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Agrarian structure takes into acc.

every conducive factor that is responsible fo


r the sustained growth in the agricultural sector
ag str involves social , economic and technical elements that affect production
in the agricultural sector .
these factors are used to measure the productivity level of farmers, the distrib
ution of their income and the social position of the rural population.
before the colonial rule , the indian farmers paid a share of their crops to the
authorities present at that time such as kings and nawabs.
PRE INDEPENDENCE ERA:
During colonial rule due to introduction of new land systems, and due to spread
of commercial agriculture the productivity of farmers went down drastically, the
social ,
economical and historical factors acted as the "built in depressor", these were
a formidable block in modernization of agriculture during british rule.
Agricultural output increased very slowly from 1890 to 1947..almost stagnated. W
hatever increase occurred was in the commercial crops at the expense of food cro
ps.
Following are the 2 events that shaped the agrarian structure in the colonial pe
riod:

NEW LAND SYSTEMS-(1793-1947)


During colonialism, India's
traditional land ownership and land use patterns were changed to ease
acquisition of land at low prices by British entrepreneurs for mines,
plantations etc.Also the British popularized two new land systems in rural India
, the zamindari system was intoduced in Bengal and adjacent areas,
the British converted tax farmers into private landlords and granted some of the
prvt property rights to them,
on the condition that they would collect heavy revenues and pass them to the sta
te.
A different system known as ryotwari system was introduced in madras and bombay
and later in the NE and NW India, in this
the British dealt directly with the peasant on land, in this way they hoped to e
xtract more revenue by doin away with the landlords.
Each peasant was recognized as holding the land but his right to the land depend
ed on his annual payment of the heavy rent to the state.
All this was too much for the humble peasants and the lanlords, they soon defaul
ted and eventually sold out the land to other merchants, and speculators
they delegated the collection work to middlemen,so eventually the peasants not b
4 long were supporting an impressive string of middlemen, merchants and speculat
ors.
old body of cutoms was submerged by law courts, fees, lawyers and formal procedu
res.
In ryotwari system too, the British insisted upon prompt and full payment of tax
es failing which the personal property, livestock of the peasant wud b taken ove
r
and the peasant may b evicted.
COMMON FEATURES OF THE LAND SYSTEMS
1. ABNORMALLY HIGH RENT(RACK RENTING)
2. INSECURITY OF TENURE
3. SUB INFEUDATION IN LAND LEASES
4. USURY
other land systems- mahalwari, taluqdari, khatedari, malguzari.
SPREAD OF COMMERCIAL AGRICULTURE(1850-1947)
Production of crops for sale and not for consumption.it hapenned due to 2 reason
s,
1. coz of the pressure on the peasants to give heavy rents, they shifted to more
profitable cash crops like cotton and jute
2. british wanted cheap raw materials for their own industries in britain.. and
also a ready market to dispose off their goods
railways had connected indian cities , cotton , groundnut, sugarcane , tobacco
were being sent out to britain at cheap prices.
This shift from food crops to comm agri , led to major food crisis specially dur
ing the drought years of 1870's and 1890's.
OUTCOMES OF BRITISH RULE IN AGRICULTURE:
1. YIELDS WERE LOW AND DECLINING
2. SOIL QUALITY WAS DECLINING
3. USE OF POOR QUALITY SEEDS, POOR YIELDING LIVESTOCK
4. LARGE EXTENT OF CULTIVABLE LAND WAS LEFT FALLOW
5. POOR DEVELOPMENT OF IRRIGATION FACILITIES
6. COLONIAL POLICIES LAID THE FOUNDATIONS OF PREFAMINE CONDITIONS(THE BENGAL FAM
INE OF 1943)
7. BW 1896 TO 1947 FOODGRAIN OUTPUT INCREASED AT MEAGRE 0.1% PER ANNUM COMPARED
TO THE POPULATION
8. food grain availability decreased from 200 kg per person in 1918 to 150 kg in
1947.
POST IDEPENDENCE ERA:
At the time of the 1st 5 year plan the country was facing a severe food shortage
.
great emphasis was given to agriculture , including power and irrigation.
During the 2nd world war and thereafter in order to produce more food"grow more
food" campaign was launched.
acc to it:
- switch over from cash crops to food crops
- to intensify cultivation on lands already available thru better irrigation, se
eds etc
- to extend cultivation to the waste and fallow land.
still not much could be acheived
1957-1958 was a particularly bad agricultural year. Imports of food grains from
USA were stepped up.
Ford foundation assembled experts from USA to analyze India's food problem...Amo
ng the team's recommendations
one was to concentrate development efforts on crops and areas which have the gre
atest potentialities for increase in food produc'n
this recommendation led to IADP(intensive agriculture district programme)
However the 2 consecutive droughts in 1966 and 1967 wiped out any gains in produ
ction acheived thru IADP.
TOWARDS MODERNIZATION:
By sheer coincidence , by this time, the new high yielding variety of wheat and
rice had been discovered in mexico and phillipines
, and were available for comm agriculture , India took prompt advantage of this
fact and along with fertilisers, pumpsets, tractors and pesticides
started to upgrade its agricultural output. this phenomenon was hailed as "green
revolution".
It was possible now to grow food quickly...adoption of HYV benefitted a vast tra
ct of indian agriculture.
-
Agrarian reforms are critical to agricultural growth , as we have seen historica
lly that the Indian agrarian structure
did not allow for a conducive env for good agricultural gains , following were a
part of the Indian agrarian structure
which were proving to be impediments to the agricultural growth:
1.Presence of intermediaries in the Zamindari and Ryotwari system-
presence of intermediaries between the land tiller and the state,
and also heavy taxes on the humble peasants acted as a built in depressor for t
he peasants. there was no incentive for them
to put more efforts to yield more outputs from the land and also they did not ha
ve the inclination or the resources to adopt
new and modern methods to increase agricultural produce.
2.Insecurity of tenure-
even if the peasants tilled the land and provided the landlord with the tax , i
t was not sure whether they would get the land
in the next lease , it acted as a disincentive to work on the land.
if the peasant failed to pay the stipulated sum , he could be evicted from the l
and and his property , livestock taken over
by the state. thus protection of rights of "tenants at will" was of prime import
ance, to promote agricultural produce.
3. Size of the landholding-
the Kumarappa committee which was assigned the work of bringing abt land reform
s, identified that there were vast numbers of
small, fragmented and uneconomical land holdings in rural India.
It was necessary to put a ceiling on the future aquisition of land by individual
s..so that equity in agricultural gains
could be established
REFORMS:
1. In 1951, as the first agrarian reform measure, the intermediaries, the numero
us revenue collectors who often did not have a definite function,
lost their rights.the government took over these rights in return for quite hig
h compensations whose rates increased inversely
to the amount of income earned from the land. The compensation was paid in inst
allments.land could be kept for personal
cultivation by the landlords..although it was not made clear what was meant by p
ersonal cultivation or abt the limit of land retained
by the landlord for personal cultivation.This type of reform made the lanlords e
vict the tillers from their land so that they
could claim the rights of it even if they were not self cultivating it.
2..TENANCY REFORM- The objective of the tenancy reform laws was to establish and
strengthen the tenants' rights.
To that end, a minimum leasing period of 5 to 10 years was introduced, and evict
ion was only allowed on the basis of
specific reasons. Sub-leasing was forbidden and, in the case of eviction, the te
nant was to be paid compensation
for his investments. Finally, the tenant was granted the right to purchase the l
and he cultivated. Sub-tenants who had
cultivated a plot of land for already more than 12 years gained the status of oc
cupancy tenants and were, thus, protected
against eviction.
The laws put a restriction of the rent to one third to one sixth of the gross ha
rvest.
These measures proved to be an extremely serious encroachment on the lessors' ri
ghts.
This is why it became indispensable to offer them an alternative in way of compe
nsation.
Before the laws were enforced, they were granted the right to give notice in cas
e they wanted to cultivate the land themselves.
Since the term "self cultivation" was not clearly defined and was finally unders
tood as "supervision of cultivation,"
this meant a set back for the tenants. Many of them were dismissed and reemploye
d as agricultural labourers or sharecroppers.
It was possible to reemploy them as sharecroppers because the many types of sha
recropping were not defined as tenancy
in the laws. Thus, a large number of tenants lost their rights as a result of th
e laws passed to improve their condition.
3.CEILING FOR THE LANDED PROPERTY- In the beginning, the main concern was to lim
it the amount of landed property
that could be acquired in the future; that is, an attempt was made to prevent la
rge scale landed property from newly developing.
Later, ceilings were fixed for the amount of landed property allowed, and land e
xceeding those amounts was to be expropriated.
land concentration was thus somewhat reduced.
Usually, it was left up to the landlords to decide which areas they wanted to ce
de if their property exceeded the ceiling.
The result was that much of the land which was surrendered consisted of burial
sites, waste land, and other unusable areas
In many cases, land was allowed to be distributed among the family members befo
re the laws were enforced..
Due to the large number of children, a family could often retain a large amount
of land, and some areas
were even transferred to unborn children
.
CONSEQUENCES OF LAND REFORMS:
the lower class, among whom great expectations were aroused but not fulfilled,
is the actual loser in the agrarian reform process.
The landless and the sharecroppers were not affected at all by the reform measu
res. A large number of the
previously protected tenants were deprived of their rights owing to the transiti
on to self cultivation and quite a number
of them now cultivate the same land, but under less favourable conditions.
Those who actually benefitted from the agrarian reforms belonged to the rural mi
ddle class, i.e., small landlords and larger owner
cultivators. The emphasis on the promotion of owner cultivation in the laws and
the way in which this term was defined
resulted in a concentration of land in the hands of this middle group.