Monday, March 12, 2012

Aggregating Fragmented Land Holdings: Imperative for Multi-fold Increase in Agricultural Productivity

Fragmented land holdings is an unique characteristic of Indian agriculture. As per GOI surveys, In 2002-03, the share of small and marginal farmers was 86%. Two-thirds of Indian population is still locked in agriculture with landholdings getting divided among siblings with each passing generation. As a consequence, the average area per holding decreased within a decade from 1.34 ha to 1.06 ha in 2002-03.

The fragmentation has an adverse impact on productivity. The yield in India for several crops is about 4 to 10 times lower than the world best. A smallholder faces several constraints which hamper his farm productivity as discussed in article below. A major challenge in front of us is to aggregate the small & fragmented land holdings with an objective to promote investment in scientific methods and application of best agricultural practices.

In the following article, which was published in a leading Agri-business magazine, I have highlighted various means by which we can aggregate land holdings and promote collective farming to bridge the productivity gap.

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