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

AgricultureSubscribe to Agriculture

Agrarian Question in India

Using the latest National Sample Survey Office data on land distribution and use, questions of agrarian change in India are revisited. With reducing landholding size in general, the increasing unviability of such small plots, and increasing numbers of "effectively" landless households, the larger questions of employment and sectoral shifts are flagged. There is still no clear transition away from agriculture.

Rural Push in Budget 2016-17

Budget 2016-17 recognises that the rural economy is in crisis; however, it fails to address this with sufficient targeted rural spending. A perusal of budget documents reveals exaggerated expenditure claims, achieved through reclassification of budget heads. There has been an enduring neglect of agriculture, which is further exacerbated by this year's reduced subsidies for fertiliser and food. This will induce further vulnerabilities in the rural economy.

Arthiyas in Punjab's APMC Mandis

A critique of "Commission Agent System: Significance in Contemporary Agricultural Economy of Punjab" by Sukhpal Singh and Shruti Bhogal (EPW, 7 November 2015).

Punjab: Farm Household Income, Investment and Consumption

The significant early successes of the green revolution in Punjab have given way to stagnating farm household incomes and consumption since the 1990s. The low investment in education has also resulted in a failure to diversify into non-farm employment avenues in rural areas.

High Stakes in Agro Research

In a country where the majority of the population depends wholly on agriculture and agro-related activities for livelihood and survival, seeds and agrochemicals are critical inputs, whose control must lie with the people. At least two attempts have been made in the past - the first one between 1980 and 1985 and the second in 1981 to control our agrochemicals business. We are now seeing a third attempt being made to control the seed business. Some lessons from the past.

Rural Employment and Poverty

This paper discusses the likely scenarios regarding employment and income growth in agriculture and non-agriculture in rural and urban areas under various assumptions about sectoral growth rates and employment elasticities. It is evident that India faces a problem in generating enough employment in the years ahead to keep pace with the growth in the labour force as also in raising wages and productivity of workers. Against this backdrop the authors consider possible strategies for increasing employment significantly reducing rural and urban poverty by 2020.

Sustainable Use of Water

Projections of water demand and supply based on various scenarios provide a backdrop for examining the relevance of alternative interventions to achieve sustainable use of India's water resources. Policy interventions in the water sector need to address the conservation and better use of water by correcting instruments that have resulted in inefficient use of water and pollution of water bodies. Adoption of such interventions must involve a wider dialogue within civil society and a study of the knowledge available from around the world.

Fertiliser Use and Crop Yield

The Determinants of Fertiliser Consumption and its Growth in Tamil Nadu by T C Mohanam; Northern Book Centre, New Delhi, pp xviii+202, Rs 385.

Forest Products of Bastar

The forests of Bastar have for long been a vital source of sustenance for the many tribal groups who live there. Yet lack of organisation and overt dependence on local traders has often led to their exploitation, with most profits of trade accruing to the latter. The onus lies on NGOs and government-designated procurement groups to help them not merely to form effective organisations to market their produce but to ensure foolproof implementation of relevant legislation.

Hybrid Rice in Bangladesh

The government of Bangladesh permitted four private seed companies to import seeds of rice hybrids for the 1998-99 boro season to make up the shortage of rice seeds after the floods in the 1998 aman (monsoon season rice) season, since there were no locally bred rice hybrids This paper primarily evaluates the farm-level performance of imported rice hybrids, based on representative sample farmers who grew hybrids during the 1999 boro season. The study findings support the view that hybrids were introduced in Bangladesh without a clear deployment strategy and without scientific evaluation of new rice hybrids under farmers' conditions before importing seeds.

Profitability of Hybrid Rice Cultivation

Hybrid rice cultivation has not increased significantly in Karnataka since the introduction of hybrids in the state in the mid-1990s. This study focuses on the profitability aspects of hybrid rice cultivation based on farmers' experiences during the 2000-01 crop year. Hybrid rice was found to be higher yielding but less profitable than existing high-yielding varieties. The paper provides reasons for lower profitability and explains the constraints in hybrid rice expansion based on farm-level data.

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