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

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In Search of Political Economy

Indian Agriculture Over Time

Political Economy of Agricultural Development in India: Policies, Achievements and Concerns by Akina Venkateswarlu, Delhi: Aakar Books, 2021; pp xvii + 554, ₹1,695.

As I write this piece, protests by farmers opposing the three farm laws passed in September 2020 have turned over an year-old. Although the farm laws are repealed, the demand for minimum support price (MSP) is not met yet. The farm bill in question appeared to ease the way for private players in contract farming and the marketing and stockpiling of agricultural produce.

Even before the introduction of these laws, Indian agriculture did not present a rosy picture, however. Agriculture suffers from a deep viability crisis, best captured through the following statistics: as of 2012–13, the bulk of agricultural holdings are less than one hectare in size (NSSO data presented in Venkateswarlu 2021: 98), and while the share of agriculture in gross value added has fallen to 15.26% as of 2016–17, it continues to employ over 40% of the workforce (Venkateswarlu 2021: 285, 315).

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Updated On : 4th Dec, 2021

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