Geography Notes: Land Reforms in India

Land Reforms in India

Zamindari system introduced by the British had distorted the pattern of land ownership. They introduced a class of Zamindars who suddenly became owners of large tracts of land. This meant that a lot of farmers suddenly became landless and sharecroppers. This also promoted feudalism. The following measures were taken by the government after independence to bring about land reforms in India.

Land Reforms in India
Image Courtesy: The Hans India
  1. Abolition of Intermediaries
    • like Zamindars, Sub-letting in Roytwari, Absentee landlordism, exploitative moneylending
    • But big zamindars escaped this in connivance with the bureaucrats
  2. Land Ceiling and Distribution of Surplus Land to Landless
    • was done in 2 phases
    • Phase 1: 1960-72, landholder was the unit of application
    • Phase 2: The family was counted as landholding unit
    • Failed as only 2% of cultivated area was declared surplus
  3. Tenancy Reforms
    • Different types of tenants: permanent, tenants-at-will, sub-tenants
    • Lacked security of tenure
    • 50% or more of the crops was paid as rent
    • Regulation of rent, brought down to 20-25% in different states
    • Security of tenure and rights of the tiller through legislation (Forest Rights Act 2006, Operation Barga in West Bengal)
  4. Consolidation of Landholding and Prevent Fragmentation
    • NSSO Data:
      • Average landholding per person 0.59 hectare per family (It was 1.16 in 2010-11)
      • 75% are marginal landholders
      • Only 7% are now landless
      • 80% of rural households are marginal landholders
    • Consolidation is needed for commercial farming. Smaller lands are not amenable to modern technologies and methods. Also they do not have the economies of scale.
  5. Formation of Co-operatives
    • Co-operative societies are formed for consolidation of landholdings and utilize collective resources as well as the economies of scale
    • 60% of Co-operative societies formed are malfunctioning
  6. Land Record Modernisation

Institutional Facrtors in Agriculture

  1. Land Reforms
  2. Technology Upgradation
    • HYV seeds
    • fertilizers
    • mechanization

Infrastructural Factors in Agriculture

  1. Irrigation
  2. Power (Only 2.6 kw/hectare available in India, 14 kw/hectare in Japan)
  3. Institutional Credit
  4. Crop Insurance (Read PMFBY)
  5. Marketing of Agricultural Products (Read APMC, eNAM etc.)
  6. Cold Storage Chains
  7. Better road connectivity from farm to market

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