states, only three, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, saw a higher rise in marginalization in the five year period – 22.02 per cent, 21.64 per cent and 21.15 per cent respectively.
The figures also suggest that Gujarat’s fall in the number of large farmers during the period under study was one of the highest in India. Gujarat’s 28.05 per cent fall in the number of large holdings, in fact, stands in sharp contrast to the fall by 11.23 per cent in the country as a whole. The states which witnessed a higher percentage of fall in the number of large holdings than Gujarat were only three – Andhra Pradesh (– 36.38 per cent), Madhya Pradesh (– 30.01 per cent), and Odisha (– 51.14 per cent). The figures simultaneously suggest, in Gujarat, there was a fall in the absolute number of medium sized farmers, each having an average holding of 5.72 ha of land, by 11.95 per cent, from 33.80 lakh to 29.30 lakh, which again was one of the highest in India.
The figures further reveal that, like marginal farmers, the number of small farmers, with an average holding of 1.45 ha, has gone up in Gujarat by 6.22 per cent, from 13.45 lakh in 2005-06 to 14.29 lakh 2010-11, which was quite high compared to all states, except Andhra Pradesh (10.58 per cent), Madhya Pradesh (14.01 per cent) and Rajasthan (14.38 per cent). In the country as a whole, there was a rise of 3.22 per cent of farmers with small holdings. Owners of small and marginal operational holdings in Gujarat together make up 62.97 per cent of total farmers, but they own 33.32 per cent of the area under cultivation. In all, there are 48.86 lakh operational holdings in Gujarat as of 2010-11, up from 46.61 lakh in 2005-06, a rise of 4.82 per cent.
The figures further reveal that, while there was a fall in the number of farmers with large holdings, the average size of large holdings in Gujarat has gone up from 16.72 ha in 2005-06 to 20.91 ha in 2011-12. Notably, this rise in the average size of large holdings in Gujarat has taken place at a time when there was nearly no rise in this category at the all-India level – the average large holdings size in the country as a whole was 17.08 ha in 2005-06, which rose marginally to 17.38 ha in 2010-11.
If seen against the backdrop of the Census of India report, marginalization of the farmers in Gujarat, as in India, has taken place alongside a sharp rise in agricultural workers. The Census of India data show that in 2011 there were 45 lakh able-bodied population of Gujarat who had agricultural labour as their “main” activity. While this forms approximately 22 per cent of those who qualify themselves in the definition of “main workers” of Gujarat, what is significant is that the rise of agricultural “main workers” was to the tune of 50 per cent between the two censuses – of 2001 and 2011. There were 30 lakh agricultural “main workers” in Gujarat in 2001.
By “main workers” is meant “those who had worked for the major part of the year preceding the date of enumeration i.e., those who were engaged in any economically productive activity for 183 days (or six months) or more during the year”, to quote from an expert source. As against this, “marginal workers were those who worked any time at all in the year preceding the enumeration but did not work for a major part of the year, i.e., those who worked for less than 183 days (or six months)”, adds the source (Indian District Database, University of Maryland).
All-India comparisons suggest that the total number of agricultural workers under this category also rose pretty sharp, but the rise was not as sharp as the one seen in Gujarat. In India, there were 6.35 crore agricultural workers in 2001, which rose to 8.62 per cent in 2011, which was a rise of 35 per cent. Comparative figures suggest that in Maharashtra, the “main” agricultural workers rose from 76 lakh to 1.11 crore, a rise of 46 per cent. In Andhra Pradesh these rose from 98 lakh to 1.32 crore, or by 48 per cent. In Tamil Nadu these rose from 61 lakh to 72 lakh, or by 18 per cent.
Further on, in Punjab, an agrarian state, these rose from 11 lakh to 12 lakh, a rise of just nine per cent. In Haryana, these rose equal to Gujarat – 50 per cent, from six lakh to nine lakh. In West Bengal, these rose from 45 lakh to 59 lakh, or by 31 per cent. Only Karnataka experienced a higher rise in agricultural labour than Gujarat, from 38 lakh to 51 lakh, or by 53 per cent.
What is particularly significant is that, during the decade in question (2001-11), the total number of those who had farming as their main activity in Gujarat – “cultivators” in the Census of India terminology – rose from from 47 lakh to 48 lakh, a rise of just about 2.13 per cent. This suggests that the number of those who depend on farming as their activity has stagnated – rise of was of just about 0.21 per cent per year. This is against the rise in population of Gujarat by 19 per cent in the decade, from 5.07 crore to 6.04 crore – which shows an annual rise of a little below two per cent.

Comments

TRENDING

Vishwanath has been unfairly excluded from global list of 100 best cricketers

By Harsh Thakor  Gundappa Vishwanath scaled zones in batting artistry or wizardry unparalleled amongst Indian batsmen. The best of his batting was a manifestation of the divine. He was also the epitome of cricketing sportsmanship. Sadly 40 years ago he unceremoniously bid farewell to the International cricket world, after the concluding test at Karachi in 1982-83., in January end. Very hard to visualise a character like Vishwanath being reborn today His memories are embedded in cricket lovers today when sportsmanship and grace have virtually been relegated to oblivion with the game of cricket turned into a commercial commodity. Today agro and unsporting behaviour is a routine feature Vishy shimmered cricket’s spirituality. His behaviour on the cricket field was grace personified, No one in his age defined cricket more as a gentleman’s game, than Vishy. Vishwanath could execute strokes that were surreal with his steel wrists. His strokeplay resembled the touches of a painter’s brush,

Abrogation of Art 370: Increasing alienation, relentless repression, simmering conflict

One year after the abrogation by the Central Government of Art. 370 in Kashmir, what is the situation in the Valley. Have the promises of peace, normalcy and development been realised? What is the current status in the Valley? Here is a detailed note by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties , “Jammu & Kashmir: One Year after Abrogation of Art. 370: Increasing Alienation, Relentless Repression, Simmering Conflict”:

Reproductive, conjugal rights of women in India amidst debate of uniform civil code

By IMPRI Team  A Three-Day Immersive Online Legal Awareness and Certificate Training Course on “Reproductive and Conjugal Rights of Women in India” is an initiative of the Gender Impact Studies Center (GISC), at the IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi, and ran for three consecutive days starting from December 22, 2022 to December 24, 2022. The online paid certification was aimed to provide attendees with an enriching experience on the gender discourse with a special focus on women’s rights and the much-discussed reproductive rights in India.

Covid jabs: Pretexts cited to justify young, healthy succumbing to heart attacks

By Jay Ihsan   Truth is stranger than fiction – when dedicated doctors raised the red flag against the mRNA Covid-19 vaccines, they were persecuted and their concerns barred from being heard. These honest doctors unequivocally made it known the Moderna Pfizer vaccines injure the heart and human body. One of them, Dr Peter McCullough, an American cardiologist, has repeatedly issued the clarion call to people to reject these harmful vaccines. An equally alarmed World Council for Health said the harmful Covid-19 vaccines should be removed from the market and the global inoculation must be stopped. “In Japan the vaccines were not mandated or made compulsory. The vaccines are not safe or effective enough to mandate them. The day the vaccines go away will be a day of celebration,” Dr Mccullough had lamented during an interview with India’s media outfit, Qvive several months ago. Meanwhile, the number of people jabbed with the Covid-19 mRNA vaccines died soon after or have developed lifelong

Gender gap 17%, SC and ST levels of education between 7% to 14% below upper classes

By IMPRI Team  The treatment of school education in a holistic manner and improving school effectiveness in terms of equal opportunities for schooling and learning outcomes has been the aspiration of all and multiple challenges are faced to maintain and provide proper education. On the occasion of India@75: Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, as part of its series- the State of Education- #EducationDialogue, #IMPRI Center for ICT for Development (CICTD), IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi organised a special deliberation on The State of School Education In India with Prof Muchkund Dubey, who is the President of the Council for Social Development, New Delhi. The moderator for the event, Dr Simi Mehta CEO and Editorial Director of the IMPRI. The chair of the event was Prof Jandhyala B.G. Tilak, an Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) National Fellow, the Distinguished Professor at the Council for Social Development, New Delhi and also a Former Professor & Vice-Ch

Rahul Dravid exhibited selflessness in heights unscaled by any other Indian batsman

By Harsh Thakor*  On January 11th maestro Rahul Dravid turned 50. No Indian batsmen were ever more of an embodiment of temperament or grit.as Rahul Dravid. Dravid was the best ambassador of sportsmanship in cricket in his day and age. In his time no Asian batsmen did what the doctor ordered, to the extent of Dravid. Dravid was manifestation of single-mindedess, tenacity and selflessness in sport. One hardly has an adjective to the ice coolness and craft Dravid exhibited in adjusting to the given situation. Rarely did any batsmen exhibit such a clinical o methodical approach to batting.

NHRC blindly followed BSF status report on fencing farmland off Indo-Bangladesh border

Kirity Roy, Secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) writes an open letter of protest against the action taken status report on restriction imposed by the BSF personnel upon the villagers of Changmari near Indo-Bangladesh border: *** I have the honour to inform you that we received one action taken status report dated 11.01.2023 from your Commission in respect of the above referred case from where it is revealed that your authority closed the case based on the report of the concerned authorities. In this connection I again raise my voice as the enquiry in respect of the above referred case was not properly conducted. Hence I submit this open letter of protest for the ends of justice. From the action taken status report of the Commission dated 11.01.2023 it is reported that concerned authority submitted a report dated 18.01.2022 where it is reported that the concerned area comes under the OPS responsibility of BOP Chengmari, 62 Bn BSF and is highly susceptible to trans-bo

Data analytics: How scientific enquiry process impacts quality of policy research

By IMPRI Team  Given the multidimensionality of policy and impact research, tech-driven policy prescriptions are playing a dominant role in the 21st century. As such, data analytics have become integral in this space. IMPRI Generation Alpha Data Centre (GenAlphaDC) , IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute New Delhi has successfully conducted a #WebPolicyTalk 6-Week Immersive Online Hands-on Certificate Training Course on Data Analytics for Policy Research, spanning over 6-consecutive Saturdays from October 15th to November 19th, 2022. Along with this, datasets for hands-on learning were also provided for data analysis and learning. Participants were required to make a submission for evaluation at the end of the course, to obtain the certificate. This course comprised hands-on data learning sessions and various expert sessions on data discourses. The course especially catered to data and policy enthusiasts – including students, professionals, researchers, and other individuals lo

Brutal assault on Delhi Univ students as fear grips present rulers on rise of dissent

By Arhaan Baaghi  Various democratic student organizations (bsCEM, fraternity, DSU, SIO, AIRSO) had planned a screening of the BBC documentary "India: The Modi Question" in the Delhi University Arts Faculty, but the guards of the university and the Delhi police along with paramilitary forcefully detained the students just because we were trying to watch a documentary that scrutinizes the role of Modi in 2002 Gujarat riots. At first when the students started screening the documentary, the electricity of the department building was cut down. Students were brutally beaten by the police and university guards. Female students were also brutally manhandled and beaten. This whole incident shows the Brahmanical Hindutva fascist nature of the government and the university authority that is working as its puppet. An activist of bsCEM was manhandled by a male security guard, who tried to pull out his T shirt. Also various female activist were dragged by male security guards and their h

Great march of migrants during lockdown: Lessons not learned, missed opportunities

By IMPRI Team  A panel discussion on “The Great March of Migrants During The National Lockdown: Lessons Not Learned and Missed Opportunities” was organized by the #IMPRI Center for Human Centre for Human Dignity and Development (CHDD), IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi on the occasion of International Migrants Day, i.e December 18, 2022. Inaugurating the session, Ms Aanchal Kumari, a researcher at IMPRI, welcomed the speakers and participants to the program with an introduction to the eminent panellists. The event was moderated by Dr Devender Singh, a Visiting Senior Fellow at IMPRI. The panellists included Prof. R.B Bhagat, Professor and Head, Department of Migration and Urban Studies, International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai; Prof Arun Kumar, Distinguished Economist, a Former Professor Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi and Malcolm S. Adiseshiah Chair Professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi; Ms Akriti Bhatia, Founder of People