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Table of Contents
Relation between farm size and income........................................................... 2
Scenario in India............................................................................................. 2
Relationship between farm size and income .............................................. 2
Graph 1 ...................................................................................................... 2
Observations .............................................................................................. 3
Figure 2 ...................................................................................................... 4
Observations (East – West Divide) ............................................................. 4
Way Forward ................................................................................................. 5
Feminization of Agriculture............................................................................... 6
Issues related to women in Agriculture .......................................................... 7
Issue of land ownership ............................................................................. 7
Gender-friendly machinery ........................................................................ 8
Access to resources .................................................................................... 9
Steps Taken.................................................................................................... 9

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Relation between farm size and income

Farm size is an important determinant of income and, consequently, income


inequality.

India’s farmers are not alone in these struggles. A 2016 study estimated that
around 84% of the world’s farms are less than 2ha. Some small farmers, such
as those in China, have been more successful in securing sustainable
livelihoods.

Scenario in India
Relationship between farm size and income

Graph 1

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Observations
1. Smaller, more numerous farms have been driven by rural population
growth.

2. Between 1970-71 and 2010-11, the number of farms increased by 194%,


almost exactly in line with rural population, which increased by 189% -
reflection of India’s inheritance pattern, which leads to farms divided
between multiple heirs.

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Figure 2

Observations (East – West Divide)


1. Within India though, there is significant variation in farm sizes.
The majority of India’s farms (86%) are less than 2ha. The bulk of which
are located in the poorer states such as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

2. The Indian experience shows that small farmers are more productive
than large farmers. Small farmers use more inputs (such as fertilizers), use
their land more intensely (planting more crops) and adopt more
technology. Yet, despite this efficiency, farm incomes remain poor.
3. Given household sizes in rural India, small farms struggle to generate
enough income for everyone in a household and often lack alternative
sources of income.
4. As per studies examining farmer incomes between 2003 and 2013,
incomes grew the least for marginal farmers and growth of incomes was

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proportional to the size of a farm. Doubling of farm incomes is a reality


only for the largest land-owning group.

It is the poor returns to farming—despite intensive efforts put in by


farmers—that lie at the root of India’s farm crisis, and the recent farm angst.

Way Forward
1. Improving land records,
2. Investing in research and development,
3. Providing local rural non-farm employment opportunities and
4. Building better rural infrastructure are policies that can help small
farmers.

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Feminization of Agriculture

Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare has proposed


deliberations to discuss the challenges that women farmers face in crop
cultivation, animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries. The aim is to work
towards an action plan using better access to credit, skill development
and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Facts
1. About 18% of the agricultural households in India are led by
women.
2. Agriculture Census (2015-16) - In Census 2015, almost 86% of
women farmers are devoid of this property right in land.
3. According to Oxfam India, women are responsible for about 60-
80% of food and 90% of dairy production, respectively.
4. A research by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)
conducted in nine states shows that the participation of women is
75% in the production of major crops, 79% in horticulture, 51% in
post-harvest work and 95% in animal husbandry and fisheries.

5. The Agriculture Census (2010-11) shows that out of an estimated


118.7 million cultivators, 30.3% were females. Similarly, out of an

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estimated 144.3 million agricultural labourers, 42.6% were


females.

6. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says that equalising


access to productive resources for female and male farmers could
increase agricultural output in developing countries by as much as
2.5% to 4%.

Issues related to women in Agriculture

Issue of land ownership

1. A lack of ownership of land does not allow women farmers to


approach banks for institutional loans as banks usually consider
land as collateral.
2. Women farmers have hardly any representation in society and are
nowhere discernible in farmers’ organisations or in occasional
protests.
3. Land holdings have doubled over the years with the result that the
average size of farms has shrunk leading to lower net returns
earned.

Suggestions:

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1. Provision of credit without collateral under the micro-finance


initiative of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural
Development (NABARD) should be encouraged.
2. Better access to credit, technology, and provision of
entrepreneurship abilities.
3. The possibility of collective farming can be encouraged to make
women self-reliant.
4. Training and skills imparted to women as has been done by some
self-help groups and cooperative-based dairy activities (Saras in
Rajasthan and Amul in Gujarat). These can be explored further
through farmer producer organisations (FPOs).
5. Government flagship schemes must include women-centric
strategies and dedicated expenditure.

Gender-friendly machinery
1. Female cultivators and labourers generally perform labour-
intensive tasks. In addition, they have household and familial
responsibilities. An increased work burden with lower
compensation is a key factor responsible for their marginalisation.
2. Most farm machinery is difficult for women to operate.
Suggestions:
1. Incentivising manufacturers to come up with better solutions.
2. Roping in farm machinery banks and custom hiring centres
promoted by many State governments to provide subsidised rental
services to women farmers.

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Access to resources
1. When compared to men, women generally have less access to
resources and modern inputs (seeds, fertilizers, pesticides) to make
farming more productive.
Suggestions:
1. Krishi Vigyan Kendras in every district can be assigned an additional
task to educate and train women farmers about innovative
technology along with extension services.
2. Assign property rights in land for women will improve their choices
and strengthen their voice with improved visibility as farmers.

Steps Taken
1. Cooperative education programs of women are organized through State
Cooperative Societies to ensure women’s participation in cooperatives.
2. Revised ATMA scheme is providing support to the Food Security Groups
of the farmers to ensure food security at the domestic and community
levels. Under this, the Women's Food Security Groups are being given
financial assistance.
3. In 2017-18, MANAGE, EEI, SAMETI and other institutions have trained
5645 people through 222 programmes.
4. Dalwai committee has given emphasis on women empowerment for
doubling farmer’s income by 2022.
5. National Gender Resource Centre in Agriculture, set up in the
Department of Agriculture Cooperation & Farmers Welfare, has
developed a women sensitization module to bring attitudinal change in
male program operators.

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6. More than 98.14 lakh women farmers have been trained so far under
the ATMA scheme.

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