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

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Determining Growers' Participation in Contract Farming in Punjab

Small farmers' participation in global value chains is of prime importance for inclusive agricultural development in developing countries like India. However, the issue of inclusiveness of modern arrangements like contract farming and the determinants of participation in such arrangements is understudied in such contexts. This paper examines the issue of small farmers' participation in contract farming arrangements in Punjab, where farming is dominated by medium and relatively large farms. Based on a sample of contract and non-contract farmers, this paper examines the relationship between the farmers' resourcefulness and contract farming participation, selectivity bias, and its impact on farm income. It finds that the contract and the non-contract farmers differ in terms of education, agricultural machinery ownership, and owned and operational landholdings. Small farmers are not, by and large, part of contract farming practice in the studied crops and the selectivity bias exists in contract farming; however, it does not have any significant impact on farm income. Small farmers' participation can be improved through better institutional mechanisms, including group contracts and incentives for contracting agencies to work with small farmers.

My sincere gratitude towards Sukhpal Singh, IIM Ahmedabad for his useful and insightful comments and S P Singh, IIT Roorkee for his guidance. Suggestions by Gurpreet Singh and Akarsh Arora are also acknowledged. I am grateful to my father R L Arya who made this field research possible. I am also thankful to the referee for the comments on an earlier version of the article.

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