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Size-class and returns to cultivation in India: A Cold case reopened

Author

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  • Sarthak Gaurav

    () (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research)

  • Srijit Mishra

    () (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research)

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between returns to cultivation per hectare and size-class of land cultivated in India, using unit level data from the 59th round National Sample Survey, 2003. The analysis is done separately for `kharif' and `rabi' - for total value of cultivation from all crops at the all India level. The empirical evidence rejects the null hypothesis of no relationship and points to the existence of an inverse association. We argue that the efficiency of the small-holders has to be taken with a pinch of salt because their low absolute returns brings into focus the question of their livelihood sustainability which is further aggravated on account of higher unit costs. Being the first exercise in a series of proposed explorations into disaggregated analyses across states, and for specific crops, it opens up the classic debate on farm size and productivity in the 21st century.

Suggested Citation

  • Sarthak Gaurav & Srijit Mishra, 2011. "Size-class and returns to cultivation in India: A Cold case reopened," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2011-027, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
  • Handle: RePEc:ind:igiwpp:2011-027
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    File URL: http://www.igidr.ac.in/pdf/publication/WP-2011-027.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bhalla, Surjit S., 1988. "Does land quality matter? : Theory and measurement," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 45-62, July.
    2. Eswaran, Mukesh & Kotwal, Ashok, 1986. "Access to Capital and Agrarian Production Organisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(382), pages 482-498, June.
    3. Benjamin, Dwayne, 1995. "Can unobserved land quality explain the inverse productivity relationship?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 51-84, February.
    4. Khusro, A.M., 1964. "Returns to Scale in Indian Agriculture," Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Indian Society of Agricultural Economics, vol. 19(3-4).
    5. Singh, Ashish, 2010. "Does returns to farming depend on Caste? New evidence from India," MPRA Paper 26526, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Reddy, D. Narasimha & Mishra, Srijit (ed.), 2009. "Agrarian Crisis in India," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195695953.
    7. Feder, Gershon, 1985. "The relation between farm size and farm productivity : The role of family labor, supervision and credit constraints," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2-3), pages 297-313, August.
    8. Barrett, Christopher B., 1996. "On price risk and the inverse farm size-productivity relationship," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 193-215, December.
    9. Assuncao, Juliano J. & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2003. "Can unobserved heterogeneity in farmer ability explain the inverse relationship between farm size and productivity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 189-194, August.
    10. Desai, Sonalde & Dubey, Amaresh & Joshi, Brij Lal & Sen, Mitali & Sharif, Abusaleh & Vanneman, Reeve, 2010. "Human Development in India: Challenges for a Society in Transition," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198065128.
    11. Cornia, Giovanni Andrea, 1985. "Farm size, land yields and the agricultural production function: An analysis for fifteen developing countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 513-534, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. S. Mahendra Dev, 2012. "Small farmers in India: Challenges and opportunities," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2012-014, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    2. Duvvuru, Narasimha Reddy & Motkuri, Venkatanarayana, 2013. "Declining Labour Use in Agriculture : A Case of Rice Cultivation in Andhra Pradesh," MPRA Paper 49204, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Ram Singh, 2012. "Inefficiency And Abuse Of Compulsory Land Acquisition--An Enquiry Into The Way Forward," Working papers 209, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    4. S. Mahendra Dev, 2012. "Small Farmers in India: Challenges and Opportunities," Working Papers id:5037, eSocialSciences.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    agrarian crisis; agriculture; efficiency; livelihood sustainability; NSS; productivity; size-class;

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets

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