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

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Contrasted Agrarian Change in Punjab, India

The scarcity of lucrative non-farm jobs and the stagnant or declining agricultural incomes for rural households in Punjab, especially for the Jat Sikhs, are causing distress. By selecting two villages of different types from Ludhiana and Jalandhar districts, this paper presents how the different conditions inherent to the villages led to sharply contrasted agrarian changes. In the Jalandhar village, where emigration to Western countries dates to an earlier time, the ample supply of leased-out land from Persons of Indian Origin depressed land rents, which enabled the remaining Jat Sikhs to earn high incomes by expanding the operational size of land through land tenancy. In contrast, in the Ludhiana village, where emigration to the West is constrained and land rent remains at a high level, the incomes of Jat Sikh tenant farmers remain low, whereas rentiers living on land rent and educated idle youths prosper. The latter case of Ludhiana village is reflective of a wider trend in Punjab.

Agrarian Structure of Punjab in the Post-green Revolution Era

While Punjab is endowed with population bonus from a macro perspective, the dividend viewed at a household level has placed Punjab farmers in two major difficulties: the shrinkage of farm size and the underutilisation of the dividend. Due to a dearth of decent non-farm job opportunities, Punjab farmers have struggled to pursue distress-coping strategies. This paper focuses on three primary strategies for survival: land leases, overseas migration, and obtaining informal domestic jobs outside the agricultural sector, based on our unique data of 956 landholders and 254 landless households across Punjab.


Attributes and Socio-economic Dynamics of Adopting Bt Cotton

Bt cotton, adopted as a solution to curb losses caused by bollworms and to reduce the use of pesticides, successfully brought about a decline in pesticide consumption and expenditure, increase in productivity along with a higher output-input ratio in Punjab in 2004-05. Despite increased productivity and reduced pesticide use, Bt cotton is expected to increase the incidence of primary bollworms, which could develop resistance and secondary pests. But the undesirable, indirect and unanticipated consequences of innovation go together, as do the desirable, direct and anticipated consequences.

Microfinance and Poverty Alleviation

In microfinance, small amounts of loan, coupled with financial discipline, ensure that loans are given more frequently; thus credit needs for a variety of purposes and at shorter time intervals can be met. Microfinance can thus play an effective role in extending the reach of credit in rural India.

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