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Agrarian Scenario in Post-reform India - A Story of Distress, Despair and Death

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  • Srijit Mishra

    (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research)

Abstract

Indian agriculture today is under a large crisis. An average farmer households returns from cultivation would be around one thousand rupees per month. The incomes are inadequate and the farmer is not in a position to address the multitude of risks : weather, credit, market and technology among others. Social responsibility of education, healthcare and marriage instead of being normal activities add to the burden. All these would even put the semi-medium farmer under a state of transient poverty. The state of the vast majority of small and marginal farmers and agricultural labourers is worse off. An extreme form of response to this crisis is the increasing incidence of farmers suicides. In such situations, employment programmes can provide some succour to the agricultural labourers and also perhaps to the marginal and small farmers. The least that one can expect from such programmes is rent-seeking. Some recent evidences indicate that one can develop institutions to address this. It is this that gives a glimmer of hope in the larger story of distress, despair and death. Incidentally, this paper provides some estimates from National Sample Survey (NSS) region wise information on returns to cultivation and on some aspects of farmers indebtedness based on the 33rd schedule 59th round survey of 2003. It provides suicide mortality rate for farmers, non-farmers and age-adjusted population across states of India from 1995-2004.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by East Asian Bureau of Economic Research in its series Development Economics Working Papers with number 22338.

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Date of creation: Jan 2007
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Handle: RePEc:eab:develo:22338

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Keywords: Agrarian crisis; agricultural indebtedness; employment programmes; value of output in agriculture;

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References

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  1. Vamsi Vakulabharanam, 2005. "Growth and Distress in a South Indian Peasant Economy During the Era of Economic Liberalisation," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(6), pages 971-997.
  2. Srijit Mishra & Manoj Panda, 2006. "Growth and Poverty in Maharashtra," Development Economics Working Papers 22337, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  3. Barrett, Christopher B. & Holden, Stein & Clay, Daniel C., 2002. "Can Food-for-Work Programmes Reduce Vulnerability?," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
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Cited by:
  1. Kakarlapudi, Kiran Kumar, 2010. "Agricultural Growth Deceleration in India: A Review of Explanations," MPRA Paper 35865, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 10 Jan 2012.
  2. Srijit Mishra, 2009. "Poverty and agrarian distress in Orissa," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2009-006, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
  3. Usha Sridhar & Sridhar Mandyam, 2010. "A Simulation Framework to Study Policy Formulation and Evaluation of Economic Viability and Sustainability of Small and Marginal Farmers," Asia-Pacific Development Journal, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), vol. 17(1), pages 27-62, June.
  4. Kakarlapudi, Kiran Kumar, 2012. "Agricultural Growth Deceleration In India: An Enquiry Into Possible Explanations," Journal of Regional Development and Planning, JRDP, vol. 1(1), pages 25-40.
  5. Arora, Saurabh & Romijn, Henny, 2009. "Innovation for the base of the pyramid: Critical perspectives from development studies on heterogeneity and participation," MERIT Working Papers 036, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

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